Well, Donald Trump is the new president elect. So yeah, THAT happened…
This morning, I bet there are a lot of you that wouldn’t give to be this gif right about now.
If you don’t know, (1) wherever you went, take us with you and (2) Donald Trump is officially the new President-Elect of the United States. I don’t know what to exactly say about that, because if we’re being completely honest, we’re still processing all of this. Anyway, here are some thoughts from last night’s presidential race.
We think it’s important to keep one thing in mind while you swear loudly at CNN; Donald Trump (and largely the GOP) is still accountable for what they do in office.
And trust us, we get it. With a GOP controlled Congress and Trump winning the presidency, issues like the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), the balance of the Supreme Court, US’ international policy, criminal justice reform, LGBT rights, and numerous other social issues are suddenly in flux. However, we should remember that while Trump supporters may see other government services as a waste of tax payer money, but when it comes to cutting or reducing THEIR government services which they take advantage of (Medicare, Social Security, various tax cuts, ect) those same people will LOSE. THEIR. FUCKING. MINDS!
While we can’t say for certain that means the ACA will be completely repealed or not by Congress, but if history has taught us anything, it will probably end up going like this.
Here's what will go down: 1) Full repeal of the ACA. 2) Replacement with something 98% similar. https://t.co/sFM0IXXeZs
— Patrick Ruffini (@PatrickRuffini) November 9, 2016
The idea of taking away government services as “draining the pond” is great and all, until you’re suddenly affected by it! The people who voted Trump in and gave the GOP the run of Congress get their healthcare from the ACA as much as Clinton voters do. Those are just the stats! So if Trump and the GOP actually do what they campaigned to do, they won’t be in office for very long. Their campaign policies just affect too many of their own voters negatively to actually go all the way with them. In other words, following up on Trump’s promises would just be political suicide.
If anything today, Democrats should take solace in that.
The Lessons Learned for the 2016 Presidential Election
The 2016 presidential election is still fresh, so there are still things to be sussed out about it. But at the same time, there are some very important lessons and observations that can be learned from all of this. Here are some of our takeaways.
Lesson 1: Set all the polls and data aggregate numbers on fire.
Let’s be clear here, we were wrong. Like really, REALLY WRONG! Whether you’re a data aggregate site (FiveThirtyEight, The Upshot), a pure polls site (Real Clear Politics), or just a bunch of idiots that read the “political tea leaves” on a daily basis (The Post Turtle); we weren’t even close in predicting how 2016 would play out! And we weren’t just off by a few inches, everyone was off by a few miles! We don’t know exactly what the fuck happened – there will be time to figure that out later – but for right now, let’s burn the polls, BURN ALL THE POLLS!!!
Lesson 2: Just because they came out for Obama, doesn’t mean they’ll come out for Clinton.
We assumed based on the popularity of President Obama and the things Trump said during his presidential run that women, Hispanic, and African-American voting blocs would come out in droves to support Hillary Clinton, similar to how they came out to support Barack Obama back in 2008. Now, that looks to not have been the case. In almost every demographic category, Clinton did worse than Obama in voter turnout (even among women and minority voting blocs). From the early returns it looks as if voter turnout was low in 2016, even though early voting was looking promising for Democrats. In short, Democrats stayed home on election day. But you know who did vote…
Lesson 3: A broad-range of White voters came out for Trump!
CNN’s exit polls basically told the tale of Donald Trump winning 276 electoral votes along with the presidency. While there will be a lot of talk about working-class White voters coming to support Trump, in reality White voters in general put such vehement support behind him in 2016 that according to CNN exit polls, they made up 70% of the electorate! Also we have to give credit where it’s due…
Lesson 4: The Trump campaign was right about the “silent masses” of pro-Trump supporters.
Lesson 5: We can’t assume the Mid-West will be a “Blue Shield” for Democrats from now on.
The Mid-West has traditionally been a stronghold for Democrats in presidential elections. Well, not anymore. While states like Illinois and Minnesota still went to Clinton; Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan all went to Trump. Which if we’re being completely frank, is unprecedented! Granted, Ohio and Indiana had looked to be Trump’s all night, however Wisconsin and Michigan were not considered to be in play, by basically anyone! Even during the 2016 presidential season when Trump would give stump speeches in Wisconsin and Michigan, many GOP operatives had questioned the move. This morning however, Republicans are looking at the Mid-West and starting to wonder, “why not?”
Lesson 6: This is what Florida looks like to half of the US population after last night’s election.
Lesson 7: Political scientists are the new Nate Silvers now!
Ok, not really… but out of all the predictive models regarding the 2016 contests, political science models were the only ones that could envision Trump winning (or Clinton winning by the slimmest of margins). Now before we start praying to the alter of predictive models in political science, it’s important to remember that the reason we currently don’t use these models is because they have a wide margin of error. That means when their predictions are wrong, they’re very wrong! But we should give credit where it’s due, political science generally pointed to a Trump victory. In this election cycle, that isn’t nothing!
Hillary Clinton Has Left the Building
“My friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary and lose heart, for there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do.”
It’s a statement that stuck out in her concession speech. But this time was different, because instead of taking on another fight, she was telling her audience good luck and finally going home. As Clinton talked to those who thought they’d be calling her Madam President this morning, you got the feeling Clinton was just exhausted.
And we’re not just talking about the grind of a presidential campaign – which is taxing in its own right – but everything that came along with being Hillary Clinton. The baggage of having a long history in public office, the needless sexism being thrown at her on a regular basis, or questions with the word “emails” in them; made this campaign season that much harder than it probably should be. In other words, Clinton probably dealt with more bullshit than any other presidential candidate in modern political history!
Whether you like Clinton or not, she became a symbol for various groups as she trudged on through this vicious campaign cycle. For Democrats, she was the symbol of how far the progressive movement had come. A women running to become leader of the free world is a very big deal!!!
As for conservatives, they painted Clinton as a “crooked” insider that represented everything they hated about the “Washington Establishment.” Whether the GOP wants to admit it or not, they needed Hillary Clinton as a scapegoat. Without her, Trump would never have become president. For the populous uprising that was the White voter in 2016 to happen, they needed Clinton be their progressive boogeyman!
Or would that be boogeywoman?
But alas, now she’s gone.
While Democrats have many options to choose from to be the next #NastyWoman, the GOP has run out of political scapegoats. President Obama has just a few more weeks in office, then the Republicans and Donald Trump are left to their own devices. They have talked about how roadblocks have stopped them from doing any “real work” in Washington, like replacing a national healthcare system that gives coverage to over 11 million individuals, ect, ect.
Soon they’ll find out governing is harder than it looks. Especially when the people that used to take the blame are no longer there. We would tell you to ask Hillary Clinton how she did it for many years, but she’s already left the building.
(Photo Credits: Pixabay.com, Donald Trump Instagram, Google Images)