Hillary Clinton in her victory speech said, “This is a historic moment.” She was only partially correct.
This is a historic election. Not only because there is a woman candidate for president. And the current president of the United States is meeting with a socialist to attempt to unify the varied components of the Democratic Party and cobble the Obama coalition together again. Then, there is Donald Trump. He has garnered more votes in the Republican primary than any Republican in the history of the GOP. And, he has never before run for public office. Plus, there is the personality force he exudes.
These factors raise many questions and doubts. Can the Obama coalition ever be assembled again in American politics? Can Trump persuade Democrats and Independents to side with his views and ideas? Is Hillary over the hill and been around too long to be a viable candidate? Will her record as a senator and Secretary of State be viewed positively or negatively by American voters? By November will national security or the economy be the dominant issue for the general election?
The general election campaign is just now beginning. The presidential race has dominated the news. However, there is also the battle to control the Senate and House of Representatives. The more problematic election is in the Senate unless there is a sea change in the House.
The presidential race and the election for Congress is really up for grabs due to the angst and anger found in the American electorate. Then there are the demographic changes that have taken place rapidly and significantly.
For instance, in California there will be a runoff election in October for an open U.S. Senate seat. There are two Hispanic women candidates, thus assuring that there will be a woman Hispanic Senator for the first time ever. There are several seats in the United States Senate that will be close and, perhaps, the person who wins will be from the opposite party of the incumbent.
The rancor in American politics is palpable. Ugly demonstrations and even worse occur in both party campaigns. Not necessarily foreign to American politics, the current wave of demonstrations challenges the concept of free speech. America has changed in many ways. Not all for the better, but change it has.
Looking at the landscape of politics in the United States, perhaps it is time for this nation to look at the political season in Great Britain. A shorter campaign and naming our political parties the Liberals and Conservatives, as they have seemed to evolve in that direction. Of concern is the rise of socialist concepts and the amount of young people embracing this idea.
The political issues, fueled by executive decisions emanating from the White House, have left political discourse debating the use of bathrooms and other rather strange matters. America has changed.
Then there are the really serious issues of the economy, the need for infrastructure, stagnant wages, and foreign policy challenges facing the nation on several fronts. Issues which are generally found in most presidential elections, but which take on even more serious import.
Regardless of who wins the presidency this year, the campaigns will most likely be nasty. Political discourse in this country has devolved to the point it may not even be informative, productive, or civil as the campaigns progress. The campaign each presidential nominee selects may have significant ramifications.
It will be interesting to watch what happens to voter turnout in November. Will all of the participants in the presidential primaries return to the polls in the general election? Will the supporters of Donald Trump flock to the polls? Will the Obama coalition hold together for Hillary Clinton? All are interesting questions—and there are many unanswered questions at this stage of the 2016 general election.
New challenges, at least one new face, and changing demographics. All factors that will make this election more disparate and, in many ways, really interesting to observe.