Sunday, November 13, 2016

Will Trump Make America Great Again? Time will Tell!

Weekly Opinion Editorial
by Steve Fair

     Donald Trump is President-elect.  Winning five states that Romney lost in 2012, Trump finished with 307 electoral votes (270 are needed to win) to Hillary Clinton’s 228.  It appears that Clinton may win the popular vote, but that is not definite until all the votes are counted (that takes a couple of weeks).  If that happens, this will be the second time in modern history and the fifth time in American history where the president won the majority of the electoral vote, but lost the popular vote.  It happened in 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000.  In the last three, the Republican candidate won the presidency with less popular vote than the Democrat, but a majority of the electoral vote.  Immediately Democrats and some misguided Republicans called for the abolishment of the Electoral College.  Expect the issue to come up again in the Oklahoma legislature by some clueless lawmaker who slept through civics class and doesn’t understand the genius of the Electoral College.  Let’s turn to how Trump won.
     First, he tapped into the disgust and anger the American people have with the political class.  He won five states that Republicans haven’t won in 20 plus years.  He understood what James Carville famously said in 1992; “it’s the economy stupid.”  Trump was elected by people who have been affected by the expansion of regulations on business and industry.  They are either unemployed or under-employed.  Manufacturing has fled the upper Midwest, with Detroit losing nearly one third of their population in just the last decade.  Normally, the union vote overwhelmingly goes to the Democrat, but not this year.  Trump’s promise to bring manufacturing back to America resonated with the blue collar union members and Hillary was viewed as continuing Obama’s policies, which have decimated Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio jobs.  Clinton should have listened to the Ragin Cajun(Carville).
     Second, Trump made the election about two things: Clinton’s lack of trust and Obama’s failed policies.  Clinton had a major creditability gap and even her supporters admit she had trust issues with voters.  Trump promised during the campaign he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the email scandal and Benghazi.  Most likely, he will have to follow through, but I seriously doubt Hillary will serve time.  Trump also did a masterful job of pointing out the failure of Obama’s policies.  The timing of the announcement of 40% plus price increases in premiums didn’t hurt too much either.  Obama’s war on coal and other fossil fuel has cost Americans money and jobs.  His foreign policy (or lack thereof) have cost American lives. 
     Third, he got his vote out.  By relying on the Republican National Committee’s ground troops, Trump was able to concentrate his campaign’s efforts on big rallies and inspiring people to get involved in the political process that had never darkened the door of a voting booth.  That was why the pollsters got it wrong; they were not talking to the previously unengaged voter.  Trump’s supporters were people who were on the voter rolls, but seldom if ever voted.  Obama tapped into that same mentality in 2008.  Trump’s campaign had energy, a necessary component in most successful campaigns.  Conversely, Clinton didn’t inspire her supporters and it is apparent some stayed home and didn’t vote at all. 
     Fourth, Trump sold his message that he is the outsider.  That is an undisputed fact- Trump is not a politico.  The last time American elected a non-political type to the presidency was in 1952- 64 years ago- when Five Star General Dwight D. Eisenhower won in a landslide over Illinois U.S. Senator Adlai Stevenson.  Unlike Trump, Eisenhower was known to Americans because of his leadership in the military.  Trump was known as a reality television star, but he convinced Americans to try something different than the political class to lead the country.  
     Is America a center right country?  A center left? The political junkies, on both sides, will ‘spin’ the election results to support their pre-determined conclusion, but the fact is that America is a polarized, divided country.  Trump won’t unite the country and if he rolls back some of Obama’s giveaway policies, there will be weeping and wailing, especially from those who are on the government dole.    America is far from being great again, but perhaps there is hope if Trump keeps his campaign promises.

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