President Trump: The Good, the Bad, and the Great
One of my favorite political pastimes is the sport of prediction: from the results of the earliest caucuses, to a wide range of various Senatorial and congressional races back in 2014, I thoroughly enjoy predicting the immediate political future, even if I’m proven wrong.
And, of course, the most unpredictable thing is the possibility of a Trump victory. The second most unpredictable thing is the fallout from said outcome.
So let’s kill two birds with one stone: What will happen if Donald Trump miraculously wins? As the last sentence indicates, this piece will be operating under the assumption that Trump has already won the presidency (which, in my honest opinion, he already has). I won’t dwell for too long on the “why” and the “how” of his victory itself, as I have already discussed a number of factors, that no one else is really talking about, that could very well make him our 45th president. Just a few quick buzz phrases to set up the context: Shy Trump Supporters (or “Shy Tories”), where conservative voters are afraid to tell pollsters whom they’re actually voting for; a landslide margin among independents, as Trump has consistently been polling much better than Hillary among independents (especially in the last debate); a stronger-than-usual (but not strong enough) performance of Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, mostly taking away would-be Clinton voters; the significant enthusiasm gap between Trump and Clinton, heavily favoring Trump; and the influence of potential “Trump Democrats” (blue-collar, working-class, low-educated voters who normally vote Democratic, but are drawn to Trump’s protectionist ideas), which will put him over the top on November the 8th.
First, I will discuss the immediate and short-term effects, based more on the reaction to Trump’s victory rather than the victory itself.
The Left will experience a rapidly sped-up version of the Kübler-Ross model of the “five stages of grief.” The media will deny the results, in pure disbelief at the exit polls and the handful of traditionally blue states that have just gone red. Completely dumbfounded at the result, they’ll try to insist that perhaps other states may change the outcome – such as the long-shot hopes of such states as Georgia and Texas actually turning blue.
Then, almost simultaneously, the radical left will jump right into the anger stage: There will be riots. This is the part I hate to admit, but we will undoubtedly see riots in some of the more liberal states and cities in the country, consisting primarily of young people and Black Lives Matter rioters who can’t come to terms with the fact that their worst nightmare has just been elected. The media will try to hype up these riots as proof that Trump should not be allowed to take office, but the landslide of the actual results will make such arguments impossible, and render the rioters as members of an obviously pathetic minority in the country.
The third stage, bargaining, will be skipped right over. This will be in large part due to the Republicans already having the majority needed in Congress. While I do believe that many Trump voters have just as much disdain for the Republican Party as the Democrats, they will see that the best way to get Trump’s agenda passed is to maintain, if not increase, the GOP majority in Congress. They will hold the House, and possibly increase their majority there (though not by much), and most likely hold their narrow minority in the Senate. Due to the large number of Republican seats on defense and so few possible pickups of Democratic seats, the most we could see from this is a GOP victory in Harry Reid’s seat in Nevada, and maybe a surprise victory in Colorado (a state that I think could actually be a surprise red state for Trump as well), which will offset some inevitable defeats in states like Illinois.
Then, the left will eventually enter the longest stage: depression. The media and Democratic narratives will be that it’s the end of America as we know it. An authoritarian has taken office, wars will start, the poor will get poorer, the economy will tank, etc., etc. For the remainder of Trump’s four (or eight) years in office, they will be railing against him nonstop, but they will remain helpless in stopping the implementation of his agenda, and the repudiation of the last eight years of Democrat-supported policies.
Also, another quick short-term symptom of shock at Trump’s victory: the stock market will plunge. Despite the obvious fact that he’ll be far better for the economy than Hillary, the market still hates uncertainty above all else; and nothing carries a heavier connotation of uncertainty than a Donald Trump presidency. Like Brexit, the plunge will be very serious, but very short – perhaps over the course of just a few days – and will then disappear. In about a week or two, the stock market will be right back to where it was before the election, if not gradually increasing.
Now this all may seem rather far-fetched, considering Trump’s recent slump in the polls. However, I maintain that these polls are not to be trusted, for two major reasons. First, as I mentioned earlier, the “Shy Tory” effect is undoubtedly at play here. Many potential Trump voters are unwilling to admit to pollsters whom they actually support - not surprising, given the stigma that the left slaps onto all Trump supporters as every “phobic” in the book. Thus, these voters are likely to just decline to state, or even declare “support” for another candidate such as Gary Johnson. Thus, the polls show one result while the actual result is something else entirely. This phenomenon is not just a theory, either - it has been witnessed in practice very recently, with both the United Kingdom’s 2015 general election and the Brexit vote, where most of the polls in both instances showed one outcome as the clear winner, but the actual outcome was the exact opposite.
Second, recent polling has been exposed as having ridiculously-biased samples that are skewered towards one demographic in particular. Polls such as Reuters, NBC, and CBS have been caught with poll samples that heavily over-sample Democrats over Republicans and Independents, by margins as high as 6-7 percent, or even 10 percent, when the actual margin between the parties, in terms of voter registration, is roughly 1% or less. Even lifelong Democrat Pad Caddell slammed the Reuters poll, saying “Never in my life have I seen a news organization do something so dishonest.”
Now I can pull up any handful of polls, no matter how prominent, and people will still say something along the lines of: “How are these few examples representative of all the polls?” You’d be surprised. Again, if some of the most well-known polls such as Reuters and NBC can skewer their demographics and (mostly) get away with it, then what’s to stop most other such polls from doing the same?
In the upcoming Part 2, I’ll go into more specifics about the long-lasting implications of a Trump presidency, on such areas as domestic policy and the status of both of America’s major parties.
You can follow the author @EricLendrum26