While this column is being written a scant two days after the presidential election, some of the results are abundantly clear.
First let’s take the claim that Donald Trump was elected solely by “angry white men”. On the contrary, demographics reveal that while white males were strong for Trump, significant numbers of blacks and Hispanics-even females of every color-cast their vote for Trump. The rationale for Trump’s broad appeal was that he was not racist because he did not oppose the continuation of President Obama’s mandates because of Obama’s skin, but rather, the nature of his policies. The actual percentages of the votes will probably not be tallied for a number of days. One thing we do know is that Hillary was six million votes shy of Obama’s count in 2012. On the other hand, Trump was somewhere near a million shy of the total votes that Romney received in the same election.
By all accounts this was the most rancorous and personal presidential election in history. Despite Michelle Obama’s famous quote, “When they go low, we go high”, according to most observers, based on her husband’s language while campaigning for Hillary, she should amend it to, “When they go low, we go lower!” Never in recorded American history has a sitting president campaigned so vigorously for one candidate over another.
The 2016 election makes one yearn for the good old days such as when Nixon and Kennedy had at it. That campaign was decided on issues and vision for the future. Since television was a big factor, the more personable and self-assured Kennedy was said to have won the debate over a scowling, unkempt and unshaven Nixon. Conversely, those who only heard the debate on radio said that Nixon won because he better understood the issues. That debate proved that style beats substance. At no time in that long-ago contest did Nixon ever bring up any of those sexual playboy peccadilloes of Kennedy’s nor did Kennedy ever comment about any physical or mental disabilities concerning his opponent.
Most shocked by Trump’s win were practically all of the pollsters, especially the dean Larry Sabato, who offered this mea culpa, “I do not have egg on my face, I have a whole omelet.”
What this election seems to indicate is a role reversal by the two parties. In the past, the Democrats were viewed as the friend of the working man, while the Republicans were looked upon as the party of the idle rich. Currently, as shown particularly by Hillary, the Democrats are now the party of the elitist snobs, especially on the east and west coasts. Both Obama and Clinton relied heavily on their pop culture status in dragging out almost 100% of the entertainment celebrities. Republican Trump has redefined his party as a friend of the forgotten average American citizen. This column will be the first of two parts in order to discuss the continuing rancorous fallout from Tuesday’s result.