Liberal Column

Maybe it was rigged after all

/ The Daily Orange

When the American colonies defeated Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown during the Revolutionary War, legend has it the British played the English ballad “The World Turned Upside Down” while marching out of the city. The country is experiencing a similar monumental upheaval, as Donald Trump has been declared the next president of the United States.

Republicans and Democrats alike will spend the next few days and weeks breaking down every aspect of this election — from get-out-the-vote operations to political ad spending to how narrow the election itself ended. One component of the election Democrats will especially focus on is the party’s failure to attract the minority votes necessary to win the presidency.

Throughout his candidacy, Trump had polled ahead of Clinton in terms of white voters, an advantage that grew significantly when looking at those without a college education. Democrats have always banked on the support of the more-educated and minority voters, and this was a game plan that didn’t work in their favor.

Data from early voting showed mixed results for both parties, with a decrease in black votes contrasted by a significant increase in Latino turnout. This disparity left results in important states like North Carolina and Florida — two states that were necessary for Trump — up for grabs coming into Election Day.

Conservative turnout in the Midwest and South on Election Day all, but assured Trump’s victory before the day was out. A resounding victory in Florida, combined with wins in North Carolina and Ohio gave the Trump campaign early momentum. These were all must wins for Trump, and in no way assured his victory. The largest blows to the Clinton campaign came in the must-win states of Michigan and Wisconsin, where nail-biter votes didn’t go her way.

Many pundits will focus on Clinton’s “weakness” as a candidate, and the Bernie Sanders holdouts will lament that their candidate would have won. Still, it cannot be dismissed that the majority of voters have decided Trump should be our next Commander in Chief, something that was not done simply out of spite for Clinton. A large portion of the United States’ electorate truly believes in Trump’s policies, which is something Democrats will have to grapple with.

In all honesty, I’m still amazed and terrified we let things get to this point. Seth Meyers put it best in his 2011 White House correspondents dinner speech when he said “Donald Trump has been saying he will run for president as a Republican — which is surprising, since I just assumed he was running as a joke.”

Now, Trump is anything but a joke and is poised to lead our country for the next four years. Many commentators will say this is a time for national unity, for the country to come together after a bitter election season. But Trump will continue to be the demagogue he always has been and the Republican party has gone from the party of strong national defense to the party of cowering before their leader.

Democrats in all branches of government and throughout the country must push back against Trump’s “leadership,” continue to develop and disseminate the progressive agenda and bring about meaningful change in our nation despite the obvious failings of our next president. Wish us luck.

Cole Jermyn is a sophomore environmental resource engineering major at SUNY-ESF. He can be reached at cdjermyn@syr.edu and followed on Twitter @Cjermyn8.

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