It was a shocker, but the election wasn’t close – Trump rocked it. Those of use who stayed up until the wee hours of the morning waiting for the official word were actually being a bit abused. You see, by about 11:30 Eastern (or even a little earlier), it was already clear that Hillary couldn’t win. You and I were just watching it on TV and the net, but even from such a vantage point, it was clear by 11:30 Eastern that Hillary simply wasn’t getting enough votes in the Philly and Detroit areas to overcome what Trump was doing elsewhere in PA and MI…and with OH, NC, FL and WI already in the bag, there was zero chance Hillary was going to get to 270, regardless of how CO and NV turned out. She should have called Trump right around then…maybe by midnight to make certain the number crunchers had it completely right (and she had the number crunchers – probably very good ones). She knew she lost some hours before she finally fessed up to it. But, she kept us waiting – and kept her supporters waiting. And that was just plain and simple cruel…it was over and it was time to let them know it was over…and let the winners get their celebration. That is how it works – that is how people who care about others do it. Hillary didn’t – it was that last act of petulance, over and above anything else, which demonstrated her unfitness for office.
The MSM is still in complete melt-down over this – and for each lonely MSM voice pointing out the MSM failure, there seem to be a hundred trying to blame-shift. I think they’ve really finished themselves – not just with Trumpsters, but with everyone. They were guaranteeing the Progressives a Hillary victory. It was in the bag – and they said so not just once, but over and over again…without any caveats. Some pollsters started hedging a bit the final weekend, but the MSM just kept right on…and it was clear as we entered the count phase, they were still certain of it. Who the heck is going to trust what they say?
And who is going to believe the polls? RCP still gets my respect because they just report on what’s out there…but the final RCP average had Hillary up 3.2 points. It looks like her popular vote win will be a rounding error – maybe as low as 0.25%. IBD came closest with Hillary at a 1 point lead, but event that was off the mark…and other polls had her up 4, 5 or 6 points! Yeah, “margin of error”…but, seriously, good polling should have shown this thing a complete toss-up on the national vote, and let’s not even start with how badly it missed PA and MI…and OH, where Trump won by more than 8 points! Eight points! The RCP average there had Trump up 3.5. This isn’t a miss – this is malpractice. Polls are useless, as far as I’m concerned – and I do hope that as 2020 rolls around, we just dispense with them. Let’s look at issues, and also (it would seem) at yard signs and rally attendance…and primary voting (though in 2020 with Trump likely cruising to renomination, that’ll only be interesting on the Democrat side…but, here’s a clue well in advance: if Dem primary turnout is down from 2016, then the Democrats are probably in for a lousy year).
The Democrats will now enter the re-build phase – and here’s where it gets interesting. There is a battle in the Democrat ranks as stark as what we had in the GOP ranks until Trump won the election (the Never Trumpers, such as remain, are gone…a few bitter-enders will drift away for good, but most will come home). We had our fight, and one side carried the day – for better or worse, the GOP is now the party of a Conservative-tinged Populism…strongly patriotic, a bit protectionist, semi-isolationist, not opposed to big spending per se, but much opposed to federal government mandates on local communities (this is something I, as a Distributist, can very much work with – some other Conservatives will find it rougher sledding…but, even then, you have an opportunity for education here, folks). You don’t have to like it or be part of it, but that’s what it is, at least for some number of years going forward. But the Democrats didn’t have their fight – the party apparatus, under the thumb of Clinton, Inc., short-circuited the Democrats’ internal fight – now, it will explode with a vengeance. The first battle will be over who will become DNC chair – and the various ultra-left groups who backed Bernie and felt betrayed by Clinton will make a full-court press to get one of their own in the job, and be opposed by the Schumer/Pelosi wing of the Democrat party. It will be fun to watch…the various pressure groups the Democrats created to keep people fired up and divided will now rip the Democrat party apart for at least a year, maybe longer.
Now, all is not entirely rosy for the GOP – we will have to face a mid-term in 2018 where we will be the party on it’s first Presidential Administration. Traditionally, this works out badly for the party in power – one of the exceptions to this rule was 2002, when the GOP made good gains. But that was also in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. But, we do have some advantages here. First off, 10 Democrat Senators are up for re-election in States won by Trump – some by crushing margins. Democrats also have far more Senate seats to defend (this being the class of 2012 which was carried to victory by Obama). Anything is possible, but we can justly rely on the Senate remaining GOP through 2018, unless there is a spectacular melt-down. The House is more iffy. Looks like we’ll wind up with 241 House members and so Democrats would have to net 23 to gain a slim majority – a tall order, given the gerrymandered districts out there. But it could be done – we might as well expect a recession next year given that the change in policies will alone unsettle the economy for a while, and we’re also very much due for one given the terrible economic policies of the Obama years. A very severe recession coming in, say, early 2018 could be disastrous for the House GOP…on the other hand, a recession showing up in April of 2017 and largely over with strong, renewed growth in 2018 would help the GOP. Also, if the GOP is really grinding out popular reforms, that will also help protect the GOP from the inevitable electoral backlash coming off a big win.
My largest hope for the next four years is in “drain the swamp” activities. Trump should make sure that Hillary, the IRS, Holder, the EPA and a host of other things are investigated. We also need a full push on investigating voter fraud – we know its out there, but GOPers have always been afraid to look into it. Hopefully, that will change. Just getting rid of the pay for play corruption endemic to our government will do a great deal to restore America – because it would allow real issues to be addressed, rather than just getting whatever someone was bribed to push.
I also hope that we get a couple or three Supreme Court picks – and that they are picked with a mind towards genuinely restoring the Constitutional order. And I’ve long felt that we need to increase the size of the Court – to at least 11 members, maybe as many as 15. And increase the number of circuit courts, and especially break up the 9th circuit…let that court represent San Francisco and Los Angeles, and get the rest of the 9th’s territory out of there. I’d like to see Roe go, of course, but also I’d like more expansion of individual rights…that the people, as individuals, really do have the right to say what they want, believe what they want, do what they want and that they can’t compel anyone to help them say, believe or do things.
We also need to bring the bureaucracy to heel. They work for us – all of us; this means they can’t even by accident favor one side of the political divide over another. They must be neutral in thought as well as action…and anyone who can’t set aside their personal views has no business serving the American people. The weaponization of the IRS during Obama’s term has laid it bare – and we must go to work making sure that government employees never so much as even think of favoring one side over another. It can be done – after all, our military obeys whomever is the constituted authority and would never dream of working against it…or against any political view. We can enforce this ideal throughout the bureaucracy – and we must enforce it. In addition to ensuring neutrality, we also must ensure honesty – we have to be able to swiftly fire bureaucrats who prove corrupt or incompetent. One of the most pathetic things about the last 8 years is how the bureaucrats, no matter how badly they messed up, never paid any serious price…no loss of pension, often no loss of job. I’d prefer to end the defined benefit pensions they have and put them on 401k’s, and put them into the Social Security system, as well. Public sector unions must be curbed as Walker did in Wisconsin.
I’m sure you’ve all got your hopes, dreams and worries for the next four years – but this is what comes to my mind, at least this early in the process. I’m glad we stopped the Clinton’s, cautiously optimistic about Trump and very hopeful for our nation’s future.