This site will address the issues noted below by analyzing and discussing the post-election 2016 currents that will continue to shape and define the American political environment for the foreseeable future.
Election 2016 was a watershed moment in American political history. Donald Trump upended the political apple cart in a multitude of ways. First, he utterly confounded the experts. No one saw Trump and the loyal supporters he mobilized coming. As the results on election night rolled in, many pundits, pollsters, “expert” commentators and reporters sat in disbelief, stunned and in a state of stupefaction, as they realized come the morning, they would have egg all over their faces. So much for the conventional wisdom.
Secondly, The election of Donald Trump was in part, a revolt against the authoritarian and politically correct excesses of 21st century liberalism that have found a welcoming home in the Democratic Party. Many Americans of both parties realized this insalubrious phenomenon had become a vehicle or political weapon, brandished by far left partisans, to stifle free speech through the use of inflamatory buzzwords whose objective was to suppress, stigmatize, and taint, as societal outcasts, those who challenged its precepts. Trump assailed the sacrosanct tenets of political correctness without remorse and refused to be shamed or cowed by Democrats and their allies in the media for his indelicate, spontaneous, and unscripted rhetoric. Many welcomed this as a long overdue breath of fresh air.
Thirdly, although Trump’s campaign was based on antipathy toward political elites in general, it was a direct challenge to the legitimacy and authority of the Republican Party Establishment. In terms of accepting the party’s candidate of choice, Republican primary voters realized there wouldn’t be any substantive policy differences between a Hillary Clinton and a Jeb Bush Administration.
Trump threw away the standard political playbook, incurring the derision of campaign strategists. Republican poltical consultants, the same political gurus who had guided the party to electoral defeat in two subsequent presidential contests, mercilessly mocked Trump as a buffoon who was running a campaign doomed to failure.
Trump was further reviled by the establishment because he eschewed longstanding Republican Party campaign norms. He punched back against his political opponent and he punched back hard. No other Republican candidate to date had ever employed such tactics for fear of being taken to task media. In short, Trump’s campaign style, both in word and deed, was a rejection of Bush Republicanism. The party Establishment, desperate to derail his candidacy, marshaled the donor class, the Bush family and the never Trumpers in its quest to deny him the nomination. They engaged in a rear guard action that through its vitriol and subterfuge was unprecedented in Republican Party primary history. Some Bush stalwarts went so far as to declare that they would be voting for Hillary. Despite all the forces arrayed against him, Trump prevailed yet again.
Finally, the election laid bare the fact that the media, or more accurately, the Mainstream-Media-Democratic Party-Complex, functioned as a wholly owned subsidiary of the DNC. Gone was the shallow pretense of objectivity during the general election contest as the broadcast, Cable TV and major newspapers openly rooted for and engaged in naked advocacy on behalf of their candidate of choice, Hillary Clinton. Trump was despised by the media because he rebuked them continually on the campaign trail for their lack of impartiality. During the election, the credibility of the media, already at an historical low, continued to erode.
When it became apparent that Trump would win, the major broadcast and cable channels and their panelists continually attempted to explain Hillary’s stunning defeat by equating Trump’s voters as racist, misogynist, xenophobic and Islamophobic. Trump’s victory was a “Whitelash!” decried CNN commentator Van Jones. No matter the issue, the analysis was always the same followed by the rote clauses regurgitated with robotic predictability: Racist, Misogynist, Islamophobe, Xenophobe. Lather, rinse, repeat. Many Americans simply tuned out such nonsense. The election demonstrated that the media and the Democratic Party had finally fallen prey to the Boy who cried wolf syndrome. The media lost forever its ability to shape or mold public opinion because that very same public realized they were operating merely as partisan ideologues in service to the Democratic Party.
The election revealed a Democratic Party that has for years been lurching inexorably leftward. A glimpse of a colored map following the election revealed a party whose support is predominately bi-coastal; its reach in the great heartland eradicated. Since the end of the Carter Administration, the Democratic Party has slowly evolved from the party of the “working man” into an institution that speaks exclusively to a coalition of minorities clustered in urban areas, those in academia, wealthy elites and gentry liberals.
Both prior to and during the election, the decimated working class of the heartland had been lectured constantly by Democratic Party officials and their water carriers in the media that they would have to change their ways and lose their many deep-seated prejudices if they wanted to be part of the new “coalition of the ascendant”: dismantle their gun racks; stop thumping their bibles and understand, that despite their palpable suffering, they were the beneficiaries of “white privilege.”
Election 2016 set in motion a number of forces that will dominate the political landscape for the immediate future. Trump was the only candidate of either party who recognized early on in the primary stage that there was an entire swath of the country that had been forgotten and dismissed by elites of both parties. The election laid bare a widening gulf or divide in the nation between elites in both parties and the electorate these institutions purportedly serve.
How will the Democratic and Republican parties address these voters? Will the Democrats finally jettison the white working class as a voting bloc they deem no longer necessary for election contests in the future? Can gentry liberals, as well as captains of the Silicon Valley computer and software industries coexist with redistributionist, tax-the-rich Bernie Sanders supporters? Can the Republican Party maintain the support of new voters Trump brought into the fold? Is the rift in the party between its donor class and the rank and file, laid bare by Trump’s victory, destined to grow? What will be the role of the neverTrump coalition during the duration of the Trump Administration? An uneasy alliance? Or, a faction that will continue to root for the president’s early demise?