By Glynn Wilson –
America’s long national nightmare just got a whole lot worse.
New York’s own George Wallace, Donald Trump, managed to get himself elected the 45th president of the United States in what the Washington Post called “the stunning culmination of a campaign that defied expectations and conventions at every turn and galvanized legions of aggrieved Americans in a loud repudiation of the status quo.”
Yes, and it was a repudiation of every mainstream media outlet in America, all of which piled on to try to discredit Trump, even Newhouse publications such as The New Yorker and Al Dot Com in Alabama, where the state’s three largest circulation newspapers endorsed the first Democrat in our lifetimes — and still lost.
Not that it comes as any surprise, but Trump won Alabama’s 9 electoral votes with 62.4 percent of the vote, 1,187,425 votes, to Hillary Clinton’s 35 percent, or 666,238 votes, according to ballotpedia.org.
The Alabama electorate also voted overwhelmingly to allow the Republicans who control all three branches of government in Wallace’s spoils system state to privatize the state parks by voting Yes on Amendment 2, thinking they were protecting the park money from greedy legislators. They will soon be proved wrong about that, when the money they thought there were protecting starts going into the pockets of private company CEOs.
“Hillary Clinton’s quest to make history as the first female president was thwarted by the Republican nominee’s ‘breathtaking’ performance at the polls,” the Washington Post crooned. “He was carried to victory by voters fed up with the political system and mistrustful of Clinton, a former first lady, senator and secretary of state.”
The 70-year-old celebrity businessman who had never before held public office, is poised to become the oldest president ever elected to a first term and the most divisive character in American politics since George Wallace ran as an independent in 1972. Clearly Trump learned a thing or two from Wallace’s style of campaigning, taking the race card from his play book and making it his own.
Trump took the advice of some advisers and tried to sound magnanimous and put out a note of reconciliation after Hillary Clinton called to concede defeat at about 3 a.m. Eastern Time, after telling her supporters in New York to go home and wait for word in the morning, since votes were still being counted.
“Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country,” Trump said in a tone of voice that did not seem genuine for him. “I mean that very sincerely. Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division. We have to get together. To all Republicans, Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.”
Of course Trump was really dreaming if he thinks he can bring this divided country together. It is so divided now that social scientists like Frank Luntz are sounding an alarm that the entire American system of government is on the verge of fraying beyond repair.
Americans weren’t just “mad as hell,” Luntz said on Twitter. “But they also weren’t going to take it anymore. Pundits like me were too out-of-touch to see that.”
Trump’s portrayal of Clinton as the embodiment of a rigged establishment system that had failed the everyday American paid off in spades. Paddy Power, the online Irish betting outfit, announced early Wednesday morning that it paid out $4.5 million to betters who took the long shot odds on Trump. It is already taking bets on a number of Trump specials following the Republican’s election. The odds are 4/1 that he will be re-elected in 2020, 20/1 that he will actually build a Mexican border wall, and 100/1 that he will turn the White House gold.
“America will no longer settle for anything less than the best,” Trump proclaimed, continuing his fictional promise to “make America great again.”
“While we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone,” Trump said in an appeal to calm countries around the world, where stocks were crashing even before all the votes were counted.
“The prospect of an impulsive authoritarian in the Oval Office rattled investors around the world,” according to the Washington Post. All three major stock indexes were down 4 percent or more late Tuesday evening in pre-market trading, with futures for the Dow Jones industrial average sliding more than 700 points. The Mexican peso dived to an eight-year low, and the panic stretched all the way to Asia, where Japan’s Nikkei index plunged more than 900 points, or 5.4 percent, early Wednesday morning. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 index was off 0.7 percent after dropping as much as 2.4 percent.
While Trump promised foreign countries that his administration would “seek common ground, not hostility,” the pundits were already on television Wednesday morning speculating about whether he would really build the wall, tear up the TPP agreement, and reverse the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran.
The pundits are portraying this election outcome as the result of “voters anxious about the economy, convinced that the system was stacked against them, fearful of terrorism and angry about the rising gap between rich and poor.”
According to Trump, his was not just an election campaign, but “a movement comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs who want and expect our government to serve the people, and serve the people it will.” We will see what that means.
“Every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential,” Trump blathered on into the night. “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”
While all the pundits had Clinton winning the race handily in 13 key battleground states, one by one on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning they were each checked off the electoral map for Trump by stunned broadcasters, especially those on CBS and PBS. First, Florida and Ohio fell. Clinton held onto Virginia and Colorado. But Trump captured North Carolina. Finally Arizona and Pennsylvania fell, and then at 2:30 a.m., Wisconsin.
While President Barack Obama’s popularity is higher than ever at 54 percent, even his campaigning could not seal the deal for Clinton.
While all the pundits thought Clinton would win and help the Democrats take back control of the U.S. Senate and maybe even the House, Trump proved to have long coattails like no one predicted. Republicans will maintain their majority in the House and the Senate, as well as the Supreme Court.
If you vowed to leave the country if the fascist dictator Donald Trump ever gets elected, what are you waiting for? Get your bags packed. Hope you pulled your money out of the stock market yesterday, if you have any. America’s long national nightmare just got a whole lot worse.
© 2016, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.