So, what just happened? As I’m writing, the election is still too close to call. There are still votes to count that could swing the election one way or the other. However, whoever ultimately wins, there are still some things we learned about the country on Election Day.
First, the pollsters were wrong. The vote in places like Florida and Pennsylvania looks like it’s out of the margin of error for most polls. I think this election marks the end of polls being taken seriously. Second, voting dynamics are changing. Along many ethnic lines, Trump made inroads where the Democrats thought they were secure. This showed in places like Florida and Texas. Third, the American people have handled themselves well so far. Only one major riot in the District of Columbia. It was my biggest fear that the election would be a nail-biter, which it is, and that the nation would be at its own throat. Thankfully, the latter has not happened. These three things say a lot about the nation.
The polls have lost the pulse of the American public. This means that new ways will have to be developed, or the system reformed. The polls are yet another domino to drop in the series of declining mainstream news organizations. All of these, with the exception of Fox, are very left-leaning, and that has been the key to their downfall. Once Trump goes away, whether that’s now or four years from now, what will they talk about? But the polls are not strictly partisan. After all, Fox said the same thing as everybody else. The failure two elections in a row shows that the system is flawed. It could be reimagined, but polls don’t work as they are now practiced.
We’ve also learned that the minority support that Democrats have had locked down since Lyndon Johnson is beginning to shift the other way. Of course, the majority of the minority vote is still going Democrat, but Trump’s minority support has helped a lot. The biggest example is Florida, which he won and in which many house seats are flipping red. This puts the House in play for the Republicans. These gains were seen in Texas and Florida. The exception was Arizona, where Trump lost, and where Latinos played a large role. This could fundamentally change the future if the trend continues. I think this represents a repudiation of the pandering the Democrats have shown towards the minority communities. It turns out that there are some in minorities who just want to be treated as Americans.
Lastly, and most importantly, the cities are all intact for the time being. No more riots in Philadelphia, none in Portland, Los Angeles still stands. It is of course possible that we could go to the Supreme Court, as Michigan and Wisconsin, upon whom the election stands, are both very close. Either side will do it; Trump has already said he will if he loses. I certainly hope that we can ride out the storm without burning American cities. It may be close, and I hope that the legal system is up to the task of detecting voter fraud. Such things may be tried in all of the remaining states, as dedicated supporters of either side try to make a last push. Both parties have built this election to be a titanic clash of good and evil, with the fate of not only the nation but of the earth and human race at stake. If you believe the rhetoric, surely saving the world is worth a little voter fraud? And if worth voter fraud, why not violence? I hope that the American public won’t buy into the rhetoric, and will prove themselves intelligent enough to realize that no matter who wins, the world won’t end.
Anything could still happen. But, whoever wins, we’ve seen some trends continue, with the failure of the polls. We’ve seen some new trends, with the shift in minority vote. And we’ve seen some trends stop, as almost no rioting has taken place. So, we have to wait and see where the votes fall, and where the inevitable legal case rules. It appears that the Republicans are going to win the Senate. The House and the Presidency are too close to call. It could be a Democratic victory, a Republican victory, or the status quo. We’d like to know more on the day after the election, but such is the world we live in.