Last night was a spectacle to see unravel. Flipping through channel to channel, I watched as the mainstream media imploded attempting to reconcile their polling data with reality. In just a matter of hours the narrative had changed completely. The narrow path for Donald Trump to claim victory had mutated into Hillary Clinton needing a miracle. And then in a single moment it was over: Donald Trump became the 45th president elect of the United States.
One should never underestimate the ignorance of the American people. This will no doubt be remembered as a pinnacle of insanity in our politics, but it was a foreseeable insanity to those that were paying attention. Indeed, 2016 was a year of building tension with Brexit, continuous terrorist attacks and a growing migrant crisis. Donald Trump won on the back of fear. This, however, was only fraction of the story.
I believe the biggest reason that Donald Trump was victorious was because of the extreme resentment for Hillary Clinton. It was blatantly obvious to anyone outside of the Hollywood, Wall Street and mainstream media bubble that she was a terrible candidate. She represented the essence of the status quo when the country was screaming for something new. Her campaign was shallow and unexciting to get behind. The Democrats failure to elect Bernie Sanders as their nominee ultimately screwed them in the end.
Nevertheless, it’s clear that at the time of writing this piece that Clinton will win the popular vote and I suspect that she will do so overwhelming as the votes continue to come in. The majority of the country didn’t get swayed by a demagogue. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter now. Perhaps there is something to be said about an outdated electoral college system, but I digress.
Finally, a third point: Leftists have rightly highlighted the sexism, racism and bigotry throughout Trumps campaign, but have also failed to engage in these conversations honestly. Being critical of Black Lives Matter doesn’t make a person racist. Being critical of Third Wave Feminism doesn’t make a person sexist. Being critical of Islamic Terrorism doesn’t make a person an Islamophobe. The failure to distinguish between legitimate criticisms and true bigotry is a key factor in the rise of Trump and the platform he now has. We should never begin by assuming the worst intentions of our political opponents when thoughtful disagreement is possible.
Emotions are high as this 2 year long bitter campaign comes to a close, but Leftists and Liberals now more than ever need to be rational and champions of reason. The election of Donald Trump in addition to Republican control of the House, Senate and Congress leaves the door wide open to massive changes these next two years.
The silver lining in all of this, ironically, is that Donald Trump is not a traditional republican. The man has no ideology and his policies have been all over the map from the beginning. There’s much reason to believe that his ideas will continue to change as he learns the secrets and intricacies of world politics. In this regard, I’m hopeful that the presidency can humble the narcissistic egomaniac and make for a survivable 4 years. Don’t hold your breath.