Election Post Mortem, Here’s What We Learned

We just watched history in the making. Now what?

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Okay, it’s finally over; the constant begging for money and votes, the barrage of phone calls and e-mails, the television ads, which also plagued social media, and the vicious rhetoric of the talking heads on television. Oy!

Some will claim this election cycle was essentially no different than past contests. Hardly. We have just witnessed history in the making, where an outsider defeated the ultimate insider and overcame every political taboo thrown at him from not only the Democrats but from his own party as well.

In terms of numbers, we witnessed record viewership during the debates, attendance at rallies, voluminous social media exchanges, people changing parties, and record voter turnout. During the Republican primaries, Donald Trump received approximately 13.3 million votes, 1.8 million votes more than the previous record, held by George W. Bush.

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The biggest loser from the contest was the Washington establishment which includes lobbyists, the news media, and politicians from both parties. A vicious war with the establishment is in the offing, but they all better fall in line as Trump now has a mandate from the populace to clean up Washington. This mandate is essentially no different than the one propelling Andrew Jackson into the White House back in 1828. It is also similar to the attitudes of the people of the United Kingdom who recently voted to leave the European Union (aka, “BREXIT”).

In addition to the country, the people want to transform both the Republican and Democratic parties, something long overdue. The GOP is no longer the party of Bush and Romney, nor McCain for that matter, but now belongs to Trump, a man who claims to be more interested in results than with political posturing. The RINO Republicans must either learn to adapt to Trump’s way of thinking or move on to something else.

Mr. Trump has an ambitious agenda, starting with his “Contract with the American Voter,” which includes, among other things, term limits for politicians and changes for lobbyists. It will be interesting to see how GOP politicians embrace the contract, and the repercussions if they do not.

Trump will nullify Mr. Obama’s executive orders, overturn Obamacare, streamline the government bureaucracy, renegotiate trade deals, help our veterans and military, and of course build a wall along our southern border. If Mr. Trump can deliver half of what he promised, we will be well on our way to recovery.

The Democrats will also have to address a unique set of problems. “The party of the people” lost several members who found a new home on the Trump train. The party now suffers from scandals and a liberal progressive direction. They will need to clean house, distance themselves from Clinton corruption, and seek new leaders to govern the party.

Trump’s relationship with the news media will likely be the worst since the days of Richard Nixon. The biggest difference though is Trump has been conditioned to do battle with the press and welcomes the opportunity to take them to task. This will certainly not endear him to the media, but they must come to the realization he is not a professional politician, but a businessman with an agenda. As the establishment found out during the election, Trump is a man you shouldn’t underestimate.

During this election cycle, we also learned of the clout the news media possesses. Even though they were able to whip up the emotions of the people, they also lost their trust and the media’s credibility has been severely damaged. Their control of political theater earned them vast sums of money, but will harm them in the end.

Whereas Trump must now joust with the Washington establishment, had Mrs. Clinton been elected, she would have surely faced more Congressional gridlock and, due to the likely litigation against her, would have been bogged down and incapable of running the country effectively.

From the day he announced his candidacy, the pundits said Trump never had a chance. Yet he proved them all wrong and by doing so, people began to question how debates and elections are held, if they were “rigged,” and learned not to trust the press. Prior to Trump, Americans were lulled into believing only professional politicians could run the country which took the people for granted. The establishment underestimated the contempt the country felt towards corruption, exorbitant debt, a stifling bureaucracy, and more. The fact the Congress, the Press, and the Presidency suffers from low approval ratings is indicative of this. And as Rasmussen reported week after week, Americans believed the country was heading in the wrong direction.

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Interestingly, it took an uncommon man, a billionaire to be precise, to bring the establishment to its knees, something an average person would never have been able to accomplish. By being financially independent, Mr. Trump was not beholden to anyone as is customary and tells us something about the necessity of modifying election laws.

On the other hand, Mrs. Clinton seemed more concern with becoming the first female president than implementing any changes in the Obama program. Many claimed it was simply “her turn” to be president. However, she was burdened with considerable baggage of past indiscretions. Surprisingly, the charges of corruption seemed to have little effect on her with Democrats, but cost her dearly in terms of independent voters.

In the end, this was a choice between socialism (Clinton) versus capitalism (Trump). How people voted was ultimately based on their socioeconomic perspective. Or maybe it was as simple as an insider versus an outsider.

Perhaps the biggest lesson learned from this election is that the American electoral system still works. The fact an outsider can run, and win, is a testament to this fact, but as mentioned, it took a billionaire to defeat the establishment.

Now we will see if the Hollywood entertainers who promised to leave the country should Mr. Trump be elected, will keep their word. Everyone else is looking forward to a cleaning of the house. As for Barack Obama and Joe Biden, I hope somebody has the sense to change the locks after they finally leave Washington.

One thing is for sure, the next few years in Washington, DC is going to be exciting to watch; probably historic.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a freelance writer and management consultant located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. As an avid writer and speaker, Tim discusses everything from business and management, to politics and morality, to systems and technology, and our ever changing world.