Some of this recap you probably have read elsewhere, but maybe not. I haven’t bothered with footnotes this time, but if you want them, let me know.
Here’s what we know from statistical analysis of voting behavior:
- The average Trump voter was slightly more affluent than the average Clinton voter. Trump appears to have channeled the fears of what’s left of the old American Middle Class and the less affluent among the rich. Most of the uber-rich, particularly business leaders, wanted the TransPacific trade deal.
- Hillary pulled better among the poor.
- Overall election turn-out was mediocre. People appear to have been turned off to both candidates. The excitement that the media hyped wasn’t there.
- Trump mobilized his handful of supporters. Trump also mobilized Latinos to vote for Clinton, which in itself was a big step that may affect politics in the future. The people who usually don’t vote, stayed home again. That includes the poor whites and Blacks.
- The result wasn’t a personal endorsement of Trump. He didn’t display charm or charisma, and he’s now caught between warring constituents — the GOP establishment and angry voters. He can try to find a common ground for them (not obvious how to do that) or he could alienate everyone in a matter of days. He won because he was running against Clinton.
- The FBI didn’t cost Clinton the win. The reasons she lost were her failure to understand and connect with the anger in the country and a lack of ability to charm anyone, even her supporters. The FBI was a final nail in the coffin, but she built the coffin. Even her pull among Latinos was created by Trump.
My suspicion is that most people aren’t going to like what comes next.
The GOP isn’t poised to deal with any of the fundamental issues undermining the economy. In the absence of that, there is no reason to expect improvement. Some economists had predicted that the economic malaise, without government intervention, would last past 2025, and they may be right.
Conversely, with a 1-vote edge in the Senate, GOP moderates become the power team in the Senate. Maine is now perhaps the most important state in the US. If you don’t know about Susan Collins and Angus King, get reading. They are in an extreme position of power in the Senate, being able to make or break most legislation.
Other likely events:
- Healthcare costs are going to increase. Congress remains unwilling to deal with the fundamental issues driving costs including profiteering among pharmaceutical companies.
- People on Medicare will see their benefits cut and be forced to spend more on Supplemental or Medicare Advantage policies.
- Trump policies will cause a short term decline in jobs and could bring on a recession.
- Housing, medical and education costs will continue to push down the former Middle Class, which may entirely disappear before the next election. One vision of the future is a country divided between rich and poor, and most people won’t be rich.
- Economists are expecting inflation to take off, while wages won’t keep up.
- The deportation of immigrants will be much more limited than promised and won’t create job openings that most people want. The administration has already signaled that deportation will focus on people with criminal records, which is less than 1/3 of known undocumented workers in the US.
- Tax policy changes will benefit the rich but not workers.
- Politics will remain messy and there are likely to be more acts of violence. The election resolved nothing.
- There’s a good chance Trump won’t get a second term. His legal problems are ground for impeachment, with the precedent set when the GOP went after Bill Clinton. So he might not even survive the first term.
Trump can’t do what he promised in the campaign. Now, his supporters are going to see how big that gap is. Or he could find a miracle, but there was no evidence in the campaign that he has that sort of skill.
- The Clintons need to retire and let Chelsea have her turn without their hindrance. The Bush family needs to do likewise. Its time for the Old Regime to fade into history.
- The Black community needs to find common ground with Latinos. Blacks are a shrinking minority and unless they build bridges, eventually their power will wane with their numbers. By mid-century, there will be no majority group, but Blacks will rank behind Latinos and Asians in size.
- Latinos need to quit fighting each other. Their fragmentation is what keeps them from political power. Wherever your are from, your economic and political issues here are the same.