I’m not ready to talk about the election. I’m still processing it so this is only quick observations on some immediate reaction. To be clear, all these people have behaved foolishly all along, but this post is specifically about how they behaved once Trump won.
Donald Trump: Trump was gracious in his victory speech, complimentary toward Clinton, and welcoming to her supporters. Who knows if he meant it. Trump stuck to the script, to the delight of his campaign staff. Last (and perhaps foretelling his top-level cabinet posts), Trump made a point of calling out former competitors and antagonists Chris Christie, Rience Priebus, Ben Carson, and Rudy Giuliani.
Hillary Clinton: Clinton, despite her fuss about Trump not promising to concede the race to her as soon as she won, could not quite bring herself to meet her own expectations. She did not face her supporters who had gathered to celebrate her win, but she did call Trump to concede.
Today, she formally conceded and did the right thing, i.e., urged her supporters to accept the election with an open mind. Clinton was visibly shocked and emotional, and it occurs to me that she may have been so confident in her win that she didn’t have a concession speech prepared.
Barack Obama: The president struck as different a tone today as Trump did last night. He was courteous, more courteous than Clinton, and called out how friendly George W. Bush’s staff was during his own transition. He urged the people to stick together and not become too partisan.
Paul Ryan: Ryan called a press conference, seemingly to notify the world that his policy of disapproval of Trump is over after 18 months, effective immediately. Apparently, Ryan is now officially an artist whose purpose it is to sing the praises of Donald Trump.
He gave a press conference but Ryan was speaking to an audience of one. He attempted to telegraph to Trump that the President-elect can count on his support… now that he no longer needs it.
Trolls/Protesters: People formed spontaneous protests regarding the election results. They are not protesting a specific issue, just that Hillary lost. The protesters call Trump a racist, wave signs denouncing him, and burn American flags. God help us, if this is how they react to disappointment. What will happen if they had a real grievance?
It’s difficult for me to understand the protests. Some people just enjoy walking around with protesters and singing or chanting and don’t even know why they are there. But the others – what do they want? There isn’t a contested vote, yet they are as vitriolic as if Hillary had clearly won by a landslide and then was cheated out of it. Or did they not realize that in a contest someone wins and someone loses – and no one wins all the time (or loses all the time).
As it is, they sound insane and are deeply harmful to the nation’s attempts to unify. I dare you to watch this video of sample reactions.
The media: The media has egg on its face, which is awesome. The GOP and Dems are eager to preserve the credibility neither group has. The media predicted a landslide Clinton victory, and when it did not happen, they blamed Comey, Wikileaks, Bernie, DNC, black voters, the pollsters, “whitelash”, and Gary Johnson. Because it certainly can’t be the Democratic candidate or platform.
winners: Trump, Obama
losers: Paul Ryan, the media, protesters