The 2016 elections have come and gone and the Republican Party was victorious at the polls which came as a shock to many Americans and observers across the world. The real estate developer and business tycoon, Donald Trump, defeated his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States of America. Both candidates made history, Trump, being a first timer with absolutely no political experience and Clinton being the first female nominee of a major USA political party.
So now that the election is over there are a lot of questions that need to be answered and there is a lot of uncertainty about America and the future direction of global policies with an imminent Trump presidency. All polls leading up to the election indicated a comfortable win for Hillary Clinton but on the night of November 8, 2016, the opposite happened; she suffered an astonishing defeat.
It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are two of the most unpopular candidates in modern political history, and the American electorate felt they had to choose between the lesser of two evils. A newcomer to politics, Trump’s success came as a surprise to many. He beat 16 other Republican competitors to become the GOP nominee, even gaining the most votes ever in the history of American politics for the Republican Party and eventually becoming President-elect of the USA.
The outcome of the election had many persons wondering what went wrong in Washington that caused the American electorate to become so disenfranchised. It’s no secret that conservative Americans felt that the Obama administration has not lived up to the high expectations that were given when he was first elected in 2008. That’s quite debatable based on how one looks at it considering that Obama’s presidency has been defined mostly by a progressive agenda in several areas such as LGBT and human rights, the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba, the ending of the war in Iraq, the turnaround of the US economy after the 2008 economic recession, the signing of the Affordable Care Act (2010) which gave 32 million uninsured Americans access to health care, the turnaround of the U.S auto industry, among several others, but yet still over 60 million Americans joined the Trump train.
Americans were yearning for change and were sick and tired of the old style of politics which Hillary Clinton represented. She was one of the worst political candidates to ever run for office. She brought absolutely nothing new to the table; nothing new to offer to Americans who were yearning for a change in the establishment of Washington. Her campaign was a total disaster even before it began. She was investigated by FBI director James Comey over her use of private email server while she served as Secretary of State from 2009-2013. He decided in July 2016 not to press charges against her although he labeled her actions as “extremely careless in her handling of very sensitive, highly classified information”. However, a few days leading up to the election, the FBI director decided to re-open the case with Clinton’s emails which many believed slowed the momentum of her campaign significantly. Throughout her entire campaign, she was cursed with the email scandal and almost every day there were leaks which proved to be a nightmare. The Democratic Party shoved her candidacy down the throats of Americans, half of whom she labeled “basket of deplorables” despite the fact that she was very unpopular, all because they were so eager to have the first female President at any cost. The Democrats allegedly rigged the primaries by feeding Hillary with debate questions and secretly plotted against her challenger Bernie Sanders, spent millions more than Trump on TV ads and the overall campaign, had the support of major American celebrities, had the support of major world leaders, won all three presidential debates, been a career politician her entire adult life spanning over 30 years and yet still lost so terribly to a man who took up politics as a hobby in the summer of 2015. How does that happen?
The shocking US 2016 election results proved to be a repudiation of Hillary Clinton rather than a Trump validation from the American electorate and further demonstrated how terrible of a candidate Clinton was. How could she have lost to a man who disrespected a large demographic of the electorate: women, disabled persons, Black Americans, Muslims, Hispanics and Chinese; a non-believer of global warming, lost a billion dollars in a year, had his companies bankrupted numerous times, withheld his tax returns during the election among a myriad of other problems. Trump’s win does not mean that the American people validated him as his campaign was also disastrous but the majority who voted for him felt that he was the lesser of the evils, and represented the change they so desperately wanted for America.
Hillary lost because she simply was uninspiring. The millennials were not enthusiastic about voting for her, she’s been in Washington too long and is accustomed to the established way of politics which the American electorate are tired of. She clearly had an issue with transparency, especially with the FBI investigation into her emails while she was Secretary of State during Obama’s first term. She has not given a plausible response to her email scandal which had dire consequences for her perceived level of transparency and lack of good judgment. The other scandals and controversies that she and her husband have been involved in throughout the years didn’t help either. She also boldly campaigned to fulfill “Obama’s third term” in hopes of solidifying his legacy. This was a serious mistake. By doing that, she proved that she was more of the same, and lacked a clear vision of where she wanted to take America. She needed to demonstrate to the American people that she can chart her own path of political success without relying on a predecessor. This also alienated a lot of the White working class Americans who punished her by voting for Trump instead. The Democratic Party normally represents the needs of the White working class Americans, yet Hillary was depicted as a candidate that represented the interests of the big banks, Wall Street and special interest groups. There are several other reasons why Hillary Clinton lost the election but the primary reasons have been outlined, which demonstrated that she deserved to lose because she was offering nothing new.
Donald Trump on the other hand, who will become the 45th President of the USA, has a lot of work to do. The current state of America is bitterly divided between several groups, particularly minorities and other persons that Trump ostracized during his campaign. Thus, he has a challenging task of bringing the American people together. He still has to clearly outline what will happen with the US-Mexico border where he claims he intends to build a wall, issues with trade with other countries, America’s foreign policy under his new administration, ISIS and the Middle East, re-establishing a cordial relationship with Russia, bringing jobs back to America, appointing a conservative judge to the US Supreme Court among several other key issues. For the sake of the world, it is hoped that Trump succeeds so that America’s reputation and credibility as a global leader and superpower are maintained.