Our Worst Fears for the 2016 Election Materialized. The Most Unqualified Candidate in 100 years is Elected President of the US
I could understand why Americans chose GWB to remain as the commander-in-chief in 2004 at the height of two wars, but it hurts when half the country voted for Donald Trump who built his campaign on racism, xenophobia, hate, attacking people and the constitution, insults with no limits, threats, childish temper tantrums, and by bringing out the worst among us. I did not believe we could be so bad as a nation to elect and find someone like Trump acceptable. Even if you believe you have termites eating your house, you don't fight them by torch.
I am for democracy, and support the institutions of this great country. Institutions that DJT does not respect. We accept the verdict of the voters, even if we disagree with it. The rules may be outdated--the EC, winner take all system, etc--but they apply to all competitors. Imagine what Trump and his cohorts would say had he, like JRC, won the popular vote but lost in the EC.... He refused to say whether he would accept the outcome of this election if he lost.... This child in man's clothes, who throws a fit, "it's not fair", when he thinks he might lose--a blatant disregard for our institutions and acceptable norms of civility, and citizenship.
What Now?It'll take a while for the shock to wear off, though I don't think I'll find the outcome any less palatable for years to come. We'll pour over data to try to understand what exactly happened and plot ahead. Much will depend on how Trump governs. One of the terrifying things about him is that his awful character flaws that make him unfit for the office may result in unpredictable consequences. With GWB we knew what to expect. Did it make it more acceptable? Not really, but he wasn't crazy unpredictable.
It took an non-traditional Republican to win the presidency for the Republicans. But they took a big gamble with Trump. He demolished traditional Republican policy values: free trade and no protectionism; no talk of redistribution of resources; no regulation of Wall Street; pro-NATO and strong presence all over the globe; no tariffs; etc. There will be clashes within the GOP. Trump's feud with Speaker Ryan may escalate. Will Trump choose the tea party or the Republican party establishment?
Is Trump capable of changing his style? No, not his hair, but the way he's run his business and his TV show. You can't run the country like that, or like a country club or a casino. Nor can you fail to uphold the obligations the country has undertaken, from foreign treaties, to the national debt, to the social safety net.
Most Americans vote on a loose, simple narrative and feelings. They don't know or care to understand the workings of our complicated political system that's been in place for hundreds of years. However, while the majority of Americans wanted change--and Trump represented change--they'll expect change. They'll be aware that the Republicans will control the Executive and both chambers of Congress, so Trump and the GOP will have no good excuse for not delivering what the people want. Now, many of Trump's promises aren't realistic, from building the wall to bringing back factories and improving the lives of the middle class by trickle-down economics and weakening consumer protection.
I personally know people who did not vote for HR Clinton because she was very unappealing to them, and while they found Trump abhorrent, they didn't reason out: not HRC = yes DJT. This group included 10% of 18-35 year-olds who voted for third parties or millions of them who didn't vote at all. Trump got the majority of women! Trump got more Hispanic/Latino votes than Romney. Likewise, millions of people who benefited from the social safety net, including Obamacare, didn't bother to vote. Elections have consequences and these groups will feel this. First thing on the agenda: repealing Obamacare, so 20 million Americans will soon find out how free they'll be from the government obliging them to have health insurance by not having no insurance.
One thing for sure, Trump will shake the foundations of this country.
It's been an exhausting campaign and a draining couple of days... I'm afraid this is not going to get any easier for a long time. To all my liberal friends, this is not the end. The country is moving in a progressive direction; look what policies, often via referendum, states are adopting. Many important steps are laid in stone by now, and even though we got an anti-science president and a creationist VP, progress will prevail; it'll just take a detour in the next 4 years. It's up to us to reverse this setback as soon as possible, but we have to bring a sizeable chunk of those misguided people who voted for Trump to our side. Most of them are not part of the fascist core that propelled Trump's campaign, so we have to become even more vocal and active. It's probably the best therapy for us now.