The Aftermath of the 2016 Election
The aftermath of a Presidential election is usually emotionally charged, with the supporters of the victorious candidate being elated, while those of the candidate which wasn’t chosen, dejected and disappointed. Various fringe factions of both Democrats and Republicans will spend the next few days either making excuses for their candidates shortcomings, predictions about the future President, or gloating to the media or naysayers within their own Party on how they were right and someone else was wrong. The media will sift through the stories and choose which to publish; usually to further the media outlet’s narrative. Regardless of the volumes of material expected over the next few days, it doesn’t change the election outcome.
Democrats as expected are the unhappiest people in the nation today, with many likely still in a numbed state of shock over Hillary Clinton being defeated by a man who up until yesterday had never been elected to public office. A quick check across all the major news sources identifies the Hollywood crowd to be the most vocal group in expressing their feelings on the election. Most are expressing their anger over what they seem to feel will be a loss of momentum of the progressive agenda President Obama has been pursuing. President-elect Trump is criticized heavily in most of their comments using the same list of negatives that the Democrats used daily during the election cycle, in their failed attempts to paint Trump as a racist misogynist white male who will do terrible things to the country. Of course, these terrible things are pure speculation on their part; since Trump has never been in a political leadership position, how he will run the nation has yet to be revealed.
On the Republican side of the fence, there are many who stood firmly in their conviction that they were against Trump wholeheartedly and campaigned against him with zeal. So-called Party leaders such as Arizona Senator John McCain, Jeb Bush, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and Senator Lindsey Graham all took the high road and cast their ballots for people other than their own nominee. Add their names to the list of more than a hundred other Senators, Governors, Congress People, and former government officials who refused to be part of Trump’s pathway to victory. Also, many donors, especially those with deep pockets, stood on the sidelines; refusing to support Trump. Those actions are certain to have a long lasting impact on the Republican Party and could hurt membership to the point the Party becomes a non-factor in future elections.
The world financial markets, often used to determine acceptance of a major change in a nation’s politics, appeared to be crashing during the election. Traders were scooping up gold and other safe assets during the night and futures were dismal. But, in only a few short hours, the market has responded positively; when the proposed tax cuts and pro-growth policies of President-elect Trump were considered in the same light as the Republican victories in both houses of Congress, traders were encouraged. In what appears to be a repeat of how events unfolded after the United Kingdom voted to exit the European Union, the fear-mongering opposition was proven to be totally wrong. President-elect Trump has somehow calmed the financial markets without even speaking a word.
Many of the die-hard anti-Trump crowd have posted scathing articles on blogs and opinion sites. The content is largely negative and critical of American voters. Terms like “low information voters,” “desperation by whites,” “corruption,” and attacks on Christian voters are commonplace on these types of sites. One of the most troubling things in each and every one of these anti-Trump stories revolves around the concept of Conservatism. The Republican Party is not the Conservative Party. Republicans do lean that way, but being conservative is not the central Party platform. Yet, time after time, anti-Trump pundits try to make conservatism the defining characteristic for candidates. The larger percentage of this group comes from the Republican side of the political spectrum and is expected to dissipate over time as members of the GOP become more familiarized with the Trump agenda.
World Leaders React
Leaders across the globe weighed in on the election results. Top European Union officials have already invited President-elect Trump for what they call an “urgent” summit. The Secretary General of NATO was quoted as looking forward to working with Trump. The United Kingdom seems especially elated as a Trump election validated their Brexit vote. The President of France, Chancellor of Germany, and the Prime Minister of Italy all congratulated Trump as expected, however they are collectively on the fence about how his election will impact the world. President Putin of Russia, Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi of Egypt, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada were all very positive on Trump’s election. Asian countries and their leaders, including China and Japan, were very positive and extended messages of joint relationships in the future. Some Middle Eastern nations and pro-Muslim nations were somewhat cautious about making statements that could show anything other than a neutral stance on his election. Overall, the feelings the media wants to portray is a collective anxiety in hopes of keeping their own negative feelings alive.
Mexico is worth reviewing on a standalone basis. With illegal immigration, primarily from Mexico, being one of the tenants of the Trump campaign, his election suddenly makes it a top issue with the Mexican government. There are already stories being printed that are trying to create a culture of fear with Hispanics living in America. Trump’s victory sent the Mexican Peso tumbling for a second time in the last few months and NAFTA at a glance appears to be in jeopardy. Fears of mass deportations and immigration raids are being realized in the illegal immigrant communities across the country. Already the media is trying to divide people with inflammatory rhetoric. Mexico said on Wednesday it would work with Donald Trump for the benefit of both nations, but reiterated it would not pay for his planned border wall. Additionally, Mr. Trump has succeeded with one of his key platform items; a renegotiation of NAFTA, before even taking office. Both Mexico and Canada have publically announced they would come to the table to renegotiate it. Seems as it President-Elect Trump is already turning heads with his policy negotiating skills.
Post Election Protests, Violence, and Mayhem
Never in American history has a Presidential election been followed up with the level of organized protests like the nation is experiencing. Liberal cities across the country are watching large groups of mostly young people, illegal aliens, and foreigners wage violent protests. The individuals are expressing outright anger over Hillary Clinton being fairly and soundly defeated by President-elect Trump. Despite no improprieties occurring, there is a sentiment that somehow things weren't fair with this small group of people. Since most of the people involved have little experience in participating in the election process, their behavior afterwards comes as no surprise to many. In the liberal world where everyone gets a participation ribbon and there are no winners or losers, the finality of this loss is difficult for some people to process. There are many already calling on the current President to put a stop to the violence before it gets too far out of control.
The direction of America has gone decidedly right, much to the chagrin of the left. Those on the right see the victory as a way to "make America great again" and "take back our country." Those on the left see Trump's victory as a reversal of the numerous social policies they have supported over the year. The nation was changed dramatically with the election of President Obama, mostly for the negative, but Republicans didn't riot, they didn't try to impeach President Obama, nor did they burn American Flags. Now when the pendulum is swinging the other way, it seems as if those on the left are publically displaying those characteristics they so frequently accuse Republicans of. Time will tell if the election of Trump will be a good thing or a bad thing, just as time told every past President's story. Tomorrow is another day, and hopefully it will be the first day of many days where we return to being a nation that is focused on everyone's prosperity versus the success or failure of one group or another.