There were many surprises election night, the least of which should of been Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary. While the punditry were ringing their hands, wondering how they could of been so wrong, and even Trump seemed almost in shock, the outcome shouldn’t of been so unexpected.
It was not that the polls were not so wrong, as it was those who interpreted them were. In a close race, a percentage point here or there makes a big difference. In this case, Trump’s victories were mostly in the margin of error. The media, and Hillary surrogates (pretty much one in the same), were so busy looking at the national polls and marginal state leads, that they never considered the obvious. If you are winning a race by 2 points in a poll with a margin of error of +/- 3 points, it does not mean you are winning. Trump’s huge electoral victory belies the fact he lost the popular vote, again within the margin of error, he was predicted to.
The truth is, the Democrats nominated the only person who could possibly lose to Trump, and the Republicans nominated the only person who could possibly come in second to Hillary Clinton. In this battle of the losers, fate swung a bit more in the GOP’s favor than it did for the Dems. If that is somehow the miracle many are calling it, so be it.
The real shocker of the election was found in the victory speech given by Donald Trump. The egomaniac, who spent his whole campaign talking about himself, was uncharacteristically contrite. One might even use words like modest, thankful, and gracious to describe his acceptance. No where to be found was the snarling bombastic narcissist constantly seen during the campaign. It is hard to decipher whether The Donald was in shock, had a change of heart, or the everything that came before was just an act. The last is unlikely, because he has been the same all his life. This new Trump could very well be an aberration, soon to be followed by the same ole Trump people have grown to both hate and love. Time will tell on that one. It should be noted, Obama was gracious as well, spending much of his speech time consoling and lecturing liberals, while congratulating Trump and promising a smooth transition.
For Mrs. Clinton, election night must of been her ultimate nightmare. Faced with, for the first time, with the fact that what she wanted, more than anything, was not going to happen. That she left that night, without giving a concession speech, is probably a strong implication that failure was never really contemplated. Now, she must live with the knowledge she will never be President. For most, this would not be a big deal, but for Hillary Clinton this must be devastating.
On the losing side, there were two groups that showed themselves to be less than gracious. Many leftest went into shock and threw fits, but that is what leftest do. Most of the #nevertrump crowd let out a reserved exclamation of hope, but not all. The site RedState ran for awhile with a headline article saying Trump must fail, which mysteriously disappeared. The death of conservatism is what many of its writers bemoan now.
While true that conservatism did not win with Donald Trump, it is too early to declare it dead. Trump ran a populist campaign, and that is what triumphed. There is little doubt that Trump populism has redefined the GOP, and corrupted the conservative movement. Nonetheless, the death of conservatism will only happen if it fails to hold Trump to the fire as it did Obama.
The final item of note was who Trump did not mention in his victory speech, Sarah Palin. She started disappearing from the Trump campaign shortly after her husband’s accident. Few should forget how Donald Trump slighted him badly in Florida. In the last weeks she was totally missing from the campaign trail. It seems Ted Cruz was right, her hook up with Trump was the destruction of her politically.
Looking forward, Obamacare is likely now history. The real question is what will it be replaced with. If Trump holds to character, the cure will only be slightly better than the disease. The real bright spots are the free flow of illegal immigrants will be stifled, and someone, more then marginally better than Hillary would of picked, will be instilled on the Supreme Court. These are consolation prizes for conservatives, but one’s they should be be grateful for nonetheless.
Conservatives can be grateful for this as well, the long Obama nightmare is coming to an end. This President’s lawless administration will now not have an after life. The worst foreign policy record in modern history, the economic malaise that has marked his tenure, and the racially divisiveness he has stoked, will now fade away. One can hope something will be done to address the debt, the entitlement cancer, and military decline as well. Given the difficulties in doing so, this might be a lot to hope for (especially since Trump has only really mentioned the last one while on the campaign trail, and that sparingly). In short, this is day for conservatives to wipe their brow, sigh a bit, and move on. While they did not win, neither did the liberal establishment, and they have lived to fight another day.
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