By Paul Gable
Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States after pulling out the biggest election night surprise since 1948.
Trump clinched his election victory with surprising strength in the “Rust Belt” states, an area where Hillary Clinton and the Democrats miscalculated their strength especially in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
The presidential result emphasizes the deep dissatisfaction voters feel with Washington and what is called ‘politics as usual.’ Trump’s victory can be credited to his ability to sell himself as an outsider from the political establishment of both parties.
The Trump victory brought immediate uncertainty to financial markets as world stocks began tanking around 9 p.m. on election night and Dow futures dropped 650 points overnight. This is not the reaction of the stock markets that one would expect with a Republican candidate winning the presidency. The markets rebounded later to recover most or all of their losses.
However, voter rejection of politics as usual only extended as far as the presidential race. Most members of Congress seeking re-election were returned to their seats without a problem, some without an opponent.
So, if you’re expecting big changes in Washington with Trump as president, get ready for a disappointment. Congress still controls the domestic agenda as well as the purse strings.
It’s not going to be anywhere near as easy to ‘build the wall’ or renegotiate trade agreements that sent American jobs overseas as Trump has made it sound. Those trade agreements brought big donations to Congressmen, both Republican and Democrat, who voted for them from the corporations who benefited from them.
The problem of Congress bowing to the wishes of big money at the expense of the average American working person is not solved by sending Trump, or anyone else for that matter, to the White House.
Harry Truman won in 1948 by running against the “Do Nothing Congress”. Trump won by running against the entire Washington political establishment.
If Trump hopes to ‘Make American Great Again’, he’s going to have to find a way to move a majority of Congressmen out of their normal way of doing business.
And that will not be easy. It will be a much greater challenge than winning the presidency as an outsider.
Unless and until Trump can find a way to get Congress out of its comfort zone,to stop making getting re-elected the first goal of its members and to put the needs of the country and the American people first, it will remain business as usual in Washington.