It has now been about a month and a half since Donald Trump shattered the predictions of most pollsters by defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Presidential Election. The vote of the American people was confirmed on December 19th as the Electoral college officially submitted their votes. Trump easily surpassed the 270 votes needed for victory as he amassed 304, substantially more than the 227 cast for Clinton
Trump is easily one of the most polarizing figures to ever run for office in America; it seems as though you either love or hate him, without much in between. His brashness and ego tends to create a lot of enemies as well as a lot of die hard supporters. Trump's base saw him as the political outsider that America desperately needs, while detractors branded him as a racist, narcissistic misogynist who needed to be stopped at all costs. In fact, the opposition to "The Donald" was so strong that even within his own part a "Never Trump" movement arose, determined to prevent him from reaching office at all costs.
Now, at this point I would like to make it abundantly clear that I am NOT a huge Trump fan. For the sake of full disclosure, I'll readily admit that he was far from my top choice among the Republican candidates. However, in the final election, he did get my vote. So there it is. But I digress.
What shocks me about this election is how quickly some media outlets, predominantly liberal ones, have forgotten one of the main story lines of the election. Shortly after the votes were counted, I saw numerous headlines and articles that outlined how this election demonstrated how racist, bigoted, and sexist our country still is. The basic premise of most of these articles was that Trump had defeated Clinton based only on his appeal to racist, white men and that Hillary had ran a practically spotless campaign and had been a perfect candidate and lost only because she was a women. One article in particular lamented at how Clinton's defeat showed a new generation of young women that, try as they might, they will never be good enough. Really?
Trump, running as a complete outsider to the political arena, ran his campaign to appeal to the every-man in America, the type of person who is fed up with their perception of the political elite in this country. I think that we can agree that this strategy was a good, if not great one- after all, he ended up winning. And yes, he did say some downright idiotic things, and yes, some terrible things he said in his past were uncovered, and yes, sometimes he did seem unprepared at times. But on some level, I think this accounts for some of his success. When juxtaposed to Clinton, a political machine, I think he built a significant rapport with the common American.
Now, on the other hand, Hillary Clinton was seen by many Americans as the archetype of elitist Politics in America. She had been involved in the Washington DC scene for over 30 years, and many, I believe, saw her as just another bureaucrat. But the most significant issue with many liberal media outlets coverage of the election is the absolute denial of problems with the Clinton campaign. After all, she was literally under investigation by the FBI! She had a record in politics that was spotty at best, and on top of that during the months leading up to the election her health became an issue, especially after she literally collapsed at a 9/11 memorial. The biggest issue, in my opinion, was simply her likability. Americans want to like who they vote for, and poll after poll showed that many citizens simply did not like her.
So as we reflect on this election and what it means for the future of this great country, let's not forget to examine both sides of the story. I am all for analysis of the flaws of our country and how they may have even led to the election of "The Donald". But let us examine both sides of the story, and see the campaign for what it was- two very poor candidates in an election like no other, in a time like no other in our history.