For months, the idea of a Donald Trump presidency often seemed possible but never certain. The days leading up to the election saw a tightening of the polls; Republican voters “came home,” so to speak, and it showed in Trump’s 289 delegates (270 were needed).
So what exactly happened Tuesday night?
Hillary Clinton lost several states vital to her success, notably Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
She did end up winning the popular vote, which is reminiscent of the 2000 election, where Al Gore lost the election after getting the popular vote.
Trump had many convinced that the election would be rigged, that he would not be given a fair shot.
I think it’s more than a little ironic that our representative democracy worked about as well as it possibly could for him.
The Senate and House of Representatives also remained under Republican dominance. This is bad news if you were a fan of what Obama has been doing for eight years. Millions of people will likely lose health insurance. As Fox News reported earlier this month, Trump and his VP Mike Pence have plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Repealing the ACA has been the dream of Republicans for years.
Now it will almost certainly become a reality. It’s unclear what the Republicans will propose to replace the act.There is much more to speculate about. During an October speech in New Hampshire, Trump said that as much as “70 percent” of regulations are unnecessary (his campaign wants to cut 10 percent).
While that may be an exaggeration, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw massive funding cuts for environmental issues, education, and welfare. I predict that all plans for clean energy will see devastating setbacks.
The fragile progress for clean energy that Democrats have made will be reversed. Needless to say, there will also be ramifications for immigration policy.
There is also the matter of the Supreme Court. The late Justice Antonin Scalia has yet to be replaced, due to months of Republican obstruction. The GOP will likely pick a pro-life, pro-family values and fiscally-conservative judge.
The retirement of more Supreme Court justices is a possibility, so we could see conservatives taking over the judicial branch as well. I think this could end in disaster for reproductive rights.
A lot of people don’t believe that Roe. v. Wade could be repealed, but I think it’s a distinct possibility.
I wish I could tell myself this isn’t a big deal, but nothing could be farther from the truth. We are now living in an era of extreme polarization, where one ultra-polarized party has near total dominance.
Half of the population will receive virtually no representation on a national level.
We will be subjected to the whims of conservative fundamentalists of all stripes.
There will be no compromise and no “reaching across the aisle.”Thinking back on how we got here, there is so much to unpack. All of the complacency, apathy and nihilism of the American people has produced an outcome that is, for many, a living nightmare.