As many Americans anxiously watched the presidential voting results, I went to bed. I figured that Hillary Clinton would win, although it would be extremely close in the popular votes. I woke up this morning and turned on the news, to find out that Donald Trump actually won. So I was right…and wrong.
In a historic election where a female was projected by many to become our first female president, Hillary still lost. I had argued before the election to not underestimate Trump’s support with women, specifically middle-aged white women. I never would think that women would vote for Hillary primarily because she was a woman, although some surely did. However, Hillary was and is an unlikeable candidate in many ways, and it is a strong statement when many women vote for a man who has had dozens of sexual assault lawsuits and accusations (before the election, and at least one involving a child), rather than a woman who has done a lot for woman’s and children’s rights in this country.
What does this mean for us? For better or for worse, things are not going to fundamentally change no matter who is president. There are too many checks and balances between Congress, the House of Representatives, and the Supreme Court to allow any form of a dictatorship to take effect. Sure, there are presidential vetos and executive orders, but we would have a political insurrection or impeachment before that ever got out of hand.
Donald Trump is, above all, a negotiator. He looks out for himself and the people who take care of him first. He isn’t going to fundamentally change things, because his interests are the same as any president or leading politician. The working class that helped to put him into office would be the first to suffer, due to his proposed tax reforms. The Republican Party’s most brilliant accomplishment was to make working class people somehow think that rich politicians and businessmen would be the only people that would be able to take care of them. Unfortunately for the GOP, as they’ve already realized, Trump is a RINO (Republican In Name Only), and he will switch loyalties if it will benefit him. It happened before, and it will happen again.
The thing I am most concerned about is the prospect of civil war. That will happen before a World War 3, I guarantee it. For all of the NRA and gun lobby rhetoric, I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump eventually attempted to place restrictions on firearm ownership. If there is ever a point where rioting and protesting becomes dangerous to the establishment, private gun ownership will be the first thing to go. There is so much racial and class division in this country that a civil war could eventually happen.
I voted third party in this election out of principle. Until we get to a point where third-party candidates can be invited to presidential debates and be treated like legitimate candidates, we will more or less only have two-party elections. We need better options than “Dumb And Dumber”, and we need better third party candidates as well. Hopefully in my lifetime, we will.
Donald Trump is aware, and you should be too, that being the U.S. President is basically being in a figurehead type of position. Trump had an astounding lack of knowledge when it came to basic domestic and foreign policies, and he couldn’t have learned too much during this election since he spent more time on Twitter than anything else. He will rely on his advisers probably more than any previous president. With that being said, the more relevant question would be who he appoints as his advisers and members of his Cabinet. If he sticks with people like Rudy Giuliani, Ben Carson, and Chris Christie, then there is good reason to be pessimistic.
Trump won the election in large part by doing things his way, but he will quickly learn that such independence won’t work as president. He will largely defer to his vice president Mike Pence, who has a considerable amount of political experience, most recently as governor of Indiana. Trump may represent our country, but he will not unilaterally run it, although he will probably attempt to do it at times. It will be an interesting next few months, though…