So, where do we go from here?
That’s a question I’ve heard more than once in the hours since early Wednesday, when Donald Trump defied the polling, the odds, and perhaps even common sense itself and won the Presidency of the United States.
I’m not going to presume to say I was anything other than shocked at the election results. I figured we were going to plod through four years of Corrupt Pantsuit rather than Clueless Orange Billionaire. In my opinion, Secretary Clinton took far too much for granted, then partied as her second Rome in eight years slowly burned to the ground around her.
Fifty years of pandering to every voter block the Republicans were willing to ignore, and with little to show for it, finally caught up with the Democrats. Secretary Clinton campaigned at times like it was a mere formality. The check had cleared, and she was just chatting with people here and there waiting for the UPS truck to deliver you the victory in November. In the final wind-up, hers were sins of transparency, corruption, and arrogance.
Yet, the sin of arrogance is not as damning as it once was, something proven beyond all points in this election cycle. That the only candidate more arrogant than Secretary Clinton turned out to be the winner should be telling. We witnessed the sums of all the worst parts of politics, condensed down into the two least likable candidates in modern, if not all, political history, and our mass media pretty much did not do a goddamned thing.
A nearly two-year long free-for-all by Donald Trump of saying and doing pretty much whatever the hell he wanted to went largely unchecked by mass media. Sure, there were calls for accountability, and there were cries of outrage, of “how dare he say (insert problematic remark here),” but given the sheer amount of stupid things he said, and the crush coverage, such cries were quickly lost in the fray, more debris in the Tazmanian Devil-style tornado cloud of Donald Trump in the American electoral process. Even when the laundry list of what was once considered career killers quickly became a Greatest Hits, Volume One, the complaints were very simply shrugged off by campaign yesholes who had already figured out even the media itself was no longer willing to hold anyone to any kind of existing standard.
To be fair, that door swung both ways. The idea the single most corruptible woman since Cruella DeVille was a major party nominee was more a failure of gender politics over ethics. And this woman was basically anointed President months ago, an idea that would have been laughable if not for the brazen amount of time mass media spent trying to sell the public on that notion.
This was not reporting, this was enabling. The alternative media really stepped up to the plate, even if they were struggling to stay above a billion rowdy lunatics on social media. In fact, I found it rather amusing that my #1 social media advocate during my presidential run was a guy tweeting out of Kingston upon Thames, London. Hell, the guy even co-opted my profile picture as his cover photo and declared himself my campaign manager (which he was not, is not, nor will ever be, just for the record).
Immediately following the election, I resisted every physical urge to facepalm as the analysts tried desperately to figure out how they pooched this so badly, how they, and I quote “got the polls so wrong.” They actually had the gall to sit there and discuss that point amongst themselves.
Going along hand-in-hand with the anything goes election cycle, there was not even a subtle attempt to hide the sheer and utter half-assery of political polling in the 2016 Presidential election. A poll that excluded voters age 18-34 was used in part to exclude third party candidates from the national debate stage. Think about that for a second. A poll that excluded the single largest voter block in the country was used to determine the national presidential debates. If that isn’t the definition of “old boy network” power grab, I could not, for the life of me, tell you just what the hell is.
But now, it’s over. I tweeted that I accepted the results, and was more than willing to give Trump every chance I have given every White House administration since I became a voting adult. That’s fair, and as fair as I am willing to be until he’s officially on the job and working to back up everything he’s said for the last year and a half. Because he wanted the job, he campaigned for the job, and now he’s got the job. Now, it’s on him. First 100 days, here we come. Good luck and Godspeed, everyone.
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