The 2016 political year has drawn to a close. Perhaps the most pressing question to ask is: has America understood actual history in the making over the past year?
Nothing about the political landscape in 2016 was typical or ordinary. One of the most tumultuous elections in history has concluded and the smoke has still not settled seven weeks later. History has been and continues to be made in an unprecedented manner. What lessons have we learned?
The most revealing lessons on a national scale were learned within the context of the election process, beginning with the primaries in 2015 and carrying through to the general election this year. What started out with seeming typical expectations (was it to be a Bush versus Clinton re-make of presidencies past?) turned out to be anything but typical. Donald Trump set the nation on a course that exposed the fragile state of the nation and taught many Americans, at least the observant among us, some very important lessons. Let us explore eight of the most interesting:
The Mainstream Media lost most credibility
If one were ever suspicious of the media, believing a heavy left leaning bias, those suspicions are now confirmed in their most frightening iterations. The election revealed the majority of mainstream media efforts offered not news but left-wing propaganda. The truth of the candidates, their temperaments, aspirations and policies, were lost in a fog of hit pieces, spin and outright lies. Trump was painted as a misogynist, racist, Hitler-like mad man, while Hillary was painted as “the most prepared candidate for the presidency in history”. Neither take was really close to the truth (as were many of the polls gauging public opinion). A lot of people noticed the deception, while others bought into the media fabricated stereotypes hook, line and sinker.
Candidates are not always chosen by the people
While this is true in Trump’s case, as he won the primaries against all prevailing political opinion and logic, it is not true in Clinton’s case. The fix was definitely in for Clinton as millions of Bernie Sanders supporters sadly learned later through leaked DNC communications. The conflagration of super delegates put the “anointed” Democrat candidate into place, only to see her trounced in the general election. Clinton was the epitome of the chosen candidate over the more popular “people’s” candidate.
The country was divided and fractured prior to the election
While Donald Trump gives leftist, politically correct radicals a foil to blame for their every anxiety, the election showed us a country that has fractured across lines of race, religion and social and economic orientation. Eight years of continually more aggressive identity politics forwarded by the Obama administration has yielded the fruit of unrest and division within the country. Watching Rachel Maddow or Joy Behar meltdown on national TV was enabled by the politically correct tsunami that defined eight years of Obama, and was being further espoused by Clinton. Trump stands in the middle of this storm, which began well before he appeared on the scene.
There is still a modicum of traditional national pride left in America
Trump won by capitalizing on the fear of many Americans, those who are middle of the road politically leaning a bit right or left, who felt our country was being sold out to radical leftist ideals. And America’s fears have some justification. It has become increasingly more obvious that Obama’s agenda leans radically left, and that his vision for America lies far outside what the “middle of the road” demographic in this country believes. This, above any other explanation, may explain the Trump phenomenon.
The Democrat elite have lost touch with America
The Democrats are still befuddled as to how Clinton lost. There is little discussion of the glaring inadequacies of Clinton as a candidate, only the probing analysis of what is wrong with America or what outside factor is to blame. And the dialog continues well after the election. It was not racism, white-lash, a mobilized patriarchy or the Russians that torpedoed the election for Clinton. It was her position as “a third term for Obama” and all the nuttiness that implied that turned mainstream America cold. That and the fact that Clinton has all the political charisma of a cantaloupe. And weeks later, they are still grasping for explanations. Just baffling.
The two-party system is in turmoil
As we approach the upcoming inauguration, confusion reigns within the two major parties. The media, Clinton and Obama have doubled down on disinformation and are using any zany strategy to attempt to de-legitimize the Trump election. The recount with Jill Stein, the Russian hacking misinformation (this after the same agencies that blame the Russians for hacking actually took credit for WikiLeaks and other information prior to the election), and the Electoral College flipping efforts have all backfired. What sort of non-cooperation strategies are next? The Democrats doubling down on their hysteria only makes them look even further out of touch with political reality and the average American. Meanwhile, Republicans have quieted down and the players in the party are jockeying to land an important role in the new administration. Former Trump critics are now advocates and so forth. The Republican lack of spine and principle is showing. Neither state of affairs is encouraging.
Trump inherits a huge economic challenge from Obama
Runaway fiscal irresponsibility started with Bush, but was greatly exacerbated by Obama. With little congressional resistance, Obama spent untold trillions more than the country received, sending our deficit soaring into the twenty trillion range. While the “Trump bump” is giving markets and business leaders optimism that America is open again for profitable commerce, the mountain of economic malfeasance Trump has to face immediately is almost insurmountable. His first six months in office will require near financial magic to avoid a major economic downturn. If hard times come, look for the left and their lap-dog media to blame Trump, not Obama for our problems.
President Elect Trump looks markedly different from candidate Trump
Moving forward with a different measure of restraint and eloquence after the election, the blustery, boisterous and controversial candidate Trump is now acting more like the leader and CEO Trump. As his cabinet is assembled in record time, with numerous power players from within and without the beltway, his speech has taken on a more conciliatory tone. While he stands firm on many issues, such as checking China, fair trade agreements, and aggressive immigration policy, he has softened the rhetoric and reached out for inclusiveness and unification in a divided country. All while critics like Michelle Obama forward such ridiculous comments as “We feel the difference now. See, now, we are feeling what not having hope feels like” in front of Oprah Winfrey. Again, while the press applauds.
The year of 2016 may very well go down in history, if history can ever be written objectively, as a time when Americans sought to recover their country from a radicalized and globalist favored agenda. The Trump phenomenon can be analyzed and explained from numerous perspectives, but the fact that there is a Trump phenomenon at all decries a historically significant reaction across a wide cross-section of American voters. Unfortunately, the far left stitching that Obama has worked so hard to weave into the fabric of America for the past eight years will not just fade quickly away. Obama, and those that favor his world view, are fighting desperately to undermine any changes Trump may undertake.
If 2016 has taught us anything, it is that our nation hangs in the balance in 2017. Politically divided and financially devastated, our nation needs to reunite and heal economically and socially very quickly. Divisive, politically correct rhetoric and demonstrations will do little to right a ship that has listed severely off course under Obama. Action must be taken quickly to solve the numerous difficulties Trump will inherit. Americans of every stripe, including our media, must unite behind the new administration and advance a responsible pro-American agenda, or there may not be a vibrant America much longer. And that may be the most poignant lesson of all.