Who won? Who lost? Here are the four biggest losers and four biggest winners. Least to biggest in each category, unfiltered, and to the best of my ability without bias.
First, the losers in Election 2016. Who lost the least progressing to who lost the most:
Hillary R. Clinton
HRC lost the least. Ms. Clinton is disappointed, justifiably, but she will recover. She will make speeches, and work with the Clinton Foundation, and will find her way after this setback.
If she will treasure it, she possesses a wonderful resume of significant service to our country. She has much to celebrate.
Should there be a hint of criminal charges for her misdeeds, one would anticipate an official pardon from Mr. Obama on his last night in office.
The Democratic Party
Next biggest loser is the Democratic Party. For decades, a central core of this party’s electorate has been working-class, blue-collar, middle-income males. In significant mass, these voters abandoned the Democratic Party and voted for Trump.
Trump’s rhetoric gave voice to this group’s concerns that heretofore have felt shameful and intolerant, so they kept them to themselves, e.g. concerns about Muslim immigration, failure to respect the rule of law, bad trade deals, governance by Executive Order, government ineptitude, and so forth. Once voiced, their internal concerns were legitimized and became matters of public record and election-year politics.
The Democratic Party took these people for granted, not even bothering to court them. Instead, as they aligned with Trump, the Party and its sympathizers criticized them as uneducated, racist, misogynistic, and the like—and suffering personal insult and disenfranchisement, in critical mass they converted to a Populism now embodied in the Republican Party via Trump’s victory.
This voting block is now like a lover spurned. Their concerns legitimized by Trump’s candor, this election process underscores that the Democratic Party no longer respects them, values them, or cares about them.
While this group of voters is many things, above all they are proud and loyal. They are the people upon whose shoulders you build a nation. It is the height of insult for the Democratic Party to devalue this voting block because they do not have a college degree.
The message has been clear: “uneducated” means ignorant, backward, less than, dumb. In a word, the front person for the Democratic Party, HRC, termed these people, “deplorable.”
Clinton charmed at a GLBT fund-raiser saying, “You could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.” There was no defense from the Democratic Party, no indignation, no outrage—and the deplorable voters left in droves. Like an insulted family member, they will not be back.
Since Mr. Trump garnered nearly 60 million votes, it is clear to approximately 30 million Americans that the Democratic Party believes them “deplorable.” That’s 25% of the voting populace, give or take.
With a popular President and the confidence of not thinking they could lose, the Democratic Party lost. They forgot how they rose to prominence and abused the loyal population of people who used to be their power base. Thus, the DNC is in grave danger of losing far more than the elections of 2016.
Runner-up to biggest loser is the media, i.e. the pollsters, pundits, television, radio, newspaper, social media gurus, and campaign professionals. Everything these folks purported, reported, endorsed, opined over, polled, criticized, and publicized was misguided, biased, indefensibly negligent, and outright wrong. Media models, assessments, expertise, and numbers are demonstrably flawed and as a professional group, they are unreliable.
The media rabidly defended their journalistic integrity and railed against Trump for accusing them of bias. Now that the election has stripped off all the varnish, there is NO question that the media was duplicitous while defending their honor.
There might be a recovery plan to be engaged, but it would certainly necessitate significant humility. Not a strong suit for the media.
The media lost in 2016. They lost their integrity, their trust, and their platform. The media will not go away, but only drones will believe what they espouse.
President, Barak H. Obama
The biggest loser in the Election of 2016 is, Barak Obama. His hubris and devotion to personal legacy propelled him to link his legacy to a Clinton election.
He was demeaning to blacks, notably at the NAACP meeting a few weeks ago, when he condescended to tell them how to vote, going so far as to say that if they didn’t vote the way he wanted them to, he would take that as a personal insult. Predictably, self-respecting blacks were insulted and didn’t do what he commanded. His tactic backfired—on Ms. Clinton, but more so on him.
Media from CNN to the New Republic assess the results of the 2016 election as a repudiation of Obama’s legacy. Mr. Obama gambled and made Ms. Clinton’s election an affirmation that he did a good job as POTUS.
The centerpieces of Mr. Obama’s administration—the Iran Nuclear Deal, AFA (Obamacare), immigration, and climate change—are all jeopardized with Mr. Trump’s election and the Republican majorities in Congress. During his terms, and given the difficult political environment in DC, President Obama governed significantly by Executive Order, rhetoric versus policy, and with surging popularity, his bully pulpit. While heady and powerful in the moment, these approaches to governance face significant uncertainly with a successor who is ideologically in disagreement with the President’s legacy and who will soon be in possession of a powerful pen himself.
President Obama is officially a lame duck and has to be the most despondent man in America, post-election.
The winners, from least to greatest. An asterisk beside the category indicates contingency:
Skilled Immigrants *
The winner who won the least, is the skilled immigrant. America is a country of immigrants. While a Trump candidacy promised deportation of illegals and a border wall to slow immigration from Mexico, a revised immigration policy would likely favor skilled immigrants who can help “make America great again.”
This is an immigration policy that has worked well in Canada. Oddly, with celebrities and others threatening to move to Canada if their candidate lost, media has explored Canadian policies, including immigration. Their policy works well, it seems. Much better than ours, as it turns out.
What is the Canadian policy? They deport illegals and court skilled immigrants. Opposite to USA policy. Why have the Canadians adopted this policy? They say it is to bring people to their country who can help make Canada great.
President Elect, Donald J. Trump *
Clinton and Trump ran a nasty, roguish, crass, insulting campaign unlike anything living Americans have witnessed. For the media, this was like blood to sharks. Mr. Trump, the reality television star, thick-skinned, outspoken, distinctive, and fiercely independent proved the better professional actor and media personality than did Ms. Clinton.
The media couldn’t help but feed on Trump’s chum in the waters of Twitter and town halls. For Trump, he gloated with satisfaction as the media circled waiting for the next blood to be spilled. As a marketed brand, which “Trump” is, there is no such thing as bad publicity. In their zeal to dismiss him, the media did more to elect Donald Trump POTUS than any other group.
But the brawl is over. Now Trump enters the world of handlers who are far more addicted to power than he ever thought about being.
Navigating the Washington world that spends the equivalent of Trump’s net worth in up-down votes requires shrewd politics and governance. Trump has lumped this necessity under “negotiation” and fancies himself an expert in the art of the deal. The world stage is set with Putin, Netanyahu, Xi, and the Ayatollah. These men are not chumps and have played havoc with Obama’s foreign policy. Time will tell.
Mr. Trump won but is not entering the White House with a mandate. Establishment Republicans yesterday declared a Trump mandate. This is utter foolishness. That they even use that word further insults an angry populace that already disapproves of them almost utterly.
There is rioting in the streets, the flag is being burned, and Twitter is alive with calls to assassinate President-elect Trump. Can he heal the divided country?
It is the job of the media to dig until they construct a reliable story. But having been grossly negligent in their jobs, we have NOTHING cohesive to predict a Trump presidency.
Trump won the election. Time will tell if Mr. Trump wins as POTUS.
The Republican Party *
Runner-up to biggest winner is the Republican Party.
James Carville, the Clinton-era Democratic strategist, stated a few weeks ago that he had never witnessed an entire political party march over a cliff. But at the last moment, the Republican Party is saved, redefined, and in power.
In an odd twist, the core of the Democratic Party voted Republican in significant majority. The Republican Party has the potential of resurgence if they do not waste their opportunity. Not since Reagan has the GOP been given such a political gift.
If a President Trump can indeed put America back to work, rebuild infrastructure, clean up the inner cities, and do something tangible to drain the DC swamp the Republicans will become the dominant party of the future and the Democratic Party will be the party that fractures.
But if the Republicans fumble, as they have consistently done since the passing of Lee Atwater, in 2-4 years the Republicans will have an identity crisis of their own and the party landscape of America will be up for grabs.
You would think that even the arrogance of DC would realize the American people are really, really angry with business as usual. But the Majority Leader of the Senate said yesterday he and his colleagues will not even consider term limits, a Trump campaign promise. Dear GOP: A very angry and disgruntled American people is paying attention. Does Brexit ring a bell? Have you already forgotten the election of a complete outsider four days ago?
The Republican Party has been given a reprieve to restructure, not a mandate for business as usual. The GOP won, but they only won an election.
The Supreme Court
The only winner without an asterisk is the United States Supreme Court and they are the biggest winner in 2016.
If you are a conservative, this makes immediate sense. If you are a liberal, the idea of a conservative court is a loss to your values. But I’m not evaluating conservative or liberal. I’m assessing the Court’s ability to do what the Court is supposed to do. The Court has been off balance for several years, as I’ll discuss, and with the Election of 2016 is positioned to regain its balance.
Not only is there a seat on the Court to be filled, but Justice Ginsberg stepped outside the bounds of Court etiquette with repeated, superlative criticism of Mr. Trump during the election. She went so far to declare she would resign her seat on the bench and move to New Zealand if Trump is elected. Her substantial and public disregard for nonpartisanship by a Supreme Court Justice disqualifies her, not by resume, but character failure as a Justice. I suspect America senses this even though it has gone without proper analysis.
In 2010, during his State of the Union Address, President Obama chastised the Court. What resulted was an unfortunate and awkward embarrassment of the defenseless Justices in front of the nation and world.
It is within the President’s privilege to say whatever he wants to say during the State of the Union Address. While chastisement of the Court by POTUS in that venue is very rare, it is not without precedent.
But on this night, whether intended or not, the President embodied the petulant bully while his supporters cheered his unfair advantage. The television image said it all. Supporters of the President jumped to their feet cheering, surrounding the seated, defenseless, unsuspecting, nonpartisan Justices who are honor-bound to sit motionless and without expression. America knew this was unbecoming of us and sensed an important respect and balance was compromised.
Of course, Justice Alito, now famously, did react, silently mouthing disagreement—and to my point, the Court was dragged into the mire and muck of partisan politics. Thus, the Court’s standing, reputation, and nonpartisan legal analysis was thrown off kilter and has been so for several years.
Now that the election is determined, the Supreme Court will quickly be seated with a new Justice. If Justice Ginsberg is true to her word, there will be two seats to fill.
One would think the Court will take this opportunity to re-balance itself, take again the decorum we need the Court to maintain, and get back to the job for which they are appointed. While the opinion of the Court bodes unhappiness for liberals, the reestablishment of the Court will be good for them.
Thus, to the extent anything can be guaranteed in Washington, the only guaranteed winner of the 206 Election is SCOTUS.
As a writer, I often write to think. Post-election I went to my keyboard to do just that. By sharing my observations, perhaps if you are in search of traction to assess what happened, these ideas will gain you leverage to assess our evolving democracy, the great American experiment.