Wednesday, November 09, 2016

What Just Happened?

Against all odds, predictions, logic, and reason, Donald J. Trump has been elected the 45th president of the United States of America. As the votes were tallied late into the night and on to early morning, Trump captured one unexpected state after another in a most astonishing march across the electoral map.

How and why did this happen? On television, the many panels of media sages were nearly speechless with shock. One well-known political analyst almost whined, "What did we miss?" Well, when you're not paying attention, you can miss a great many things. What follows are a few of them.
  • "Flyover country." It's just a popular expression among the jet-setting elites, but flyover country became the catalyst for a political earthquake last night. All the ranchers, farmers, small business owners, family business employees, the left-behind workers from the struggling coal and steel industries, they all fought for their country with the most powerful weapons American citizens have--their votes. The households broken by the costs of Obamacare, the business owners strapped by regulations and sapped by taxes, the forgotten unemployed and underemployed--all of them showed up and made a stand for their families and their chance to shape their own way of life. And they won.
  • What else was going on? Donald Trump talked about strengthening the military, keeping America safe, protecting our borders, being the "law and order" candidate. Listening to him were members of all branches of the U.S. military and their veterans, law enforcement officers and first responders across the country--and all of their friends and families.
  • There has to be more--"Make America Great Again." A motto that was ridiculed by cultural elites throughout the campaign, it nevertheless spoke to millions of Americans who remember when we felt good about being U.S. citizens. We are a good people, we live in a great country, and we know this. How refreshing it was to hear a potential leader actually proclaim the promise and opportunities of our nation and the potential of our people rather than constantly pointing out our flaws.
  • Speaking of flaws, of course Trump the candidate had a wide assortment. During the campaign, he said many terrible things and often behaved badly. But apparently people could see that he was being himself, warts and all. His opponent was an accomplished liar with a long history of subterfuge and double dealing. Americans have grown so weary of that tired and predictable behavior. Collectively, the country's voters seemed to say "Give the big-mouthed boor a chance." As he might have put it, "What the h#ll do you have to lose?" As president, he will need to do better. The man has built himself a fortune, so he must be reasonably smart and able to improve. Voters were willing to overlook his shortcomings for a chance at real reform in our political system and change in our cultural climate.
Will Donald Trump be able to deliver on his promises? Time will tell, and very soon. In the meanwhile,  I'm glad Trump broke the china (couldn't resist) in this historic election. As he might say, "Unbelievable."