Wesley Stine, Copy Editor
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, the American people voted for a major change in the way their country is governed. Donald Trump won the presidency with 306 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232, and he did it by winning three states—Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania—that have not voted for a Republican since the 1980s. Trump won by promising change, running on a pragmatic agenda, and reaching out to the working man.
First, Trump won by running on a platform of big change—a point which many who voted for him think that President Obama failed to deliver on. While Mr. Trump’s opponents have cast his unexpected success as a reactionary attack on everything good that America has achieved in the last half-century, a fairer assessment of his victory is that it was the biggest blow dealt to the ruling oligarchy in the same timeframe.
Far from being an attack on America’s tradition of equality (even a cursory examination of Trump’s business history will reveal that he is neither a racist nor a misogynist), Donald Trump’s surprise victory is an affirmation of the American people’s refusal to be ruled by a government that neglects their interests and generally looks down on them.
Trump won by running on a pragmatic agenda—“Jobs, national security, terrorism, family values and education, in that order,” in the words of campaign chairman Paul Manafort – with positions that, despite what many in the media have said, are for the most part more moderate than standard GOP fare. His anti-elitism and detest for everything politically correct sent a loud message that, in the struggle between the people and the ruling class, he is a man of the people.
Donald Trump’s long history of success in business underscores his appeal as a man who can get things done. “I’ll give you an example,” he said during the first debate. He continued, “We’re just opening up on Pennsylvania Avenue right next to the White House… Under budget, ahead of schedule, saved tremendous money…. And that’s what this country should be doing…. the budget is bad to a large extent because we have people that have no idea as to what to do and how to buy.
The Trump International is way under budget and way ahead of schedule. And we should be able to do that for our country.”
While it would be unreasonable not to entertain doubts as to whether Trump’s business acumen will really pay off to the extent he says it would, it would be a considerably worse mistake to keep giving power to the proven failure that is the political establishment.
Finally, Trump won by reaching out to the working man. “The rich people don’t like me,” Trump said at the beginning of his campaign. “I get along much better with the middle class,” he pointed out. The November election confirmed this attestment—according to New York Times exit polls, Trump’s support peaked in the $50,000 – $100,000 annual income bracket. He dragged the Republican Party out of its century-long run as the champion of the wealthy, saying: “Five, ten years from now—different party. You’re going to have a worker’s party.”
Trump’s election is a victory for men and women who believe in prosperity for the American worker, strength in the face of terrorism, and an American government that works for Americans rather than foreigners. It is a victory for those who believe that immigrants should come to our country legally, that the United States should avoid wars that don’t serve its interests, and that policy should be set by elected officials, not lobbyists, bureaucrats or activist judges. In short, it is a victory for government by the people, for the people, and of the people.