For some people, the 2016 U.S. presidential election result seems shocking and unexpected. These people have underestimated the desire for change that was held by a large percentage of the U.S. electorate. Change not only of the presidency, but of how that presidency represents the U.S. population. After the banking collapse and bailouts in 2008, the tepid economic recovery, unresolved issues of the Occupy Movement, shrinking of the middle class, the unfulfilled promise of Obamacare to make healthcare affordable – while at the same time corporate executives receive millions of dollars in bonuses and compensation, not as remuneration for a job well done, but because they are executives and can give themselves huge bonuses. Voters hold disdain for candidates running for congressional and senate seats and receive huge corporate donations to help them get elected, then after serving their terms, become lobbyists for the same corporations to maintain their inside track with the next government.
The perception of those wanting change was that Hillary Clinton was the embodiment of the establishment – a longtime politician, wife of a two term president, funded by large corporate interests, especially the banking sector and she was also seen as someone who could not relate to lower income Americans. Clinton’s statement on September 9, 2016, at a rally in New York City, where she said, “you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables” did not help to change the perception held by many in the U.S. that Clinton is elitist and out of touch with mainstream America.
Trump was the only one of the Republican presidential hopefuls that tapped into this desire by a large part of the U.S. electorate for a candidate of change that would represent the individual before the corporation. The only presidential hopeful that had mass appeal to the Democratic electorate that were looking for the same anti-establishment change qualities in a candidate, was Bernie Sanders. Sanders was an Independent running on the Democratic ticket that came very close to unseating Clinton from her perceived destiny of leading the Democratic Party into the 2016 election and winning the White House. Behind the scenes Democratic National Committee shenanigans by DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz helped to thwart Sanders from attaining his goal of the presidency.
One has to wonder, if on the ballot, it were these two candidates representing change, would the people have voted into the White House the one who is a bombastic, xenophobic, sexist billionaire, or the one who has a history of helping the less fortunate, no skeletons in any closet and a net worth of less than $500,000? The answer to that we will never know. What is to be seen is if Trump can fulfill his promise to represent those who voted for him – the angry mob that at least for now, listens to him.
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