The total as of this writing was Trump with 279 Electoral votes from approximately 59,441,968 (47.5%) popular vote while Clinton held 259 Electoral votes from approximately 59,649,606 (47.7%) popular votes. Once again the election goes opposite the popular vote, something often criticized as are the men who designed the Electoral College such that the big state numbers have their advantage but face it being slightly marginalized by the setup of the Electoral system. First let us indulge in a quick review on how the Electoral College works and the reasoning for it being used by the United States. The system is easily broken down. Every state and the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. all get two electors for what is their Senatorial representation (Washington D.C, is treated as if it were a small state with representation of a single delegate in the House of Representatives and two Senators). After this each state receives an elector for each Representative they hold in the House of Representatives. California receives fifty-three Electors for their fifty-three Representatives plus two more for their Senators for a total of fifty-five Electors. Wyoming receives a single Elector for their sole Representatives plus two for their Senators for a total of three Electors. This allots greater representation per person for Wyoming over California by a ratio over five-to-one and it is this type of disparity which causes many to loathe the system. The reason the Founding Fathers went with this seemingly convoluted system was identical to the reason for a bicameral Congress with one side, the House of Representatives, set by population thus favoring the larger states and the other side, the Senate, with two per state providing the states themselves with equal representation regardless of population size or land mass. The Founding Fathers realized that should they have permitted straight democracy that this would have produced mass rule, followed soon by mob rule and then collapse as had every democracy throughout history, and they desired building a nation which would be more stable. The main difference came about when the House of Representatives ceased being based on one Representative per set number of people to a set cap of four-hundred-thirty-five Representatives and the States receiving a minimum of one Representative and the remainder allotted proportionally. This also capped the Electors in the Electoral College at five-hundred-thirty-eight once Washington D.C. was allotted three Electors despite not having any actual representation in the Congress.
Next we need talk about the polling data being so skewed throughout the campaign and only closing in the final thirty-six hours though the lead did narrow slowly before the rush to even the night before Election Day. There are numerous claims as to why the polls consistently favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. One claim was that their intent was to press the idea that Trump could not win, period. This would, in theory, berate Trump supporters with so much bad news wearing them down such that they would give up and not bother to vote. The problem with this tactic is the vast number of Trump voters fell into two main categories, those who believed that a President Trump was the answer to America’s woes and those who were voting to emphasize their view that America was failing them and its Constitution. The first group was true believers with many voting for their first time despite having been registered for years. This was evidenced by the record number of voters in Republican primary elections. These people would have walked over burning embers to have voted Trump just as Hillary Clinton’s true believers were voting for her no matter what. The second group was making their voice heard loud and clear as they had a message for America and thus were determined to vote. A majority of Trump voters were with him at the start when he was one amongst seventeen and stayed the course. The third group of Trump supporters was the “stop the Hildabeast” and would stop at almost nothing to prevent the catastrophic consequences of Hillary Clinton being coronated President. Trump was not their choice, he was their life raft and these people were highly motivated to vote but were also motivated not to tell pollsters the truth about their vote choice. There was a minimum number of people who were pulling the Trump lever in the voting booth who were not firmly entrenched in the ranks of Trump supporters though for many a varied and different reason but were all there for the whole four quarters and would have remained just as committed should the race have gone into sudden-death overtime, which it came close to doing.
Then there is the fact that the media is skewed to the left end of the political spectrum. When one considers that Fox News is touted, even victimized cast as a reactionary, right-wing, extremist, conservative to the point of reactionary news station where every anchor and host must prove their ultra-conservative bonafides in order to get in the door, then it becomes obvious that the remainder of the news is far more liberal and even leftist by comparison. What then pushes the rest of the news syndicates even further left is this definition of every and any-body of note at Fox News is, by definition, ultra-pure reactionary-conservative which presumably includes, wait, wait, wait for it, Chris Wallace (see image below). As per the link, Chris Wallace worked at ABC News for 14 years where he served as the senior correspondent for Primetime Thursday and a substitute host for Nightline. Before that Chris Wallace served a NBC’s Chief White House correspondent from 1982-1989. Chris Wallace moderated Meet the Press from 1987-1988. Chris Wallace also anchored the Sunday edition of NBC Nightly News from 1982-1984 and 1986-1987. Chris Wallace began his career with NBC at WNBC-TV (NBC 4) in New York in 1975. Chris Wallace is, at the most extreme of his leaning right, a moderate of impeccable discernment. Fox News is considered to be so far to the right because the rest of the news groups live with the academics in unassailable Ivory Towers found only in the extreme leftward climes. Fox News is to the right of almost all news services with the exception of CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) and a few select others and many on-line commentators most of whom have their following and limited audiences. Like in all things political, it is all relative to where you yourself choose to stand. Us, well, we stand so far off to the outside that we fall Beyond the Cusp.
Meanwhile, let’s get back to the election. Donald Trump did win, so stop pinching yourself. Hillary Clinton gave an honest and worthy concession speech in which she expressed her hopes that though she was not fated to break that glass ceiling, that perhaps one of her many supporters, possibly one in the hall listening as she spoke, would be the woman to break through shattering that glass ceiling once and for all. Trump was gracious as well in his victory comment where he praised Hillary Clinton for her determined and high pressure campaign which had pushed him to strive and become a better person in response. Trump thanked and congratulated the Republican candidates and politicians who backed him for their support. He thanked Dr. Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, his family including parents, brother, his other brother who has passed on, his wife, children and so on and thanked a number of workers he noted in the crowd. He was the real Donald Trump, the Donald who stops and talks with the guys digging the ditches at a construction site and the carpenters, brick layers, crane operators all before, after and even during holding higher level talks with the foremen, supervisor and engineers. This is one trait which makes the Donald who he is and why so many speak so highly of him, he actually takes the time to recognize everyone and give all a piece of the praise and credit. We will need to wait and see how this translates to the insular nature of the Presidency and life in a bubble, a very nice bubble, but a big white mansion style bubble called, remarkably, the White House. One thing for sure, being President is far more challenging than running for President and we are about to watch a capable man try and meet the biggest challenge of his life and starting out with two outs, man on second base, a three balls two strike count down five runs in the top of the third inning. It will be vital to equip himself with a top notch team as he cannot, nor would we here at Beyond the Cusp wish, run the effort almost singlehandedly. His pick for running mate showed good judgement and was wise but it will have to wait for more trust, let alone praise, to be lauded upon Donald Trump. He will have an excellent chance to prove his metal right out of the box filling the huge gaping hole left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia in the Supreme Court bench. This selection will act as an initial window to Trump’s soul, an entity which was called into suspect early on by some stalwarts of the Republican Party. Should this choice not fully measure, up these suspicions are very likely to reappear and do so very quickly.
The main Cabinet appointments will come at the State Department, Secretary of Defense, Education Secretary and United Nations Ambassador. For this last office returning John Bolton, should he decide to be available, would be a strong start. Rudy Giuliani would be a strong choice for any high profile position but might be best used to either lead the deconstruction of the Department of Education returning virtually all power down as locally as possible and keep almost nothing in Washington D.C. which could save many a school system as they would be liberated to spend all their time on teaching and none on meeting testing requirements, indoctrinations ordered from Washington and meeting near endless paperwork requiring additional staff who are not in any manner connected to teaching. They simply document compliances and send the forms to their school district, county, city, state, Washington D.C. and file copies with the office, every vice Principle, the Principle(s), Advisors, required teachers, required parents and whomever and whatever else is demanded. Some of these forms are actually daily reports and that is what many school systems have become, report generators which produce endless streams of paperwork and uneducated graduates whose school years are documented thus presumed productive. Donald Trump’s choice on who leads the Veterans Administration will be carefully watched as will any changes which are implemented. Here is another place where paperwork takes precedent over actual work. Hopefully Donald Trump will be able to bring a fair number of real administrators and managers from the real world into government positions where they can do some real good for the government and its ability to serve the people. Needless to go further than to simply say his appointments will speak very loudly and hopefully be armed with Teddy Roosevelt style big sticks. Tell the truth, not only do the people of the United States await Donald Trump’s important appointments’ names, but many around the world are also waiting to see who he is able and desires for top spots, especially his inner circle which includes but may not be limited to the Foreign Affairs Advisor, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Security Advisor, Joint Chiefs of Staff amongst others. What will be another indicator is who a President Trump calls to the White House from the Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate as well as who, if any, he invites from the Democrat side of Congress. These choices could prove to be greatly tactical as it may establish who a President Trump feels will best work with him on his agenda.
In conclusion, it will be educational once we start to see the choices Donald Trump makes officially sending to the Senate for their review and vote and those he keeps close under his vest and does not seek the Senate’s approval. Will a President Trump continue the underhanded and unethical practice of having “Czars” who actually perform an identical function as the Secretary over a department who the Senate passed review such that the President had two advisors for all too many departments and the actual Secretary was often left out of the loop and the Czar would actually run the show dictating policy and decisions to the actual Secretary serving the Cabinet. This was simply the means President Obama appointed some controversial people granting them the power equal or higher than the Cabinet Secretary while avoiding Senatorial oversite as per the Constitution. Ending this practice and setting up even a Constitutional Amendment which would define people with certain powers and responsibilities regardless of their title requiring Congressional oversight and be vetted and approved by the Senate as does any other appointee with such powers. Such a move might not prevent a future President from acting in a similar manner but it will empower Congress to then act having the Constitutional leverage to do so. Remember that the first hundred days often set the tone between a President and the Congress, people, national leaders and the world in general. Trump’s initial steps in the Middle East and North Africa will reveal his true foreign policy outlook. The man will be walking into the middle of a forest surrounded by swampland with an angry beehive just over his shoulder and a bear coming for the honeycomb sure to disturb the hive. It will likely be a dark and threatening sky with a hard rain approaching and tornado sirens blaring in all directions. Welcome to happy old Washington D.C. where this is the standard start of a day with a bright outlook and do not ask how a bad day starts, just hope you never find out but as a hint, it usually follows a night where you did not sleep and will be making a speech to the nation the coming night to explain that which you are not totally sure you understand, but make that speech and speak of the solution and whatever you do, do not let them see you sweat and make sure you are dressed appropriate to the news and pray that you get to sleep more than three hours the next night. Mr. President; President Trump, welcome to the world where real people play the game of risk with real wars full of intrigue and always an unknown factor lurks just beyond the cusp out of view arising only at the worst possible time, and we have not even spoken about the media. Media has a single rule you must always remember, they are not your friend, your buddy or somebody you should ever trust because you are the biggest story they have even if they need make up two thirds, they will do so thus be ever vigilant when speaking and they are visible as that places them within hearing that one-third out of which they can manufacture a scandal, and they get paid to do just that. Good Luck and may Heaven assist and guide you throughout your Presidency.
Beyond the Cusp