t’s morning in America. The sun is shining, the birds are singing. But wait, how is that possible? Donald Trump is President-elect! We were assured that if that happened, the sky would blacken, there would be mass hysteria and the planet would immediately be immolated in a fiery, nuclear ball of death! Or something like that. Maybe I’ve been reading too much HuffPo.
Instead, the sun somehow seems to be shining more brightly and the birds singing a bit more sweetly. Or perhaps it just seems that way to me.
Just as I have been predicting for months, Donald Trump not only won, he scored a much bigger victory than even most supporters imagined. He gave a remarkably magnanimous and statesmanlike acceptance speech (see it at the link if you weren’t up late enough to watch history being made live). He also didn’t destroy the GOP down-ticket, as panicky Republicans feared (the only Republicans who got shellacked were turncoats who distanced themselves from Trump). The GOP held on to both the House and Senate, which means Trump should have a much easier time cutting deals for long-blocked, desperately-needed legislation, like repealing and replacing Obamacare. And he can appoint judges who respect the Constitution.
We now have to brace ourselves for the inevitable shirt-rending from the media: “How could America elect Donald Trump?! What does this MEEEEEAN?!”
Well, I’ll tell you what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean that most Americans are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic deplorables, as Hillary suggested.
What it does mean is that a lot of Americans are fed up with failed Obama policies, both foreign and domestic; with an overreaching federal government trying to run every aspect of their lives; with representatives who seem to represent big money donors and shadowy billionaires like George Soros more than the people who elected them; with wealthy celebrities looking down on them and calling them bigots and haters just for having religious beliefs, morals, patriotism, pride in their traditions and a belief that laws should be respected; and with an unequal system of justice that gives the well-connected a pass for infractions that send regular citizens to prison.
And we’re tired of hearing that America is not exceptional, that our laws and culture and Constitution are nothing special, that we’re just one more vote at the UN -- when we know that America is the "shining city on the hill" that people from all those other nations and cultures gladly risk their lives to be part of.
Americans tried to tell Washington this in previous elections, with things like the Tea Party movement, only to be insulted, belittled and targeted by the IRS. But you can only sit on a pressure cooker so long before it blows you sky high.
Another bit of meaning you can take from this election: despite all the efforts of politicians, consultants and media elites to separate Americans into little boxes, we refuse to be so easily categorized. Self-proclaimed experts assumed that women would vote for Hillary because she’s a woman, or Hispanics would vote against Trump because he wants to secure the border, or blacks would vote for Democrats because…well, because they’re black, and they’re supposed to! Turns out that women care about a range of issues other than gender identity, the vast majority of Hispanic immigrants believe in obeying the law, and many black voters don’t like being taken for granted. Democrats learned to their shock that demographic changes don't mean they can just sit back and enjoy a permanent majority. Maybe the idea that women and non-white voters will automatically pull the “D” lever just because of their sex and race is…gasp…sexist and racist!
Finally, this election proved that what Americans have in common is much greater than our differences. All our differences aside, most of us love and want to preserve the things that made America great: the Constitution, the rule of law, the American Dream that our children will live better lives than we did, equality, fairness, opportunity to succeed for all who are willing to work hard, and a government that serves the people, not the other way around. Tuesday, we rose up as one and said, “We want that America back. Make America great again.”