The Bald Truth
Hillary Clinton lost the presidency because she was a horribly flawed candidate and because she couldn't energize enough minorities and women to vote for her.
She lost because she made some terrible mistakes - if they even were "mistakes" - with her infamous email server.
She lost because America is sick of the Clintons and the rest of the political establishment.
She lost because the vast majority of Americans considered her untrustworthy and unlikable.
The Balder Truth
Donald Trump won because Americans wanted change for change sake.
He won because a large swath of America is uneducated, gullible and desperate.
He won because he did a brilliant job of appealing to the "deplorables" ... as well as plenty of non-deplorables who simply were tired of the status quo. Many good people voted for him, but they are naive to think he is going to bring back jobs in the steel mills and garment plants; the man's own clothing label is from far-flung destinations. They are naive to think he gives a rat's rump about them; he has spent decades stiffing the Average Joes who have worked for him, attended his "university" or thrown craps at his now-defunct casinos.
He won because he was right about the election being rigged; he was just wrong about the "rig-ee." The combination of the Russian hacks being leaked through Wikileaks and Comey's outrageously awful handling of the email situation -- all in the campaign's final two weeks -- made things very difficult for Clinton. Of course, those situations wouldn't have existed had Clinton not committed her multiple faux pas.
He won -- thrilling the KKK, the alt-right and the millions of others who want to Make America White Again -- because rampant, overt racism is very much alive in the Land of the Free.
Think about our president-elect. In his very first hour as a candidate, he cast Mexicans as rapists and drug-dealers. The leader of the Republican Party, Paul Ryan, said Trump's comments about a Mexican judge represented "the textbook definition of racism." To cement this, Trump hired an avowed bigot as his campaign CEO. And now Ryan has become an enthusiastic supporter.
And that's just the start. Agent Orange is an admitted sexist, an admitted sexual abuser, an admitted pervert who bragged about being able to watch 15-year-old Teen USA contestants in various states of undress.
Can you imagine if Barack Obama boasted about being so famous that he could grab women by their hoo-has and kiss them against their will? It would have been Superfreakin' Blackageddon!
Trump has almost no knowledge of anything beyond our borders and little intellectual curiosity. He brazenly refused to show his tax returns. PolitiFact said that more than 70% of what he said during the campaign was either "mostly false," "false" or "pants on fire." He wants to spread nukes around the world and has threatened to use them. He has offered few detailed policies. He is exceedingly vindictive; it will be interesting to see how he engages with the many Republicans who repudiated him.
In the end, more than half of America was bamboozled by a racist, sexist, bombastic snake-oil salesman. How embarrassing. We are the laughingstock of the world.
Over the next four (or - yikes! - eight) years, I'll be curious to see if the Dems in Congress have the cajones to wage the kind of stonewalling, obstructing and fillibustering that the Republicans did against just about all of Obama's initiatives. My guess is that the Dems will have neither the will nor the political courage.
Our VP-elect, Mike Pence, doesn't believe in basic science. He's a bible-thumping evolution denier who thinks God actually created the world in six days, and did so only a few thousand years ago: the classic "Jesus rode dinosaurs" guy. Disavows anything to do with climate change. Wants to deny women control of their bodies and futures. In some ways, he is more dangerous than his boss.
The Lowest Bar Ever
Every time Trump went on TV and didn't say something ridiculous, insulting or incendiary, he was hailed as being "presidential." So it was no surprise that his followers went ga-ga over his vanilla declaration of victory, in which he urged us all to do the kumbaya thing as a nation.
Just a few weeks ago, Agent Orange was threatening, if he lost, to repudiate our political process by refusing to accept the results. Now he's all for the peaceful transfer of power. Shocker that he would be for whatever suits him.
THE BALDEST TRUTH
Hey, as long as Trump doesn't start World War III because Kim Jong-un tweets an insult about his small hands, this probably won't affect me much personally. I'm white, I'm male, I'm straight, I'm financially comfortable and I've got a Sugar Mama.
I sure wouldn't be comfortable being anything other than a straight white male under a Trump presidency, though, especially with the GOP retaining control of the Senate and almost surely about to take back the Supreme Court. Trump not only has the title, he has the backing. Scary. Fifty-plus years of work on women's rights, black rights, gay rights, etc., are in jeopardy of being flushed down the toilet.
Hey, I did all I could do - even held my nose and voted for Hillary - so now I'll be a big boy and live with it. It's not as if I have a realistic choice. Despite Roberta's declaration that we're moving to Canada ... we're not.
We probably won't even leave North Carolina, which since our arrival six short years ago has erased a century of progress to become a haven of backward thought. That my quiet, leafy, suburban neighborhood was thick with Trump signs surprised me at first; it shouldn't have.
So this registered Independent is going to try to look at the few silver linings:
1. I like to think we have seen the last of the Clintons. In 2008, Hillary couldn't beat an unknown rookie whose name sounded like Osama. And eight years later she couldn't beat one of the most unpopular people on the planet -- a guy with even higher "unfavorable" numbers than her's. She's toast, and so is Bubba. When all this started 18-plus months ago, the betting money was on another Clinton-v-Bush showdown. Now, both political families are afterthoughts.
2. This should open the Dems' eyes to see that they can't just throw any old retread on the presidential ballot and rely upon the minority vote to save them. They need to tap into their pool of younger potential stars -- people that progressive whites, minorities, women, Millennials and others can rally behind. My kids were thrilled to vote for Obama in 2008; they and the rest of their generation (and my generation, too!) need candidates they can get excited about, or they simply won't turn out to vote. It will be interesting to see how the Cory Bookers, the Julian Castros, the Eric Garcettis, etc., progress as political figures.
3. This totally exposed the religious far-right as the hypocrites they are. Has there ever, ever, EVER been a less-Christian, major-party political candidate than Donald Effen Trump? And yet millions upon millions of Christians couldn't wait to make a thrice-married, lecherous, foul-mouthed, uncharitable, money-obsessed, boastful casino operator the most powerful man on the planet.
Here in North Carolina, the GOP passed the infamous "bathroom law" known as HB2 because, they said, it would prevent perverts from spying on their daughters in locker rooms. And then, for president, they backed a pervert who literally bragged about spying on teenagers in locker rooms. Bravo!
All right. End of screed. I'll hang up and listen now while Agent Orange makes America great again.