I climbed atop my treadmill yesterday morning at 0507 and turned CNN on to see 289 votes in the chryron for Donald Trump in the Electoral College. I shook my head and said (to no one in particular) "son of a BITCH!". Then I went to my computer to check the Senate and saw that R's had held the line there. As I processed the news, three things became instantly apparent:
1) the utter depression that I felt after the Romney loss was nowhere to be found. I had little personally invested in this election, and was not supportive of either candidate.
2) I was encouraged by the fact that the Republicans will have the entire political apparatus of the government for two years (at least) and I began to think about all the good things that come come of it.
3) There was incredible cognitive dissonance from the Hillary folks about not only her personal integrity, but the extent to which her long years in the public eye, much of it negative, had impacted her candidacy.
4) I wondered how much President Obama and Secretary Clinton wished that they had that White House Correspondents Dinner back--the one in which the President and others went after PE Trump HARD--and what I consider to be the likely day of his official (unofficial) candidacy.
At some point in the day, I watched President-Elect Trump (henceforth PE Trump) give his acceptance speech and later, I watched President Obama give his Rose Garden chat and Secretary Clinton give her concession. All three rose to the occasion.
I thought about the Obama Presidency. How free of scandal it was, how the President really was an examplar of much that is good about our country. Also, how profoundly unsuccessful it was, and how thoroughly repudiated it was by the Trump victory. The two things I think he will try to hang his legacy on--the Iran Deal and Obamacare--are already in tatters and await only the Inaugural to administer the lethal dose.
Additionally, I thought about how the incredible rise in identity politics in the last eight years generated an equally powerful counterforce, one saying, "we are not racist because we believe in law and order, we are not racist because we believe the nation's borders should be secure, we do not hate because we want our daughters to use rest-rooms with other women only, and we think the Little Sisters of the Poor should not have to subsidize practices in their employer provided healthcare plan that they consider abhorent." I realize that many readers in cosmopolitan areas look at the foregoing and scoff--but LOOK at the county by county election map and infer how widespread the popularity of these views is.
Things are about to get very, very interesting.