Donald Trump’s triumph, the death of the modern two-party system, and more
A look ahead after the ugliest election in American history
Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.
Email This Story
On Wednesday, Nov. 9th, I awoke hoping for a miracle.
I didn’t get one.
Election results summed up everything that the election had been about: upsets, fear, and the unexpected. Most polls were wrong. The New York Times, which had just a few days earlier given Hillary Clinton a 91 percent chance of winning the election, gave Donald Trump a 95 percent chance of winning after taking key states.
For me, and most of my friends, and all the poor souls who had supported Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, life was a nightmare. Everyone- Republicans and Democrats alike, had one question: what happens now?
The Demise of the Republican Party
On Election Day, Trump’s victory overshadowed another victory for conservatives: control of both Congressional bodies. But their victory now could foreshadow their demise.
Republicans may not know it yet, but Trump’s victory has highlighted nasty splits within the party, which divide three main groups: the alt-right, social conservatives and fiscal conservatives. Trump gave a much needed voice to the alt-right, when he called for a ban on Muslim immigration and asserted that the Clinton Campaign would take away guns from law-abiding citizens. These folks often overlap with, yet cannot be put into the same category as social conservatives, a dying but still powerful group. Often driven by religion, it includes politicians like Ted Cruz and Mike Pence, and is often the most vocal opponent to gay marriage and abortion rights. Finally, fiscal conservatives, the Republicans most upset at Trump’s victory, care primarily about economic responsibility and fixing the national debt.
Whether Republicans can overcome these differences or not is for the future to decide. But what’s clear is that the 162-year-old party is going to have problems staying afloat; if only millennials- the future of the country- had voted, Trump would have been left with only 21 electoral votes.
The New Democratic Party
Republicans weren’t alone in their party being fundamentally changed this election. Recalling the primaries means recalling Bernie Sanders and his multitudes of supporters, many of them millennials.
Sanders may have lost in the primaries, but he fundamentally changed the party, moving it to the left in several areas, including minimum wage, and universal healthcare coverage. Additionally, the Democratic National Committee will soon have a new chair, after Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s shady primary tactics forced her to resign.
The Democrats are bound for fundamental change. The rise of Democratic Socialism? Maybe, or maybe a shift back to the right. But the fact of the matter is that despite lacking control of Congress, or the Presidency, Democrats will have a big impact in the future.
A New Political Power?
If Republicans really do crumble in the future (which could happen, given their lack of support from young people) the Democrats will still face opposition. This opposition could be found in a three-party system, with some new faction rising from obscurity.
It would be a fundamental shift in American politics, but the concept isn’t unheard of; Canada, for example, has seen a rise in its New Democratic Party (similar to the Green Party), challenging the traditional Liberal and Conservative Parties. But since the Democrats are inching closer to this philosophy, the Libertarian Party is more likely to become stronger in the coming years. After all, Gary Johnson did perform better than Jill Stein in this election, and Libertarianism is more likely to attract frustrated Republicans.
It may or may not happen, but if the trend of undesirable major party candidates has made enough of an impact in this race, Americans may give power to a new political voice.
The Bottom Line
Bad Presidents have come and gone. But never before has a candidate won an election who risks terminating the respect that such a job requires. For Americans like me that refuse to normalize racism, sexism, and homophobia, the only solution is to fight back. After all, we have a First Amendment.
So get involved. Be active. Volunteer. Donate to organizations. And perhaps most importantly, get out and vote – in local elections in 2018, for president in 2020, and for the rest of your life. But don’t do nothing.