I knew it would be close, but I didn’t expect Donald Trump to win. I wasn’t alone. I think he and most of the people who voted for him didn’t expect it either. All the polls pointed to a Hillary Clinton victory. What could have been her coronation ended up as the most devastating loss in U.S. politics.
I thought I’d see in my lifetime a woman break the glass ceiling and become the first female president. It looks like wishful thinking now.
Among the candidates, she was the most qualified for the office based on more than 30 years in public service. But it wasn’t enough. Although she won the popular vote, she didn’t get the 270 electoral votes to propel her to victory.
President-elect Donald Trump was a former reality star who made his fortunes in real estate. He had never held any political office nor been active in the public sector. It proved to be his key to victory instead of it becoming a liability.
Feeling neglected by Washington, millions of voters heeded his call for change. They were mostly from the white middle class in the rust belt counties who had failed to keep pace with the changing landscape of America.
So deep was the anger against the status quo that it didn’t matter that he was abrasive, called other candidates names, berated women and minorities, told lies, and made promises that they knew he couldn’t keep, such as building a wall on the southern border and make Mexico pay for it. They saw him as a strong leader who could get their respect back and make them relevant again.
The jury is out on the Trump presidency. Only time will tell if he won for the right reasons. Who knows? It could be that the pendulum has swung far into the left that it needed to be calibrated again.
In his victory speech, he said, “It is time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all of Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country. As I’ve said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign but rather an incredible and great movement, made up of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their family.”
For our own sake and the future of the nation, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.