President-elect Trump: The beginning of an Era? Or the End of one?ElectionOracle / US Presidential Election 2016 Nov 10, 2016 - 01:14 PM GMT
Everyone was so certain. The pollsters and poll watchers almost uniformly predicted a Trump defeat – among them the celebrated Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight who gave Trump only a thirty-eight percent chance of winning heading into Election Day.
Of the eleven national polls to be released in the final week of the race, only two – a Los Angeles Times/USC survey and one from IBD/TIPP – showed Trump with the lead (TheHill, Nov. 9). These polls proved the most accurate for two consecutive presidential cycles.
Polls missed at the state level and nationally. So did aggregated polls. So did poll-based forecasts. And so did exit polls. “It will take a while to figure out exactly why polls missed,” wrote Bialik and Enten at FiveThirtyEight.com (Nov. 9).
Maybe it was from polling error? This election miss was an important one “because Clinton appeared to lead by a margin small enough that it might just have been polling error,” they claimed. “That turned out to be mostly true – true enough for her to lose in the Electoral College, and for Democrats to fall far short of taking control of the Senate.
Or maybe sheepish white Trump loyalists didn’t honestly admit their preference to pollsters? Or maybe, as pollster John Zogby believes, pollsters weighed their polls too heavily in favor of Democrats – something Trump had alleged.
An outside theory is that third-party candidate Gary Johnson played a decisive role. He scored more than 3.5 percent support in Wisconsin and Michigan, enough to make up the difference between Trump and Clinton. He took 2.5 percent support in Pennsylvania, which was decided by about 1 point.
On the other hand, maybe it was “voter suppression” that pollsters failed to factor? Voting machine glitches, voter ID games, early polling location closures, lost ballots, purged voter rolls and long lines at the local precinct will be long argued as causes behind a Republican sweep.
A friend of almost forty-five years and retired Chicago media VP was so certain of Mrs. Clinton reaching 360 Electoral votes he penned an essay and submitted it to social media on Election Eve. “What we're going to do on Nov. 9th,” he predicted, “is look back on this debacle and say, ‘He (Trump) never had a realistic chance’. And he didn't.”
His pre-Election Day prophecy posted on Facebook scored fifty "likes" in about an hour, he boasted. Come November 9th, he didn’t write me to explain how he was so wrong.
Is President-elect Donald Trump’s victory the beginning of an era, as the Alt-Right claims, or is it the end of one?
Another friend, a busy Arizona writer on monetary matters wrote me, “This is a dying gasp of a dying epoch.” (The “epoch” being the last stages of freewheeling neoliberal capitalism.)
“This is the most incredible political feat I have seen in my lifetime,” Rep. Paul Ryan said on Nov. 9. “And now, Donald Trump will lead a unified Republican government. And we will work hand-in-hand on a positive agenda to tackle this country’s big challenges.”
Ryan, who once called-off plans to campaign with Trump and cited Trump remarks as “the textbook definition of racism”, changed his views of the President-elect overnight, as did almost every other Republican Trump critic.
Trump is “open for business” and job-seekers are tripping over themselves forgetting their candidate’s penchant for violent outbursts, dictatorial proclivity, mental and emotional instability, anger, rage and revenge.
With GOP controlled executive, legislative and soon-to-be judicial branches, top Republican policy experts now foresee easily enacting sweeping conservative agendas:
repealing ObamaCare; nominating a Scalia-type conservative to the Supreme Court; rolling back dozens of Obama administration regulations and executive actions; gutting EPA; tough immigration laws; regressive tax cuts; appropriating funding for a wall on the border with Mexico; “reforming” entitlements including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
As the GOP now will escalate its wars against the poor, the elderly, the unemployed, the disenfranchised, the minorities, the immigrants, the environment, civil rights, unions, women, the media - harnessing absolute dominance over a thoroughly divided nation – what will Democrats do?
There is a time and a place in politics for compromise. There is also a time to “stand your ground”, act and react on principle, shun appeasement and placation.
Who will challenge Mr. Trump’s unAmerican campaign promises that violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and 14th Amendments? Challenge his wall? Challenge the forced deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants? Challenge banning the entry of Muslims into this country? Challenge punishing women for accessing abortion? Challenge reauthorizing waterboarding and other forms of torture? Challenge changing libel laws and restricting freedom of expression?
Upon his election, the ACLU sent Mr. Trump this message: “We will be eternally vigilant every single day of your presidency.”
“If Donald Trump implements his proposed policies,” they wrote, “we’ll see him in court.”
© 2016 Michael T. Bucci
(Michael T. Bucci is a retired public relations executive who currently resides in New England. He has authored nine books on practical spirituality collectively titled The Cerithous Material.)Notes:
Jonathan Easley, “Pollsters suffer huge embarrassment”, The Hill, November 9, 2016.
Scott Wong, “Trump, Ryan signal new chapter in relationship”, The Hill, November 9, 2016.
Charles D. Ellison, “7 reasons Trump won — and why we're surprised”, The Hill, November 9, 2016.
Carl Bialik and Harry Enten, “The Polls Missed Trump. We Asked Pollsters Why”, FiveThirtyEight, November 9, 2016.
Nancy Cook and Andrew Restuccia, “With GOP sweep, Trump team eyes more ambitious agenda”, Politico, November 9, 2016.
Anthony D. Romero, “If Donald Trump Implements His Proposed Policies, We’ll See Him in Court”, ACLU, November 9, 2016.
© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.