The Shock We Should’ve Seen Coming

A few months ago when discussing Trump as the Republican nominee, I said Trump was the condign punishment conservatives deserved for not doing all they could to stop him.

Although this is probably still true, the real sentiment is now this: Donald J. Trump is the condign punishment Washington D.C. deserves for screwing over millions of Americans and thinking they wouldn’t get caught.

The incredible amount of anger in the country should’ve been noted when both parties had such firm movements behind their two “outlier” candidates. People wanted something that wasn’t the status quo, and Hillary Clinton – whatever her merits or flaws – unquestionably represents the status quo.

Pundits and pollsters across the country proved that they do not understand the American people. The wave of Trump support was not hard to see if one simply looked. But pundits and pollsters are not interested in the problems of average Americans any more than a Wall Street bank is. They’re interested in prediction and preferred outcomes and they refused to acknowledge the upsurge of anger.

Perhaps they thought it was a passing flame that would fizzle out in the voting booth. Perhaps they refused to count on people not wanting to publicly support Trump. Or perhaps they assumed they could continue sewing the message of their preferred candidate in every American’s mind without anyone calling them out. Who knows?

But what they definitely refused to calculate is their own actions and those of most politicians over the past 35 years, and the effect they were eventually bound to have.

Pundits, pollsters, and politicians have carried on their business with relatively little interference from the average American while being, statistically, dramatically less-affected by the same economic and socio-political downshifts than working class people.

Just since 2005, 8 million average Americans have lost jobs that won’t return in the United States, 7 million average Americans have lost their homes, 5 million average Americans at or near retirement age have lost their pensions or savings, and nearly $2 trillion in average Americans’ money has disappeared.

All of this without apology or explanation from people who were supposed to be in control.

Meanwhile, 82 million citizens don’t have the health insurance they need, 1.5 million students incur more $25,000 in debt annually, 1.5 million individuals are given mandatory sentences for non-violent crimes, 23 million adults are addicted to drugs, and our nation is militarily engaged in 7 countries for nearly unknown reasons.

Washington, much like Wall Street, is proving that they expect average Americans to not ask questions and not demand change.

But Americans were promised change. They simply never got it. And people are angry—perhaps rightfully so.

Many of our elected officials’ actions have proved a puppet show and angry, everyday people just want some transparency.

If Trump is nothing else, he is straight forward. He may be dumb, racist, and misogynistic. He may be faithless, a philanderer, and a liar. But he does “tell it like it is;” or at least like he sees it.

A CNN poll showed that the majority of Americans don’t believe that Trump will even do most of the things he claims, but a ballot cast for Trump was certainly a figurative middle-finger at Washington, at the banks, at media outlets—at everyone who seemed to be complicit in the ruse of government that screwed them over.

And most certainly at everyone who proved to be a cog in the infamous Clinton Machine.

In the end, motives, here, are all that matter. I don’t think the majority of Americans share Trump’s shady values, but he does need individuals around him who exemplify the appropriate values of faith, conservatism, patriotism, and progressivism he will need to succeed in the office to which he has been elected. We have, after all, elected an administration, not an individual.

Prayers and best wishes will do more to help than regret and animosity. And who knows? It may work out after all.

Trump is truly a dark horse. He has surprised us before, both positively and negatively. His past is an open book, but his future is still a blank page.

We can only pray he keeps some of the promises he has made to right wrongs and uplift the average American.