And we thought the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series was historic.
In a massive FU to the ruling class that bailed out Wall Street then sold out Main Street, the American people elected boorish billionaire and reality TV star Donald J. Trump as its 45th president yesterday. It was a stunning rebuke not only to his Democratic challenger and status quo candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, but to the current President Barack Obama, and the Republican Party hierarchy as well.
Not since Old Hickory, Andy Jackson, rode into Washington from Nashville in 1829 has such a pure populist insurgent been handed the reins of power by the American electorate. But even Jackson had a record of military and political service. Trump is the first man elected to the nation’s highest office as a complete novice, with no military or political experience of any kind in his CV.
Never once ahead in the polls in the election run up, Trump’s shocking victory and Clinton’s perilous fall announced to the world that a powerful anti-establishment, anti-elite, anti-immigrant movement had arrayed itself behind the Trump banner. And while this movement is coming FROM the people, it is also true that it is not really OF the people, as Trump is no more one of the people than Mitt Romney was. Never has been, never will be.
But in the absence of an acceptable choice from the Dems, Trump wielded his “Make America Great Again” slogan like a conjurer’s stone until even true blue states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin succumbed to the fever dream offered by the New York real estate tycoon.
And it didn’t matter that Trump has never once experienced the kind of difficulties that led millions of people to throw in with him. He was no American Lech Walesa, the Polish electrician who co-founded Poland’s Solidarity Movement and led a workers’ strike in the shipyards of Gdansk in 1981 that began the dismantling of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.
But in the absence of a person who comes directly from the ranks of the disenfranchised, Donald Trump’s populist message and bombastic braggadocio was seized upon as the imperfect vessel to hold the frustrations and hopes of this country’s under-served, and non-represented.