Last week the New York Times gave Clinton a 93% chance of winning, on the eve of the election a 83% chance – what happened?
The pollsters were wrong, again.
Wrong in the Brexit plebiscite, wrong in the Columbia FARC plebiscite and wrong in the Trump/Clinton presidential election.
The pollsters are not to blame for outcomes; they’re just bad at their job, predicting elections.
The American voting public, at least a majority of the public voted to reject politics by voting for the outsider. Yes, part was an anti-Obama vote, part was an anti-Hillary vote, anti-immigrant, homophobic, misogynistic and, much of the vote was a rejection of our political system. The Republicans have been obstructionists and the Democrats kept pushing an agenda that would resonate with their core voters. Trump was the outsider who will clean out the stables; of course, it is altogether more likely he will push for the standard Republican agenda.
The Trump/Republican economic agenda: back to the tax cuts for rich that will trickle down to the rest of us, called the Laffer Curve, and failed terribly forty years ago. See a detailed and somewhat wonky explanation on why it is “snake oil” here.
The Trump campaign rhetoric, repeated in his victory speech last night: rebuilding America, a massive infrastructure initiative, an excellent idea (except Trump wants non-union jobs!); however, how do you fund it? If you add in massive tax cuts you can only fund through borrowing and Trump also plans to reduce the deficit. The way to lower taxes and increase spending is by cutting the largest budget cost: Medicare and Medicaid. They are the largest single government expense, excluding defense, spending that Trump wants to increase. Of course, many of the older white Trump voters pay their medical expenses under Medicare/Medicaid.
Will Trump actually “build a wall,” round up the undocumented and send them back? Negate all the environmental protections, i. e., the Clean Air Act; deny Global Warming and revive the coal industry?
The first signs will be his cabinet choices; he can go back to the Bush era choices, respected but conservative, or, pick Giuliani for Attorney General and other outliers with little or no experience. The cabinet choices will set the tone for his term.
In education: supporting charter schools and vouchers at the federal level, perhaps sharp reductions in federal funding, and a much less intrusive US Department of Education (A good thing!) While Trump is against the Common Core; states adopted the Common Core, it is not a required federal program. Testing and accountability are at the core of the Republican agenda.
I was disappointed that Hillary did not jump on board the Diane Ravitch pro public education, pro teacher band wagon. In Massachusetts and Georgia pro charter school initiatives on the ballot were soundly defeated and in Oregon and Kansas attempts to defeat pro education judges went down. Randi Weingarten and the teacher union in New York City campaigned 24/7, I just felt the Hillary campaign took teachers for granted and they should have been louder in her support for public schools.
Will Trump get along with the Republican Congress, or, try to dump Ryan as Speaker and seek a more malleable Speaker? On the Senate side, apparently a 51-49 split with Schumer as the Democratic Minority Leader; Senate rules require 60 votes to bring a bill to the floor, gridlock will likely continue.
I must admit I fear the worst outcomes.
The president appoints over 3,000 to staff the federal bureaucracy. The Republican agenda is to roll back eight years of Obama policy; rules governing the environment, banking, food protection, worker protection, unions, national parks, etc.
Weakening and/or destroying unions and public employee defined benefit pensions are at the heart of the Republican/Trump play list.
I can’t imagine Trump on the international stage: how will he deal with China, our major trading partner, or NATO and EU partners? Third World and Latin American nations? Will he be adventuresome or isolationist in foreign policy? Will he abandon NATO for Putin, his new found friend?
I picture the new Secretary of State: “No, Mr. President you can’t do that, it’s dangerous,” and. the Donald blustering, “Do it, I’m the President.”
My major fear: the impact on the world economy, in a fragile world economy, a recovering American economy, I fear Trump will drive our nation and the world into a catastrophic economic times.
I hope I’m wrong.