As I write this, all fifty of the United States are currently voting in the 2016 Presidential election. Polls will begin closing in about five hours, and if the final projections that came out this morning hold true, Hillary Clinton should have the votes necessary to clinch the election shortly before midnight Eastern time. I’ve written extensively about the race on this blog, and feel some sense of obligation to provide some final thoughts.
I declared my disgust for The Fraud long before he became the Republican nominee, and over the past several months he’s proven to be even more boorish, unstable, and potentially dangerous than I had imagined. When his inadvertent confession to sexual assault was released to the public, I was sadly unsurprised; I had already dismissed him as a serious candidate without considering his behavior towards women, but it’s been good to see that behavior come back to punish him with what I hope will be a convincing defeat. In The Fraud’s juvenile view, there are only two types of people in the world: winners and losers. If there is any justice, history will place The Fraud in the latter category starting tonight.
But I remain unenthusiastic about his opponent, and likely winner. Electing its first female President is certainly a big deal, and my country will feel satisfaction from having reached that milestone until sometime around next February, as attention returns to the dirty business of leading the country. The economy will get better, then worse, then better again; several changes to improve access to health care will be proposed, but none will be approved; somebody with a gun or a bomb will kill a lot of people, so we’ll start yelling at each other until we’re exhausted and then not do a damn thing to prevent the same thing from happening again. And two years from today, we’ll elect a whole bunch of congressmen from the other party, then complain about gridlock.
There will be speculation about the demise of the Republican Party, having just lost the popular vote for the sixth time in the last seven Presidential elections. However, I have complete faith in the Democratic Party’s ability to screw up its advantage. The Democrats have become a party of conservative elitists, and its younger and more liberal members, the ones who came out so strongly for Bernie Sanders earlier this year, are not going to like being ignored. A rift will emerge in the Democratic Party, a divide as wide as the one we’re seeing now within the GOP; within eight or perhaps even four years, membership in the two major American political parties will once again be almost equal, as the number of independent voters increases.
But the fate of political parties, while entertaining to observe, is really inconsequential. What mostly concerns me now is the immediate impact of what has been a nasty election campaign. The Fraud’s repeated threat to challenge the result should he lose is chilling enough; what is even more disturbing is the possibility of someone even worse trying to outdo him four years from now. America, the land of the melting pot, has always recovered from its sporadic bouts of xenophobia — yet this year, appeals to nativism has brought a maniac to within a few percentage points of the White House. I fear that whoever comes next might be more politically clever than The Fraud, but no less dangerous.
America is about to elect its first female President, and send The Fraud back to h0sting his crappy TV show; we should feel good about both accomplishments. But while the contest ends today, the struggle does not, and I hope we continue to make wise decisions in our future battles.