Reality has now set in but watching election night unfold defied belief. As the states kept rolling in and the tide shifted I kept asking myself “Is this really happening?” Could Donald J Trump be the next President of the United States? Trump reached 270, Hillary made the phone call and we were in a brand new world.
Hollywood can complain and moan all it wants, people can protest in multiple cities around America but it won’t change the result or what will happen on Friday January the 20th next year, the day Trump becomes leader of the free world and Republicans control the House, Senate and Presidency.
There’s no doubt this was the election cycle of the outsider. Bernie Sanders pushed Hillary all the way, much to the chagrin of the Democratic Party, see Wikileaks, whilst Trump slayed 16 other Republicans, most of them career politicians as Senators and Governors. The American heartland wanted change, despised political correctness, felt left behind and betrayed by what their Government had promised, especially blue collar white voters. The so-called Democratic Blue Wall of Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Trump took a jackhammer too, winning them all. They were states that Democrats had won in multiple previous Presidential elections.
However, Trump was a flawed candidate; he made many mistakes, you could argue if either him or Hillary were up against a disciplined relatively squeaky-clean opponent it would have been a bloodbath as both their unfavorable numbers were around 60%. The fact Hillary made mistakes too, helped the New York businessman. She put half of Trump supporters into a “basket of deplorables”, which I’m sure fired up those ‘blue wall’ populist voters in the heartland. The email scandal would just not go away, in part because Wikileaks kept drip feeding hacked emails out every few weeks and the FBI Director informed Congress just weeks before election day that he was reopening the investigation, which likely caused potential Hillary voters to stay home.
Trump also crisscrossed the country with endless campaign stops in endless cities, even when he was neck deep in controversy. Hillary took multiple days off, preferring the ‘lay low’ approach, which says to me ‘out of sight, out of mind’, that allowed Trump to dominate the news cycle, negatively or not.
Trump, especially in the early part of the campaign would go on anyone’s TV show at anytime, even if it got him in trouble, but Hillary didn’t do a Press Conference in 265 days and stayed away from shows that weren’t favorable.
Clinton also couldn’t get the Obama faithful to turn out, registering roughly 5 million less votes than the 66 million that Obama had in 2012. All of these factors added up to Donald J Trump being the next President of the United States. Your guess is as good as mine as to what that means. One thing is guaranteed though; the next 4 years will not be boring.