THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN – HAIL THE NEW CHIEF

Thank Gawd it’s over—or is it?  With the unbelievable election of Lord Trump to the presidency, no one really knows what to expect.  It was an ugly campaign of personal assassination from the two most unliked and least qualified/prepared candidates to ever run.

Donald Trump is no Napoleon, but for those of us who have cast him as merely a comic-opera authoritarian, a parody of a world-historical figure, he has won a truly astonishing victory, and won it in spite of polls and experts and all the data nerds and get-out-the-vote consultants who labored tirelessly for Hillary Clinton…in spite of the opposition of the Republican Party’s past presidents and presidential nominees and most of conservatism’s intelligentsia…in spite of the media that had gleefully lifted him up in the GOP primary and then believed (reasonably, but wrongly) that it had torn him down…and, finally, in spite of his own acts of self-sabotage, which seemed egregious but turned out to be insufficient to keep him from his destiny, we welcome President-elect Donald Trump.

So here he is, soon to be the most powerful man on the face of the earth, with no popular mandate but a Republican majority nonetheless awaiting his direction, a congressional court of hacks and flatterers around him, a bureaucracy and a deep state unsure how to respond to him, an unstable world regarding his ascent with apprehension (or, in Moscow and Beijing, satisfaction), and none of the preparation that even the most inexperienced of modern American presidents have brought to this lofty office.

What happens next promises (and threatens) to make history as nothing has in America—not even the trauma of 9-11 or the election of the first black president—since the Cold War ended almost 30 years ago, or since the social crises of the 1960s and 1970s further back than that.

On the global stage, Trump’s populism and nationalism makes him very much a man of his times; but in the American context, he is like nothing we have seen before—a shatterer of all norms and conventi8onal assumptions, a man more likely to fail catastrophically than other presidents, more constitutionally dangerous than other presidents, but also more likely to carry us into a different political era, a post-neoliberal, post-end-of-history politics, than any other imaginable president.

You can sum up the whole amazing Trump win in a quote from Maureen Dowd’s column in the N.Y. Times, “The press took him literally, but not seriously.  His supporters took him seriously, but not literally.”

The Election Results

Clinton           Trump            Total

Electoral College                          228                 290                 538

Popular Vote                                  60.8M           60.5M            126M

This is the fifth time the popular vote winner did not get enough electoral votes to win the presidency; 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, and now 2016.

Voter turnout was up almost 5% over 2012.

Saint Hillary outspent the Donald 3:1.

In addition to the presidency, the Republicans made impressive gains at all levels of government.

Dems              Repubs

House of Representatives        193                 237

Senate                                                48                    51

Evan Bayh and Russ Feingold (both Dems) faded in their attempt to regain their Senate seats.

Governors                                         15                    35

What the People Said

  1. Enough is enough. There was a mother-lode of resentment and disappointment.
  2. We have suffered with a declining share of the economic pie.
  3. The Affordable Care Act was a fraud. Unfair to call it Obamacare.  He didn’t have a clue how it would work.  The main culprits in this poorly conceived plan were the insurance companies who backed it.
  4. We like Obama, but he was an ineffective leader with failed policies.
  5. Almost as surprising as Trump’s win was the Republicans holding on to majority (slim) in the Senate and commanding control of the House.

Hillary lost because she:

  1. Skirted a few too many laws/ethical questions.
  2. Sincerely believed she had never done anything wrong.
  3. Tried to portray herself as a virgin nun.
  4. Represented another four years of Obama’s stagnant economic growth.
  5. Was not a good candidate. She didn’t like campaigning.

She can now audition for a role on Law & Order SVU.

What is Likely to Happen

  1. Both parties will have to look at how to realign. Republicans have to cure an out-of-control primary system; Democrats have to find more tuned-in candidates.
  2. Trump has to forge a working partnership relationship with Congress. He’s not the king.
  3. By the end of 2017, we will likely face another recession.
  4. Corporate taxes will finally be lowered to stimulate domestic expansion and job creation.
  5. He will have to compromise on immigration and most other campaign promises to get anything done.
  6. Chuck Schumer, the new Senate minority leader, will be almost as difficult as Harry Reid to compromise on Republican legislation.
  7. We will have a more conservative Supreme Court.

Next to Harry Truman defeating Tom Dewey in 1948, this was the greatest surprise in election history.  Trump succeeded in burying both the Bush and Clinton family dynasties.

Everyone figured the market would go into convulsions for a few days before realizing that not much had actually changed.  Then it would be back to “normal” and stock prices, bond yields and pretty much everything else would move along as they were before.

Well, we seemed to have skipped that middle part where the market panicked.  Instead, it opened last Tuesday flat and ended up as one of the strongest days this year.

Inauguration will be a going-away party for the entertainers vowing to leave the country if Trump was elected.  Bryan Cranston, Samuel L. Jackson, Barbra Streisand, and others say they’ll pack their bags.  As for Cher, merely moving out of the country isn’t sufficient, she promises to go to Jupiter (Cher, that’s the big one without the rings).  And when Miley Cyrus and Lena Dunhma join the USA-exiting crowd, tattoo artists start worrying about their livelihoods.

Let’s all go to the Bon Voyage party.

Remember, I never thought there was any way he could win the primary or the general election.  I don’t have a crystal ball, but I wish him every success in trying to change the dysfunction in Washington.

The next surprise may be he actually accomplishes quite a bit.  Let’s give him a chance!

ArtSchwartzSig

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN – HAIL THE NEW CHIEF

  1. You definitely have giant juevos Mr. Schwartz.
    For a guy that admittedly missed all the primary and general election predictions you’re still using that damaged crystal ball to see the future? Were you thinking all that smoke from prop 64 was going to clear the view?!
    Leopard’s spots don’t change. Literally or seriously he will always be the greedy, ego maniacal, coniving, bankrupting, bullying scamming liar more aptly described by the last republican worshipped hero Mitt Romney.
    My crystal ball sees impeachment and conviction unless he follows the other great one (Nixon)– that few talk about anymore –and ends up resigning.
    Unfortunately my dems in Congress will take your advice and give him the benefit of doubt and a chance to do his thing. Not like the “loyal” opposition 8 years ago that named it’s highest priorities as blocking progress and doing whatever it took to insure a one term president.
    One last thing. The “stagnant” economy you refer to has been adding jobs month after month compared to losing 200,000+ jobs for nearly 2 years of the end of the last tax cutting republican administration; the stock markets have doubled, the car industry has been saved and is florishing along with financial industries despite the stringent regulations put in place protecting consumers.

  2. Jay, you have to stop smoking that stuff

  3. gordon roberts

    Art:
    Thank you. That was one of the best and most succinct articles or blogs that I have seen written on the election and the mindset of the American people, and what is wrong in Washington..

    Now both parties in Washington need to start addressing the true issues of why Trump was successful.

    • Dan

      Art,
      Generally I’d say that you are on target. But there are two things I question. First, you write of “Obama’s stagnant economic growth”. My recollection is that when Obama came into office, the US and the world were in panic over the disaster the Bush administration had left behind. The banking system was about to collapse, the auto industry hung on by a thread, etc. So, what numbers can you provide to support “Obama’s stagnant economic growth” (especially with the stock market at an all-time high, which might be one indicator of how the economy is doing)? Secondly, you now predict, “By the end of 2017, we will likely face another recession.” If you believe that, I assume you’ve sold the stock market short. Again, what experts or evidence do you have to support that prediction? Other than that, I found a lot to agree with in your op-ed.
      Dan

  4. bonnie

    always ‘enjoy’ (?) your comments…but i’m with jay and dan

  5. Do you think the people who voted for and elected Trump were thrilled with a booming economy. 2% or less growth per year is a stagnant economy. Wake up folks

  6. Gary W.

    Hi Art,

    Washington is broken. Hasn’t been working for the American people for almost 20 years. Those who caused these problems will never be able to fix them. We were heading for more decay, disfunction and discontent.

    Donald Trump is smart, well educated and obviously successful as a real estate developer, an author and TV star. As a businessman you understand that doesn’t happen by accident. And, by contrast, just look at what a gifted politician, Barak Obama, has given us. Failure with a stagnant economy, failure with race relations, failure with international relations, failure with immigration, failure to close Guantanamo, failure, failure and more failure.

    I’m very optimistic with regard to a Trump administration and share NONE of your concerns. All Americans should give him a chance and let’s see who he selects for his cabinet and how he governs. Perhaps on Thanksgiving 2017, instead of eating turkey, you’ll be eating crow.

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