Image source: @realDonaldTrump Twitter

Yesterday I shared my opinion of Donald Trump, and explained that he had about a 1 in 3 chance of becoming the next President of The United States, based on all the polls. Moments ago, Republican Donald Trump surpassed the required 270 electoral college delegates needed to win, and was named President Elect of the United States, beating Democrat Hillary Clinton. On January 20th, 2017, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

The postmortem will be played out exhaustively in the media over the coming days and weeks, but the summary goes something like this. Working class white Americans are fed up. The middle class is pissed off, plain and simple. They’ve seen nearly all the economic gains (95% or so) since the Great Recession, go to the top 1% of income earners. The income inequality between the wealthiest 1% of Americans, and everybody else, is at levels not seen since the 1930s.

Top 1% share of income in the United States 1913-2010 source: cbpp.org
Top 1% share of income in the United States 1913-2010 source: cbpp.org

Many of these people have lost their jobs to globalization and outsourcing, and those who do have jobs have less purchasing power than they did 20 years ago, due to stagnant wage growth. All this while the rich keep getting richer and richer. They feel left behind. And yes, some of them fear an America where whites will likely become the minority in 30-40 years. This demographic has mostly supported democratic politicians for the last few decades, but today they made their voices heard.

How Hillary Clinton Lost

  • Working class white voters went big for Trump (especially in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, three states most people assumed would go for Clinton)
  • Donald Trump won all the other big swing states including Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina
  • African American voters did not vote for Clinton by the same margin they voted for Obama
  • Clinton did not win women by large enough margins to counter Trump’s double-digit lead among men
  • Gains in Hispanic voter registration were not enough to overcome Clinton’s underperformance with other groups
  • The FBI broke precedent and interfered in the election two weeks before election day (which most likely cost Clinton some votes, even though the FBI closed the investigation into Clinton’s emails several days ago)
  • The advertising spending and ‘ground game’ advantages of Hillary Clinton didn’t have much effect

A majority of Americans have such an intense desire for change, that the vessel did not matter. It did not matter that Trump refused to release his tax returns like every other candidate has done for the last 40 years. It did not matter that Trump is a misogynist. It did not matter that Trump stoked racial tensions and gave a voice to white nationalists. It did not matter that Trump’s actual business record is one of failure and of screwing people over.

None of it mattered. What mattered was the desire for change. Now the question is what that change will mean for America, and for the world.