In Harry Truman-esque style, Donald Trump made history Tuesday when he was elected the 45th President-Elect of the United States by defying pundits and pollsters who predicted his demise.
Among Donald Trump’s wave-election Rust Belt state conquests on Tuesday is Ohio, where his win percentage over Hillary Clinton, with 69.32 percent voter turnout out of 7,861,025 registered voters, was almost ten percentage points, 52.2 -43.4, representing a 454,983 positive vote margin for the Republican ticket. Voter turnout in Ohio in 2008 was about 68 percent, while in 2012 it was about 64 percent.
Three other presidential candidates—Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and Richard Duncan—collectively got 236,410 votes. Outstanding absentee and provisional ballots cast total 261,111, according to day-after Ohio Secretary of State statistics. The combined total for third party candidates and yet-to-be-counted absentee and provisional ballots cast is 497,527.
In his race against incumbent Republican Rob Portman, Democratic Senate candidate Ted Strickland lost 58.4 – 36.8, contributing to the failure by Democrats to capture the U.S. Senate.
Here Comes 2018
Attention will now turn to Ohio’s only statewide elected official, Sherrod Brown, who will defend his U.S. Senate seat in two years. Races for Ohio statewide offices, especially governor, start Wednesday, as Democrats look to who might be the next candidate who will need to win more than the seven counties carried by Hillary Clinton this year.
Rural, angry, white men, saying they’ve been “forgotten” and “left behind,” won the day yesterday. As J. D. Vance, author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” wrote Tuesday in The New York Times, “The electoral demographics are now undeniable: The white working class in the Rust Belt just made Donald J. Trump the president-elect of the United States.”
Maybe the most telling headline of the day, coming from the DC beltway elites who pretended to know everything but actually knew nothing, was seen at Politico about the results of yesterday’s national election: “We were all wrong.” In fact, they added, “But we were more than wrong. We were laughably oblivious. The entire Washington political-media complex completely missed the mark. Not by inches or feet, but by miles.”
Democrats again showed they can fumble the ball at the goal line. According to a CNN exit poll, 9 percent of voters ages 18-29 went for third party candidates like Gary Johnson or Jill Stein. Good luck with your futures, Millenials. At least Hillary Clinton made the race close—Trump got less than 50 percent of the popular vote because of her.
Republicans “came home” to their horrific candidate. But Democrats couldn’t do the same for their sane one. Elections have consequences, so buckle up, the worst is yet to come as a Republican-controlled Congress attempts to abolish every hard-fought advancement over the last eight years.
Former Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, author of “The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities,” said that what bothers him most is the lack of civic education. He says that when he talks to groups of law students, they see him and his colleagues on the highest court in the land as “a group of junior league politicians.”
He’s says that’s not true, but it reflects the fact that students, from high school to college to law school, don’t understand how their government works. He wants them to both understand how each branch works, and how they relate to each other, and to be willing to participate in it. “That’s a problem beyond politics,” he said.
Civic Education Or Lack Thereof
Civic education, coincidentally, was also the topic of an editorial in the Toledo Blade Newspaper recently. Called “Bring back civics,” it argued that what used to be called “Problems of Democracy” in many Ohio schools, should be again be integral to every young American’s school experience.
The Blade’s editorial took note of comments made at a National Press Club luncheon last week by U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr.. King said students need to know how government works, adding “they should be familiar with important primary documents, including the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Federalist Papers.” And like Justice Breyer, King stressed the importance of getting students involved in both political conversations and public service, with attention to local as well as national issues.
When Donald Trump lambasted Hillary Clinton for doing nothing in her 30 years of public service, he showed just how little he knows about how government works. First, First Lady’s like Hillary Clinton don’t have constitutional authority to do anything, nor do they have a vote anywhere other than at the family dinner table.
U.S. Senators have votes, but as one of 100 they can’t make law by themselves, so Senator Hillary Clinton was not only limited by sheer numbers, her desires were thwarted by a Republican president who had veto power over any bill she voted for that made it’s way through the House and Senate and to President George W. Bush’s desk.
Secretaries of State are executives who can’t make law by fiat. Only lawmakers in Congress can pass laws, but presidents must sign them before they take effect. And even when they do, they may not be constitutional enough to withstand judicial review. Challenging laws is a process that takes time, with no guarantee it comes before the court. For laws that do make the trek to the court, states or congress may chose a new path once a federal path that applies to all 50 states has been foreclosed on.
Time will tell whether President Trump actually follows through on all the promises he made in his run to the White House. If he does, woe be to those who stood in his way, like Democrats, or to those Republicans who didn’t play ball, like Ohio Gov. John Kasich and others whose purposeful opposition to his candidacy and campaign won’t soon be forgotten by Trump.