I woke up this morning and hit a local news site prepared to face the report of Hillary Clinton’s inevitable win as the nation’s next President. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Trump had won instead.
I thought maybe a mistake had been made and checked several sources to verify the report.
Yep. Donald Trump is the President-Elect.
When I got over the shock, I experienced something else I didn’t expect: relief.
It’s not that I wanted Trump to become the President, I just was terrified at the prospect of Hillary Clinton in the White House.
I don’t consider myself a low information voter and I have two undergraduate degrees and one graduate degree, so I don’t think you could say I’m uneducated.
I’ve watched Hillary Clinton dodge one metaphorical bullet after another when it seemed readily apparent that at least one of them should strike. I’ve called her “The Teflon Lady” because no allegation against her seemed to stick.
You could say that they didn’t stick because they weren’t true, but based on all the scandals and the on again/off again FBI investigations against her, it sure seemed like if she was smoking, she was on fire.
Clinton was the person who could get away with anything no matter how outrageous. This morning I found out otherwise.
But why? How? I mean, it sure looked like the fix was in. I thought nothing could halt the relentless progress of the Clinton juggernaut. How did Trump pull it off?
Opinions vary. It is generally believed by some sources that Trump was voted into the White House by non-college educated, low information white males and females. I can see why Trump would appeal to this demographic.
I assumed that this population must have turned out in higher numbers than in previous elections, probably out of an inherit dislike or downright fear of Clinton, but I’ve read statistics which say that conservative white voters didn’t increase, but those voters that formed Obama’s base decreased significantly.
Was there something about Hillary that didn’t appeal to them, or were progressives so incredibly sure of the outcome that they never bothered to vote?
I read another article, a source at The Week, that said this “white backlash” was a response by particularly older white males at being marginalized by the current administration and the media for the past eight years.
Whites are getting tired of being called racist because they’re white, or because they disagree with President Obama’s policies, or because they oppose an open door immigration policy for Mexican citizens.
I don’t know if that’s the only reason. I think Clinton’s credibility problems caught up with her. I think people saw another four or perhaps eight years of Obama’s policies being carried out. I think people saw that Hillary was bought and sold by the financial elite and she couldn’t wash off the dirt of thirty years of career politics.
I also think, and some of the reports I read bear this out, that a lot of people didn’t so much vote for Donald Trump as against Hillary Clinton.
I know more than one of those voters.
I was totally undecided right until I was coloring in the little box on the ballot next to Trump’s name. If I had voted my conscience, I’d have voted for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.
But I couldn’t stand the thought of a Clinton Presidency, of vindicating her “I can get away with anything” tactics in her mad scramble for power. I couldn’t stand the thought that once in the White House, she’d completely torpedo America and American citizens in the service of her Wall Street masters. I couldn’t stand the thought of her throwing Israel under a bus the way Obama has for the past eight years.
Fortunately, I live in Idaho, so I knew exactly who would win my state, so I didn’t have to make such a horrible decision either way.
The social and news media have gone berserk.
Writer Shani Silver at Thought Catalog declared that Last Night, America Broke My Heart. She really believes that Hillary Clinton would be a President good for this nation and that Donald Trump is the worst thing to ever happen to her.
Students at American University (oh the irony) burned the American flag in protesting Trump’s victory.
The hosts of the television show “The View” spent a very depressing morning together.
Twitter exploded with #NotMyPresident hashtags.
And of course, a whole bunch of celebrities have vowed to leave the country.
How do I feel besides relieved?
I’m concerned. Trump has a big mouth and he’s said a lot of idiotic and ignorant things. I’m hoping, and this is a big hope, now that he’s actually won (I don’t think even he expected to win), he’ll take being the President-Elect seriously and develop policies that will help to enact his campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again.”
While that sounds an awful lot like “Make America Racist, Sexist, Homophobic, and Imperialists Again,” I think it also struck the right tone with the people who may actually believe in him, disenfranchised, rural, white, non-college educated voters. In other words, the majority of Americans, Americans that Clinton and the Democrats ignored at their peril.
If Trump really wants to make America great, then he’s work to undo what President Obama has been doing a lot lately. He’ll promote racial unity rather than racial division. That’s a lot to ask of Trump considering what he’s said during the campaign, but a President owes it to their country to represent everyone, not just people of color.
Upper-middle class (and higher), college educated elites like to think they are the majority, or at least the only group who should be making decisions about what happens to this nation, and they vote based on their perception of who will represent their interests. But they aren’t everyone. What about everyone else?
Actually, in looking at the latest numbers, although Trump won 279 electoral votes to Clinton’s 228 (takes 270 to win), Clinton won 47.66% of the popular vote to Trump’s 47.5%. If more progressives had come out for Clinton and not that many more, she would have won and people like me would be the ones getting depressed today.
But she didn’t.
I think last night, the people made their voices heard, not on social media but at the polls, and after all, that’s where voices count. Not on twitter or Facebook but the votes of real people who think they have the right to be represented too, rather than to be dismissed as “deplorables”. Last night, in spite of the elites and the system rigging the election from start to finish, American citizens were able to (barely) stop the fix.
Maybe Trump just got lucky. He’s got four years to show us what he can really do beyond the name-calling and offensive comments. He may not become the best President we’ve ever had, but I think he won’t be the worst.