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And the winner is…

November 7, 2016

It’s just about the end. Tomorrow night we will have a new President. You can almost hear the nation’s collective sigh of relief.

Sometimes it has seemed like this contest would just go on forever.  While most sane people simply put their brains on pause after the primary election, some people stayed engaged, either because they were fascinated by the first real philosophical political war in many decades, or because they got paid to be in the candidates’ hip pockets.

Whatever your vision of, or nightmare about the future of America might be, a look backwards to 24 months ago would not, could not have led you to this moment.

Who would have thought that on November 8, 2016, the Democratic Party would have completely cast off it’s working class roots and become the party of elitist socialist-leaning liberal insiders?

Or that the party that has steadfastly championed mandatory free public-school-only education would now be branding the alumni of that self-same public education system as uneducated redneck deplorables?

Even more improbable, who knew that the new champion of the no longer silent majority would be a New York billionaire?

Unless your name is Trump, if you tell me you saw this matchup coming two Novembers ago, I’m going to stand nose to nose with you and call you a liar.

As late as June 2015, the 2016 election looked like it would be the usual staid, comfortable John Q. Milquetoast Republican against the hand-picked liberal heir apparent, Hillary Clinton. In fact, at least 14 of the 17 eventual GOP primary candidates pretty well fit that mold.

Almost  no one took Donald Trump seriously at first. His reputation as a New York playboy and TV entertainer got in the way.

Oddly, it was the imperious dismissal of his candidacy by the GOP elite that first put him on the nation’s radar.

The funny thing is, it was this not too diplomatic, very outspoken, very rich New Yorker who started giving voice to the things so many not-rich-at-all  Americans were thinking.

There’s one thing about Americans of a certain mindset. They tend to forgive a person many flaws, as long as that person is basically philosophically honest.

Mr. Trump is kind of like that crusty old uncle who isn’t afraid to tell you your daughter dresses like a two-dollar whore and your son has a backbone the consistency of over-cooked spaghetti.

You might hate him for saying it out loud, but it doesn’t make his observations less true.

More important by far than the Donald’s less than politically correct commentary on today’s political landscape was how many people agreed with him.

One of the most fascinating things to watch during the run-up to the primary voting was how totally out of touch Republicans were, and indeed still are, with their base.

The establishment Conservatives still stuck in the idyllic 1950’s honestly seemed to believe that Trump’s candidacy was like a bad case of the flu.  Miserable while you have it but quickly forgotten once your nose quits running.

It didn’t help that for all his hobnobbing with candidates on both sides of the aisle and the New York power brokers over the years, the eventual Republican nominee has had an awful lot to learn about the way politics really works.

Even his most ardent supporters have had moments where their primal instinct was to slap Mr. Trump  up-side the head until he finally got it together.

Luckily for him, he’s a reasonably quick study. It has helped that underneath it all, his instincts about what America not just wants but needs have stayed on target. Even when he had both feet in his mouth up to the knees, that innate sense of direction always seemed to pull him back on course.

That’s not to discount the fact that his opponent has finally found a mess she has neither been able to talk her way out of nor cover up sufficiently to keep from attracting the kind of negative attention she has tried so hard to avoid throughout her whole political life.

The odd thing is, Hillary’s base seems to know they are being lied to and maybe they even expect her to quickly forget most of the campaign promises she’s made.  They have been so well-trained (or maybe just made so dependent) over the last forty years that the rot oozing from every pore of her campaign doesn’t matter.

How else can you explain what would cause a sitting President to go out and virtually command black voters and illegal U.S. inhabitants to vote Democrat, and actually seem to expect that it will happen?

Or how and why Terry McAuliffe, the Democrat governor of Virginia,  wanted to register 214,000 convicted felons as being eligible to vote, eventually succeeding in getting 50 to 60,000 of them approved and registered?

Win, lose or draw, the Clinton mystique is no longer a mystery.  It is solidly grounded in the shadowy world of pay to play. This is classic Southern politics born in the  post-Civil War Reconstruction era and nurtured in the halls of Congress and the boardrooms of Wall Street.

This race should be able to be called pretty early on.  Either Mr. Trump and his supporters manage to overcome the Clinton machine or they don’t.

Since many of the so-called battleground states are in the Eastern time zone, it may be all over but the shouting by midnight Tuesday.

Then again, maybe it won’t be that easy at all.

Since the polls in the important eastern swing states will close around 8 p.m., by the time the last polls close in the West, the pundits will know where this thing has gone.

Although the immediate debriefing may classify this election as a racial and ethnically-driven contest, the longer view may well see it for what it seems to be under the surface.

This is the moment where America decides if it wants to be just another socialist-dominated blob of mediocrity on the world map, or to remain a unique nation that both promotes and rewards individuals and their achievements and calls that democracy.

Don’t get left out of this moment.  Put a note on the bathroom mirror and go vote.

You may never have another chance to change the course of a nation again.

From → op-ed

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