As I can’t go anywhere in Skopelos without being asked by locals and foreigners for my thoughts about the election, I’ll comment here. I’ll be as brief and incomplete as possible. In short, the results were predictable.
The two significant parties mounted two flawed candidates and the population chose between the two. Both candidates have personally planned for years for November 8, 2016 – each in their own way.
Trump tweeked his image of a successful businessman by appearing for 10 years in a reality TV show where he played the role of the sadistic boss who rejected or later fired job applicants who he didn’t like for one reason or another. People liked to watch and the genius of the show was that many viewers enjoyed seeing other poor saps get a bit of the same treatment that they had experienced (or were afraid of experiencing) in real life. Though working from a script, he appeared as a dominant male “decision maker” who instantly solved complex problems. The character of Donald delivered his verdict with the trademark phrase, “You’re fired”. Problem solved.
On the other hand Hillary continued to cultivate her image as a manager/stateswoman by taking on serious responsibilities within the formal political culture of the Senate and later as Secretary of State. Her promise was competency on the world stage which probably was true. Unfortunately her weaknesses (her husband, her chummy and questionable relationship with the financial sector) turned undecided voters away. People wanted “change” and unfortunately Clinton offered none.
The Democratic party – with its long term and single minded goal of electing a woman president, was the big failure. The Party was not clever enough not to be outmaneuvered by a Republican party that was better organized at the local, state, and national level. Trump’s personal Presidential campaign, which seemed at once bizarre, spur of the moment or even out of control, was good enough to beat the Democratic candidate. It should have been no contest.
The media in the US, dominated by the right wing, played a huge role in electing Trump. By constantly reminding American listeners and viewers of how bad off their personal situations are and of the ‘incompetency’ of the Obama government, they created the masses of Trump supporters who wanted a “change”. In some ways very much the UK voters who wanted change by kicking themselves out of the EU.
The most dangerous aspect of a Trump presidency and a Republican controlled congress is the make up of the Supreme Court. As currently there is a vacancy, today there is a balance between 4 “liberal” and 4 “conservative” justices . The existing justices are also getting old and some may want to retire (or will die). Trump will have four years to fill any vacancies and there is the danger for America and something called “the American way of life”.
I could go on and on… and might someday.