#Brexit. #CubsWin. #TrumpWon. No one being objective could analyze the year 2016 and not include those three topics. As I write this tired from exhaustion, numb from shock, and a tad bit disoriented. I’m looking over the reports from people in the media that I trust, admire, and look up to and I can’t help but notice that this is the biggest upset in history! You had two well known players. Two old, well-known and highly-connected figureheads from New York. Two incredibly wealthy people.
One person is so well known in the world of politics that no one in her party, but a socialist dared to challenge her! She wanted to make history herself by becoming the first female president of the free world, and somehow the underdog was a man named Donald Trump. The same man whose buildings line the NYC skyline. Somehow, Trump winning the race is bigger than a woman becoming President for the first time. Bigger than Space-X. Bigger than the destruction of the Challenger. Bigger than the cubbies winning. Bigger than Snowden. Bigger than anything on Wikileaks. Bigger than Brexit.
Trump was able re-invent himself early on as an outsider even though he is anything but, and as a bully pulpit who easily beat up normal politicians of all stripes and colors. He called his political rivals hashtagable nicknames everyone snickered at. Yet you can’t objectively claim that #CrookedHillary, #LowEnergy Jeb, and #LittleMarco weren’t catchy.
Seeing a populist partner in that Clinton challenger Bernie Sanders, he pleaded with his supporters that he was another choice for them. For the inner cities and African Americans he famously said, “What more do you have to lose?” And For Mexico, #Buildthewall became a painful reminder of what happens when you take advantage of a country’s good will.
Democrats put it all on the table for Clinton’s ground game, and her political operation was the best there ever was. Yet as more and more negative headlines about her emails shot holes in the Clinton strategy, bits and pieces fell away from them. That infamous Blue Wall in the Mid-West was shattered, as FBI Director James Comey re-opened the investigation and with that the future of the polling industry: dead. Donald Trump didn’t just throw out the campaign manual, he wrote a brand new one!
And there’s still very little certainty of what’s to come. As the stock market rallies and world leaders react to the victory of the reality TV star, turned businessman, and soon to be President. Donald Trump managed to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes without even running a proper campaign. He ran a campaign built on Click-bait.
Wavering controversy over controversy, Donald Trump’s unwillingness to bend and forever changing the face of what normal means in politics, you could easily say that Trump won due to that same secret sauce that has served him so well through most of his life. Twitter, and that motto that eats at the soul: All publicity is good publicity.
This in no way means that Donald Trump is an idiot, this in no way means that our country is over. This in no way means that Trump isn’t your President. He is! He just did it differently.
So now we need to ask ourselves, what’s next? What’s the silver lining? Will anything good come of this?
For awhile now, I thought that if Trump was going to win he has the alt-right populist advantage on his side. The same populist concerns that have been sweeping a lot of Europe and a lot of the rest of the first world countries. Donald Trump is in the unique position to carve out a very unique legacy for himself that no one sees coming, not even him.
Now, that he can take advantage of a strong Republican Congress in his back pocket. Trump not only has the opportunity to become the greatest American President in history, but he could have the rest of the developed world on his side too! Just by doing a handful of the things he has promised and by strategically partnering with those same populists around the world. He truly can #MAGA.
The question is will he?…