The seemingly unending American presidential campaign finally ended with the ultimate outsider, an unconventional candidate running the table against the trenched establishment candidate. In any case, the American electorate has spoken! And profoundly and stridently, the people spoke as they surprisingly handed victory to Donald Trump victory on November 8, 2016.
Undoubtedly, with a heavy sigh of relief, the presidential campaign, which was over analyzed, ended, the campaign ads ceased, and voters concluded this year’s United States presidential elections with long hours of waiting at the polls. In this year’s unprecedented presidential election where a woman was flagbearer of a major party, a record number of people voted early before the election day.
Some liked the outcome and others did not. Perhaps, we should realize that while an individual ballot may represent a personal conscience expressed when the curtain is drawn, the final decision, no matter how it is perceived, is the representative of the collective conscience of the people, the epitome of democracy. Furthermore, according to Anthony Walton, “America’s greatest strength, and its greatest weakness, is our belief in second chances, our belief that we can always start over, that things can be made better.” After the revelation of a sexual-talk tape that shook his campaign, Trump rebounded with incisive attacks on Secretary Clinton whom he branded as dishonest.
What has been an intensive negative and assiduous campaign has finally ended with majority of voters choosing the outsider, Mr. Donald Trump, who ran a nontraditional campaign to beat his opponent. For Secretary Hilary Clinton, the dream and journey that started way before primary elections in 2008 when she ran against then Senator Barack Obama ended despondently on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 when it became glaringly obvious that Donald Trump had won impressively most of the electoral college-rich battleground states like Florida and Ohio. At the cusp of making history—becoming the first woman to be American president—she failed gracefully. But for Trump, the election night ended gleefully considering the plurality of support he received from the American electorate. Trump’s message, no matter how racially-tinged it was characterized, resonated well with the masses that wanted change.
Trump exploited the electorate’s cynicism and thirst for change and provided his base with red meat that they held on to. Trump’s mantra, “Make America great again,” won the night.
No matter what you think about Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton, it was profoundly remarkable to see an outsider who decimated star-studded Republican candidates to emerge as his party’s nominee. Regardless of his rhetoric which resonated loudly among his believers, Trump’s share of the electorate was very impressive.
In fact, going into the third debate that is billed to be watched by about 80 million people on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Mr. Donald Trump had much grounds to make up after being shellacked during the first presidential debate. Mr. Trump was expected to perform exceptionally well in order to recover from the loss of the first and second debates.
Also, Donald Trump was entering into the critical debate with his back against the wall after the 2005 video tape emerged where Trump was making sexual and lewd comments. Thus, prominent Republican leaders jettison Trump while an avalanche of Republican leaders was calling for Trump to withdraw; an impossible demand due to the fact that voting has started in some states.
In the waning days of the electioneering, Donald Trump was no longer limping, but was gaining significant grounds in the national polls, but more significantly in the background states like Iowa, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Ohio, Florida and New Hampshire.
Winning an election is one thing, governance is another thing. No one knows how the Trump administration will be. Trump will be sworn-in on January 20, 2017 as the 45th president of the United States.
On the other hand, Clinton, vilified, knocked down several times with illness, endless investigations, FBI statement about her email conundrum 11 days to November 8, still got up, weathered the storm, and performed impressively well.
Obviously, Secretary Hillary Clinton was in a better position than Mr. Donald Trump ahead of the final presidential debate! The structural trajectory to victory for Clinton appeared to be more promising than that of Mr. Trump. But at the end she lost. She fought a good fight, but fell short of the ultimate history.