As you read this, it is the day before the U.S. presidential election.
The principal party candidates remain Democratic former senator/Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Republican businessman/billionaire Donald Trump.
Although the polls suggest a tight popular vote, the election is still Clinton’s to lose—based on the essential advantage that any Democrat holds in the Electoral College. Indeed, it is possible, as was the case for Democrat Al Gore in 2000, to win the popular vote and lose the election.
But it is not impossible for Trump to win.
So if we awaken on Wednesday, Nov. 9 and find national/global media (hysterically) announcing/denouncing a Trump victory, what will (and will not) happen?
Will Not Happen
- Despite apocryphal predictions, both Mexicans looking north and Canadians looking south will see the same landscape as the previous day. There will not be a smoking pit from Atlantic to Pacific; Rio Grande to the Canadian border;
- There will not be caravans of fleeing U.S. citizens seeking refugee status in Canada. Indeed, all those third-tier “celebrities” who preemptively announce departure if their candidate doesn’t win—won’t. Amusingly, Republicans don’t say they will leave if they lose;
- Nor will banks crash, stock markets plummet, housing prices crater, trade cease, or mass firings occur;
- We will not leave NATO or other security alliances; nor will we remove U.S. troops from overseas deployments;
- We will not have better relations with Russia. Trump’s “make nice” efforts with Putin will be as futile as Obama’s “reset” proved. And concurrently, Trump will not solve any/any Middle East problem. The Second Coming will arrive before there is Middle East peace; and
- We will not see his tax returns—ever.
What will happen (not the day of election but with a Trump mandate and Republican control of Congress) is
- Massive restructuring for federal agencies with Democrats removed and Republicans installed, which will result in line-and-branch rejection of Obama administration liberalism;
- Selection of Supreme Court justices along the philosophical lines characterized by deceased justice Anthony Scalia;
- Vigorous policing of the border with Mexico; building a physical “wall” is irrelevant, but control of borders is the existential test for national sovereignty;
- Intense skepticism toward Muslim immigrants/refugees and all illegal immigrants;
- Review/renegotiation/abrogation of assorted “free trade” agreements to get a “better deal” for the United States;
- Rejection of the plethora of efforts to castrate the Second Amendment legally (without repealing it);
- Indifference to environmentalists’ efforts to stop global warming by draconian restrictions on any carbon fuel use. Approval of the Keystone Pipeline permitting Canadian oil to enter the United States efficiently;
- Repeal of “Obamacare” and its catastrophic insurance increases;
- Pursuit of legal questions associated with Clinton’s e-mail security breaches; perhaps not ending with “lock her up” consequences but certainly instituting more transparent investigation; and
- Insistence that “allies” pay a higher percentage of defense/security costs.
Let us be clear. President Trump will remain what candidate Trump has been: a racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-immigrant, blustering bully. With his insult to Senator John McCain’s courage, while never himself wearing a uniform, Trump proved unqualified even to shine McCain’s boots. Trump is certainly intelligent (a stupid billionaire is a contradiction in terms) but massively ignorant of anything not business-tax related and uninterested in learning (dull) portfolios in foreign and domestic affairs. He will insult friends and enemies alike; taking foot from mouth only to change feet.
But his prominence reflects failure by “inside-the-Beltway” chattering classes across the political spectrum. They refused to believe that illegal aliens (“What don’t you understand about ‘illegal'”?) infuriated masses of citizens concerned about securing the border against aliens taking their jobs. And even more important, they assumed that $15/hour “MacJobs” could substitute for $35/hour industrial positions. Visiting a store where nothing is identified as “Made in USA” epitomizes that cheaper manufactures for masses does not balance devastated lives for “downsized” workers.
Nevertheless, despite high decibel anguish from pathologically anti-Trump media, the United States has endured much worse times. For those with a scintilla of historical memory, think 1968. Robert Kennedy assassinated. Martin Luther King assassinated. Riots burning Washington, Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia. The Democratic National Convention in Chicago highlighted by police violently suppressing and arresting protesters. And bloody war underway in Vietnam fought by recalcitrant draftees (those not fleeing to Canada) ultimately costing us 50,000 dead.
And you claim 2016 is unprecedently socially and politically disruptive?
Take a Valium and a deep breath.
David T. Jones is a retired U.S. State Department senior foreign service career officer who has published several hundred books, articles, columns, and reviews on U.S.–Canadian bilateral issues and general foreign policy. During a career that spanned over 30 years, he concentrated on politico-military issues, serving as adviser for two Army chiefs of staff. Among his books is “Alternative North Americas: What Canada and the United States Can Learn from Each Other.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.