Whoa! What the heck happened?
It was not ‘simply’ amazing. It was astounding. Unbelievable. Incredible. Historic.
And, yes, I guess amazing is another great adjective to use.
Like many Americans, I was glued to the television on Tuesday night, watching the election returns come in.
I had planned on catching up on some other work while having the TV on in the background so I could pay a little bit of attention to how long it would take before Hillary Clinton would be declared the winner.
That’s right. I fully expected her to win, and truthfully, to win rather handily. After watching the entire year and half of this election process, I, like many others, was pretty sure there was no way in h-e-double hockey sticks that Donald Trump could possibly win this election.
But he did.
Let me get one thing straight right off the bat. I did not really want him to win. But I?didn’t want Clinton to win either. As loyal readers of this column know, I have written many times that I was not happy with either candidate. And, I lamented several times that it was a shame that the best the Democratic and Republican parties could give us was Hillary and Donald.
But, I am a realist. I knew one of them would win. And I was positive we were in for a second President Clinton.
The reason why? Because she was running against Donald Trump. I?figured that the Republicans had basically given Clinton the keys back to the White House the second Trump was nominated.
I had figured that almost any of the other Republican candidates could defeat Clinton, given her past history. But when it was Trump who won the primaries, I figured it was all over for the Republican’s chances of taking back the White House.
I?became more sure of that when the campaign went on and on and Trump said or did something outrageous nearly every week.
No presidential candidate could survive doing and saying what he did, I figured.
But again, I?figured wrong. He not only survived, he thrived.
Now I have totally changed my mind. I once thought that Trump was the Republican candidate who had the least chance of defeating Clinton. Turns out, he probably was the only Republican candidate who had a chance of defeating her.
No Republican candidate in a long time has been able to turn that many states to red as he did. Not since Ronald Reagan.
So, how did this possibly happen? Well, first Trump used the fact that there were so many other Republican candidates in the primaries. He might have only been receiving 30 percent of the vote, but the other 70 percent was split between 10 to 12 other people.
Then in the General Election contest, he used his being a non-politician, a Washington outsider, a self-proclaimed leader for change, and an “I tell it like it is,” attitude to sway a whole lot of people to vote for him.
A whole lot more people than anyone, especially the news media and the political pollsters, had any idea about.
They were all shocked. So were a lot of folks. Me included.
It reminds me a lot of 1998, when Minnesotans woke up to find out that they had elected a professional wrestler, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, as their governor.
He also galvanized the people who were unhappy with status quo politics and wanted change.
And it seems to me that our former Guv, Ventura, offered to become Donald Trump’s running mate.
But I digress.
Now that it is over, the next question is, of course, what kind of a president will Donald Trump be?
Many are fearful of what he might do as president. Many have little faith he will do any good, and think he will probably do a whole lot of harm.
But, I think there has been a feeling of doom after every election, especially when there is a change in the political party that is in charge. My Republican friends were convinced we were headed to World War III after John Kennedy was elected, and my Democrat friends thought the same thing when Nixon was elected.
My hope and prayer is that our president-elect Donald Trump surrounds himself with some very smart, savvy and politically experienced people, and that just like he miraculously won the election, he now miraculously becomes a decent president.
Of course, I am an eternal optimist. I even believe the Minnesota Vikings can still salvage this season.