The President-elect is Donald H. Trump, and I’m keyboarding this through the fog of a mild hangover.
That’s right. Our President-elect is a reality TV star whose trademarked line is: “You're fired.” The same dude whose candidacy was thought to be a cadaver after a tape recording was leaked on which he bragged of committing acts of sexual assault on women. Among the choir of the outraged were his own party’s leaders, some of whom asked him to step aside so that his running mate could take the lead spot and at least stand a chance of defeating Hillary Clinton.
A month ago I started worrying out loud about a reverse-Bradley effect—that millions of people would turn out to vote for Trump who had been too embarrassed to admit it to pollsters (and friends). When it was reported last night that there were unanticipated huge turnouts and I saw the long lines of what looked like attendees of Trump rallies I thought, “Uh oh. Here we go.”
The majority of voters picked Clinton, but Trump won the election because…well…I guess you could say because the system is rigged. Trump won where it counted—most of the swing states that get to decide who will be President went his way. Watching those states on the map turn red one-by-one, my wife suddenly became a strict constitutional constructionist: “I’m pretty sure the Founders intended that only the original 13 states should have electoral college votes.”
The Rust Belt and working class Americans in general are far more pissed off than people like my wife and I imagined. They want America to be great again. We're all going to find out what that means. Buckle up.
Here's my baker’s dozen laundry list of predictions:
- We'll live with the Supreme Court we’ll have as a result of this election for the rest of our lives. That toothpaste is out of the tube and isn’t going back in.
- Obamacare is kaput. (Most of us on Anewscafe.com still live in California—we'll see if the state replaces the ACA with something more akin to socialized medicine. Probably not.)
- There won't be a Great Wall of Trump on the southern border, and Mexico isn't going to pay for it (and neither will Congress), because big business and big agriculture want cheap labor.
- Ditto #3 for trashing all those trade agreements—it’s not gonna happen, because big business doesn’t want it to happen. Trump will tweak a few things (as routinely occurs with international agreements) and call it a “huge” renegotiation, but NAFTA and the rest aren’t going anywhere.
- Mammoth tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations will result in runaway deficits, just as when Bush II took office.
- The Middle East will continue to be a tar pit for the United States.
- At least one of the Trump kids will be a cabinet member. (I mean that as a joke…but is it?)
- The 30+ year trend of the richest Americans consolidating the majority of the nation’s wealth will continue, and the Rust Belt will continue to rust. (To be fair to Trump, this would have continued if Clinton had been elected. It’ll just be faster now.)
- Nearly all of the people who talked of moving out of the country if Clinton lost to Trump will stay put, in part because places like New Zealand (my favorite option) don’t really want us.
- Trump will never release his income tax returns. Not after the audit is concluded. Never. Just put out of your mind the notion that we’ll ever know how much the dude is really worth.
- The Clintons will likely be just fine (but see #12 below).
- Trump will use the powers of the office to seek revenge against those who he believes slighted him over the past year or two. The GOP’s leaders have a short window of time to get on their knees and beg forgiveness if they want to be excluded.
- There won’t be a second term.
A tip of my ball cap to my Anewscafe.com colleague R.V. Scheide, who was right all along. There was no stopping the Trump Train.