“I don’t believe what I just saw” – Jack Buck
After former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney conceded the election to President Obama way back on November 6, 2012, it was a foregone conclusion that the United States would have a new President on January 20, 2017. For much of the past few months, it seemed as if former Secretary of State, New York Senator and First Lady Hilary Clinton would be next in line, becoming the 1st woman to ascend to the top office in the land. An overwhelming majority of the country expected her to mollywhop Donald Trump in the general election. In fact, as I saw Clinton jump out to an early lead after securing New York, I turned off the coverage and retired for the evening with the thinking that she would defeat Trump just as bad—if not worse—as Obama beat Romney 4 years ago. A funny thing happened when I woke up yesterday morning: Donald Trump was being hailed as President-elect after winning the election.
The result of this election was about as shocking as what Roberta Vinci did to Serena Williams last year in the semifinals of the U.S. Open or Penn State’s incredible comeback against Ohio State a couple of weeks ago in Happy Valley. In both instances, I had stopped watching because the contests seemed well in hand only to be later shocked by the upset. This result is no different. President-elect Trump apparently won all of the battleground states that were widely expected to go to Clinton and she conceded. I imagine a lot of people are pissed at this result. In fact, I know a lot of people are pissed at this result. I’ve seen as much on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Even going back to this summer, when Trump secured the Republican nomination, there were many people saying they would move to Canada if he won the election. Well, I guess they’ll be migrating to the Great White North.
So what does a Donald Trump presidency mean to me personally? For me, it means that for the 1st time since 2009, I’ll work under a Republican President. For the 6 years I worked under President George W. Bush, it was very good for me financially. The generous raises he gave to military servicemembers helped me get myself out of debt. I can’t say the same for President Obama. We had pay freezes and even when we got raises, they were trash. It didn’t get better when I crossed over to the Federal civil service side 3 ½ years ago.
So what does a Donald Trump presidency mean in general? On a much broader level, Trump’s ascension to the Oval Office likely means the can that has been kicked down the road for decades will finally be picked up. One of his campaign promises was to aggressively address the longstanding immigration issue we have. He said he would “build a great, great wall on our southern border”. I don’t think that will happen but I do think he could temper his expectations and pursue effective legislation that addresses illegal crossings, the Dreamers, and easier paths to citizenship. I think we may also see some adjustment to the tax code now that the White House and Congress are Republican. Most of all though, I think a Donald Trump presidency means that I will be witness to an incredibly different Washington, DC. Going back to Eisenhower’s 8-year stretch from 1953-1961, all of the Presidents have had long ties to Washington or were basically born to be politicians. President-elect Trump certainly isn’t that and I’m intrigued to see how he’ll mingle with the somewhat elitist culture here amongst the politicians. I sense a lot of fighting between the White House and the Capitol Building…on both sides of the aisle.
All roads lead to January 20th. It’ll be my 1st time—and only time, if I’m lucky—living here during a presidential inauguration. I think I may attend just to take in the experience. Either way, these next 4 years are going to be interesting. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is subjective. Hopefully, 4 years from now, I’ll be writing a follow-up post detailing his Presidency.