Now that the election is over, let the finger pointing and blame-games begin. I don’t think that any one group of people or thing is to blame, it is a combination of many things that converged to make a perfect storm.
3rd Party Candidate Supporters
I have a lot of friends that voted for the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein. While 3rd party candidates did pull votes away from the 2 major parties, here in Iowa, these votes didn’t really make much of an impact. However, in some states, it can be argued that the votes that 3rd party candidates took away from the major parties had a significant impact. In Florida Hillary Clinton lost by about 1.4% of the vote – but if Jill Stein’s supporters and half of Gary Johnson’s backers had voted Democratic, Trump would have lost the state. Similarly, in Pennsylvania, Clinton lost by about 1.1% of the vote – but if Jill Stein’s supporters and half of Gary Johnson’s backers had voted Democratic, Trump would have lost the state. In Wisconsin, Clinton lost by about 1% of the vote – but if Stein’s supporters had voted Democratic, Trump would have lost the state. In Michigan, Clinton appears to be on track to lose by about 0.3% of the vote – but if half of Stein’s supporters had voted Democratic, Trump would have lost the state.
Blue Collar Workers
It can be argued that these workers have been the Democratic Stronghold for many decades. For many years now, the Democratic Party has been ignoring the blue collar works. Donald Trump seized this opportunity by addressing the plight of blue collar workers. While Donald Trump doesn’t hold the same values as a majority of Blue Collar workers, he was at least showing them that he would fight for them, even if the reality is that he may well negatively impact them the most with his plan to cut taxes for the top 1%. This was extremely prevalent in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, states that have historically been safe Democratic strongholds that Donald Trump turned red.
The media played a huge part in getting Donald Trump winning the election, all in the name of ratings. It started 8 months ago during the Primaries, where Donald Trump received more media coverage from CNN compared to all of the other 13 Republican candidates combines. And during the General Election, Donald Trump received more than twice the coverage Hillary Clinton received.
Racists Find an Outlet for Their Hate
If you have ever been to or have seen a Donald Trump Rally, you have seen the racism and hate that permeates from said rallies. In a post-Civil Rights era like we are in today, there shouldn’t be this much open racism, bigotry and hate. Up until Donald Trump’s run for the Presidency, racism, bigotry and misogyny were reserved for your crazy uncle or members of radical organizations like the Ku Klux Klan. It certainly wasn’t appropriate public behavior. We see ourselves today with a population that now has validation to be openly racist, bigoted and misogynistic because Donald Trump not only condoned racism, bigotry and misogyny, he almost seems to cherish.
Director of the FBI, James Comey, made an 11th hour announcement to Congress regarding a device, owned by Anthony Weiner, that may or may not have information pertaining to Hillary Clinton’s emails. As it turns out, the day before the election, Director Comey told the American people that there was no new information from this development. But, the damage had already been done. An important legal question arises from Director Comey’s announcement: Does expanding the FBI’s investigation from the unrelated case to the Clinton case violate the Fourth Amendment? The FBI had a warrant to search Anthony Weiner’s computers for communication with underage girls. The warrant had nothing to do with searching for emails related to Hillary Clinton. One has to wonder, if the FBI was supposed to be searching Anthony Weiner’s computer and email accounts, why were they searching through Huma Abedin’s email account? Another issue is the Anthony Weiner texting crimes occurred in 2016 and the Hillary Clinton emails were from her time as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.
Where Do We Go from Here?
The election is over and we are left with a President Elect Donald Trump. I know, I vomit a little every time I think about it. Barring any unforeseen events (*cough cough* Trump University Fraud case this month *cough cough*), we are stuck with a President Trump come January.
Those that voted for Donald Trump have proven that they have hate in their hearts and have told every LGBTQ person, Muslim, Jew, woman, Hispanic and African American (basically anyone NOT a White Christian Male) that they are not equal and not welcome in America. They have also shown that they want to take away affordable healthcare from millions of Americans and defund Planned Parenthood and that they support conversion therapy for our queer youth, something that puts the community at a higher risk of Suicide.
I have talked to a lot of my friends that are Muslim, Jewish, African American, Hispanic or from the LGBTQ communities and they are terrified of what is ahead of us now that Donald Trump will be President. Judging from the reports of racist graffiti and hate crimes post-election, I can certainly see why.
All we can do is work tirelessly to identify and push progressive candidates to run and work towards taking back the House and Senate in 2018, 2020 and beyond. One of the positive things that came out of this election cycle is there are a lot more Americans that are politically involved, many of them our future, millennials. These are the people that will shape our country going forward and these are some of our most progressive Americans in generations.