Why did Donald Trump win the election?
He’s not the most qualified, in fact with zero experience in government, he might be the least, ever.
He didn’t have the most robust organization among candidates. In fact, a Trump senior advisor told the media Tuesday that he figured it would take “a miracle” for his candidate to win.
He didn’t have the best plan. He tends to speak in emotional, vague terms, plays a bit fast and loose with the facts, and has seldom been specific on what he will do about issues in office.
He didn’t have the most diverse following, with a hardline stance on immigration and statements about the black community. Democrats sought to attack him throughout the campaign as a bigot and racist.
He didn’t have the most winning personality. He seems to struggle to control himself at times, lashing out or pouting. He survived a variety of outrageous statements and release of video justifying disgusting behavior toward women. Pop culture made fun of him mercilously. Any other candidate would have been buried by such behavior, he somehow thrived in it.
So how did he win?
In a nutshell, by not being Hillary Clinton. Or Barack Obama.
The national media, and the polls, sold way short the desperation of a large segment of Americans for change, at any cost. Even if it means burning federal leadership as we know it to the ground in hopes something else will grow from the ashes.
Yes, Trump was elected in part because he is a brash-talking, nativist-leaning TV celebrity. But there are plenty of politicians who talk loud and have name recognition and throw around catchy slogans, and they can’t make it out of the primaries.
In large part, I’m guessing, Trump was elected because he isn’t one of “them.”
People see their government as ineffectual and incapable - and they are not wrong. Trump was the anti-politician. The unabashed capitalist who promises to “bomb the s— out of” ISIS or whatever else is in his way. Clinton has been in the cabinet and the senate and a part of a previous administration. As a beltway insider, she couldn’t escape being saddled with a share of blame for American’s dissatisfaction with its government.
If you believe exit polls, a majority of Americans don’t like Trump. But, perhaps an even bigger majority didn’t trust Clinton, thanks in no small part to a timely FBI announcement on the emails issue that haunted her.
Trump may indeed be the last gasp of an old, white, rich, male-dominated America, as some in the media suggest. But the people we used to consider a minority could have swung the race to Clinton, and didn’t. Trump captured latino and black voters better than Romney did in 2012. Women voters could have swung the race to achieve the first female presidency, but didn’t. Young voters could have swung the vote to Clinton too, but only 54 percent of those under 29 cast ballots for her.
So here we are. On the heels of the most divisive election in American history, with more questions than answers. Trying to digest an election with what feels like a massive number of votes cast one way or the other not for a candidate, but against the other.
One camp is ecstatic today, the other devastated, as we always knew it must be in the end. We are a deeply divided country badly in need of direction and facing a lot of uncertainty.
So what now?
One thing we do know is that we can’t go on as we have been.
It’s time to put the hatred behind us. We can’t go on fighting ourselves.
We can’t be Republicans vs. Democrats any more. Look where that has got us. The name-calling, the discrimination, the bitterness have got to end now.
Trump will be our next president, the battle is over.
No matter who you voted for, our leaders will need the support of an entire nation if there is to be any hope to address the economy, the environment, a broken immigration system, struggling school, a crying need for world peace and all of the other monumental tasks ahead of us.
We will beed to make our voices heard. Now is not the time to give up on our country.
We wish you luck, Mr. Trump. You are going to need it.
And above all else, we wish to not be minorities vs majority, conservatives vs liberals, males vs females, party vs party, haves vs have-nots, any more. What we really long for is to be just Americans again.