Monday, December 11, 2017
 
None More Shocked Than the Political Establishment That Donald Trump Took On

WASHINGTON, D.C. Nov. 8 (DPI) – In perhaps the most stunning election upset in American history, the blustery businessman Donald Trump, never before a candidate for anything, defeated an establishment favorite that most in Washington and the mainstream media had already anointed to the presidency.

More than a few Americans were calling yesterday’s election results “a political 9/11” – something shocking, enormous and – to some – even frightening had occurred. Indeed, last night’s election returns felt like a slow earthquake that picked up speed, and by 1 a.m. Wednesday culminated in a tectonic shift in the political landscape.

Republicans managed to hold on to control of both the Senate and Congress. All told it is a smashing and unexpected victory for American conservatism, which will now name less-activist jurists to the Supreme Court, dismantle the deeply flawed Affordable Care Act, and perhaps – perhaps – send the fragile US economy into a tailspin if it’s not extremely careful.

US financial markets gyrated Wednesday but were largely positive, an encouraging early sign that a Trump administration will perhaps tread more carefully and responsibly than his rhetoric suggests.

Watching the political pundits on the various networks last night only added to the drama of an historic evening. Some, like the columnist David Brooks on public television, were visibly distraught. Martha Raddatz of ABC embarrassed herself with her rants. The public television anchor, 69-year-old veteran Judy Woodruff, uttered confused, how-could-this-happen ruminations. All of that in a way confirmed what Trump declared throughout the campaign – that the  mainstream media were out of touch, and have been serving as agents of an out-of-touch Washington.

Certainly the pundits and pollsters – and even casual observers – missed the breadth and the depth of Trump’s support. In the early hours of the evening Trump won states that he was expected to win – Tennessee and Alabama, for instance – but the returns showed he won them by huge margins, much larger than expected. That was an early sign that Hillary Clinton was in trouble. By 11pm only three of the battleground states had been decided, and two of them – Ohio and Florida, to the surprise of everyone – fell to Trump. The wave of unexpected results shocked the nation.

The question now of course is can a man with a reputation for recklessness and caustic, divisive rhetoric lead a deeply divided nation, even with a slim Republican majority on Capitol Hill.  Very little in Donald Trump’s past suggests that he can, but he might surprise us.

 

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