You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!
George Taylor (Charlton Heston), Planet of the Apes
Don’t look at me: I didn’t vote for him.
So here we are: Cheeto-Jesus won.
Let me begin by stating what should be obvious:
I didn’t think Trump would last until the Iowa Primary. I didn’t think Trump would win the GOP nomination. I sure as hell didn’t think he would win the general election. And I really thought last night was going to end in a tie.
As I type this, Trump leads Clinton in the Electoral College 279-218. Maine, New Hampshire, Michigan, Minnesota, and Arizona have yet to be called. Of my five election outcome scenarios, we have past The Levy Breaks and are coming close to Trumpistan.
And here we are. Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States.
The reaction on social media has been… interesting to say the least. The mood I’ve seen among Conservatives and Republicans has been, in general, one of cautious optimism. There is no irrational exuberance at Trump’s victory, but a wary acceptance that burden to govern is now solely on the Republican Party. They control the Presidency and the Congress.
Among Progressives and Democrats the reaction has been… unhinged, irrational hatred. They have pretty much lived up (down?) to William F. Buckley’s observation, “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”
Tending on twitter this morning is #NotMyPresident. As former Libertarian Party nominee Austin Petersen noted on Twitter:
And Petersen is correct. There is a vast swath of Americana that exists between the Rockies and the Appalachians that has been devastated by the structural changes in US economy. The US is no longer the manufacturing powerhouse of the 1950s and 1960s. We are now an intellectual property and white collar service powerhouse economy. If you do not have a college degree, or your work is primarily physical labor, you are looked down upon. We have an educational system that is designed to send children to college. “Learning a trade” is now used as threat to kids, right up (down?) there with “If you don’t eat your vegetables, the monster will come out of the closet and eat you.” (This is why programs, such as Mike Rowe’s Profoundly Disconnected Foundation is so vital to act as a counterweight and provide funding for those for whom college is not the answer.)
Contrary to what the media and the democratic spin is, this campaign did not hinge on issues of race.
It hinged on class issues.
Upper Class people have developed a society that favors their wants and desires to the exclusion and also actively to the detriment of the lower classes. In 2008, the folks in the lower economic classes voted for Hope and Change. They didn’t get change and they lost hope. Donald Trump offered them a variation of Hope and Change. Hillary Clinton didn’t. Hillary Clinton promised the coal miners of Appalachia that if she was elected she would put the coal mines out of business. She didn’t just promise this: she laughed when she made this vow.
Are you really surprised they didn’t vote for her?
Now last evening a friend from high school accused me of being smug when I noted that 1) it was highly unlikely that the Democrats were going to reconsider whether their campaign strategy was the best option, and then 2) when I noted that suddenly the Left was going to suddenly rediscover, after 8 years of President “I’ve Got a Pen and I’ve Got a Phone” the concept of constrained government. So I will save until another day what I think the Black Swan event was that allowed Trump to win (hint: it wasn’t the FBI) and the massive gaping flaws in the Clinton Campaign. I will save for another day my modern fable, the Leftist Who Cried Racist. Later I will discuss where I think the Libertarian Party goes from here. And I think we need to have a talk about the state of polling in this country. But that is for later.
One final point: I have seen variations of this question on Social Media: How Do We Explain This Election Outcome to Our Children?
The answer is simple: In a participatory governing system, the candidate you want to win doesn’t always do so. You may not agree with him and wish he was not elected, but he was. The beauty and exceptionalism of America is we come together and give the new President the opportunity to succeed. If he doesn’t, then in four years we have the opportunity to replace him with someone else.
Donald J Trump is the next President. All of us who did not vote for him owe it to the Country to give him a chance.
Who knows, maybe he’ll surprise us.
If not, there’s always 2020.