It was almost 3 AM when Donald Trump emerged, descending the staircase at Trump Tower, his family close behind him, to declare victory over Hillary Clinton. He delivered a demure speech, more award-show-thanks-yous than presidential vision. He seemed stunned. He had won.
Depending on your perspective, this is the rebirth of a nation or a complete and utter garbage fire.
It is, however, plainly historic. And it will be years before we fully understand the ramifications of what just occurred. Questions abound over what actually happens now. What kind of President will Trump be? Where do Democrats go from here? How will Canada be affected? The economy? Hell, the rest of the world? And what happens to women and immigrants, people of colour, the LGBTQ community, those targeted by the groups most emboldened by Trump’s noxious rhetoric? We will have to wait and see.
Until then though, Sharp has rounded up some of today’s best reading to help you wade through the mess. The election is over and now we turn to what comes next.
1. How Trump did it
“For the past 40 years, America’s economy has raked blue-collar white men over the coals. It whittled their paychecks. It devalued the type of work they did best. It shuttered factories and mines and shops in their communities. New industries sprouted in cities where they didn’t live, powered by workers with college degrees they didn’t hold.”
Overwhelmingly, white Americans in rural communities decided this election. Their anger and resentment overcame a massive surge in hispanic voters. While Clinton took the popular vote, America’s electoral college, ever a check on the country’s massive urban centres, handed the race to Trump.
2. Clinton: ‘We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead’
“Both Hillary Clinton and President Obama urged their backers Wednesday to accept President-elect Donald Trump’s victory and support his transition into power, as Democrats prepare to hand over control of the White House for the first time in eight years.”
3. The age of Trump begins
What that actually means is anyone’s guess, though. During the campaign Trump offered few specifics on how he would govern. And his victory speech lacked many of the key elements that propelled him to victory — the anger and divisiveness, his pledge to lock up Hillary Clinton. For his most ardent supporters, Molly Ball writes in The Atlantic, the details are hardly important.
4. The latest win for a global nationalist wave
From Brexit and Marine Le Pen to Rodrigo Duterte in the Phillipines, BuzzFeed News‘ Rosie Gray examines the rising tide of nationalist movements around the world which lifted Trump to victory.
5. For the American republic, a tragedy
“The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy.”
6. The Republican party is a machine. Trump used it better than anyone
“Trump’s visceral appeal—the sexism, the racism, the xenophobia, the crude stupidity and know-nothingism, the appeals to a lost America, to people who most deeply felt its loss, none of whom was him—was merely fuel of higher octane than anyone had dared put into the machine before. He poured it in by the gallon, disengaged the emergency brake, mashed the accelerator to the floorboard and was off.”
7. The Democratic establishment is over
Even with the meticulous ground game, the complicated analytics, and the biggest stars in Hollywood’s Hillary Clinton still couldn’t pull this out. And now, the Democratic party now controls next to nothing above the municipal level. What’s left for the party of Clinton, Obama and Sanders? Slate’s Jim Newell says not much.
8. Obama is reeling after voters reject his ‘third term’
“Obama said for months on the campaign trail that he’d consider Donald Trump’s election a personal repudiation. And it was. The Senate and House results leave no question, as if there could be one.”
9. The man who could have stopped Donald Trump
From July, read Business Insider’s profile on kingmaker Matt Drudge and his agenda-setting website, the Drudge Report.
10. The Trump administration will now be handed the keys to some of Barack Obama’s most unsavoury programs
“The nightmare that civil libertarians have warned of for years has now tragically come true: instead of dismantling the surveillance state and war machine, the Obama administration and Democrats institutionalized it — and it will soon be in the hands of a maniac.
“It will go down in history as perhaps President Obama’s most catastrophic mistake.”
11. In Canada, the Conservative’s Kellie Leitch sees an opening
“The leadership campaign of Conservative party hopeful Kellie Leitch is jumping on Donald Trump’s surprise U.S. victory to fire a shot at so-called Canadian elites.
“On Facebook and in emails to supporters overnight, Leitch hailed Trump’s presidential victory as an ‘exciting message that needs to be delivered in Canada as well.’
12. We are now the last country on Earth to believe in multiculturalism
“For the first time, we find ourselves not as a reflection of another power. Our politics is not a derivation of Westminster or Washington anymore. Our politics is specific to us, not a derivation from a distant metropolis.
“That is exactly why we must take a very careful and close examination of ourselves and our vision for our country, and immediately.”
13. What we learned about the media industry in this last election
“In media business terms, it is now clear, the 2016 election could not have arrived at a more precarious moment, as industries defined by their futures struggled to handle what was happening in the present. A new business model had not replaced an old one — not yet. There was, for the duration of the campaign, effectively no model at all.”