Election 2016 Wrap-Up

By: Chris McManigal
Well, one things for sure, it’s over. The debates, the town hall meetings, the Facebook posts, the yard signs, done. Tuesday, November 8, 2016 is now behind us.

Donald J. Trump, billionaire real estate mogul, author and TV personality is the new President Elect of the United States. Come January 20th he will be sworn in and start his term like so many before him and thus the peaceful transition of power we enjoy in this country will continue its tradition.

Many polls had favored Hillary Clinton to win, so Trump’s victory came as quite a surprise. In fact, CNN’s own pollsters predicted that Clinton led Trump 268 to 204 in what they considered to be all but locked-in electoral votes even in the days leading up to election day. 270 electoral votes are the number needed to win.donald-j-trump-1271634_960_720

The reality, of course, turned out to be much different. CNN has reported that the final electoral vote tally is 292 for Trump and 232 for Clinton. Clinton did however win the popular vote 60,213, 641 to Trump’s 59,883,416, but popular votes are not what determines a win in our election system.

One of the most surprising events in the election was the fact that Trump prevailed in states where Clinton was seen to have an edge, particularly in the rust belt of Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump won all 3, even toppling Clinton’s early election night lead there. Trump also significantly won Florida and its 29 electoral votes and Virginia, which had been regarded as a firewall for Clinton’s campaign.

Commentators made many remarks throughout the news coverage that night that the entire polling industry was up-ended because all of them predicted almost every aspect of the election wrong.

Despite Hillary Clinton’s loss, women did makes gains during this election, particularly women of color. Kamala Harris of California became only the second black woman elected to the US Senate. She already had the distinction of being the first female Attorney General in that state. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada is now the first Latina Senator in the US. Kate Brown became the Governor of Oregon, the first openly LGBT governor in our country. Tammy Duckworth defeated the incumbent Senator from Illinois and will now head to Washington. Ilhan Omar became a Representative of Minnesota, the first Somali-American Muslim elected to office.


What is a Democrat Anyway?

By Chris McManigal

First of a 4-part series spotlighting the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and Green Party.

The Democratic party, founded in 1828, is one of the main two political parties in the US. The party has undergone many changes throughout its history, but is presently regarded as the more liberal, or left-wing, of these parties.

One of the hallmarks of the Democratic party is their favorable stance on government intervention. Democrats believe that government has an important role to play in our lives in order to bring about a fairer society. They also believe that government exists to protect citizens from economic inequality and hence tend to support labor unions, equal opportunity laws, business and environmental regulation and equal access to health care.

Because they are pro-regulation, democrats are often criticized for tying the hands of business to operate in a truly free market economy. Dems also tend to support social programs such as welfare and food stamps which critics feel are detrimental to taxpayers because they enable people to not work for a living.

donkey-1445494_1280There have been 15 Democratic Presidents in US history, starting with Andrew Jackson in 1829. The most famous among these are Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Democratic presidents have been responsible for many things we consider a given in our society today including: Social Security, anti-child labor laws, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, unemployment insurance, women’s voting rights, overtime pay, Medicare, student loans and the Voting Rights Act. Democrats also founded NATO and ushered in the Civil Rights Act.

Democrats as seen by supporters: pro-diversity, pro-gay rights, inclusive, pro-social welfare and equality.

Democrats as seen by opponents: spendthrifts, enablers, anti-tax payer, anti-traditional family, anti-free market.

Key ideology: Liberalism/progressivism

Size: Approximately 43 million members

Color: Blue

Mascot: The donkey