A critical election has just ended, and Democrats are walking around in a daze. The pre-Election Day polls were close, but Democrats were confident they were going to win. In fact, they couldn’t really imagine losing.
They had demographics and recent electoral history on their side. But instead, the voters delivered a stunning rebuke. They wanted change, not more of the same. The results were close – but decisive.
In her column for Maryland Reporter on Tuesday, Delegate Trent Kittleman tells Marylanders not to worry about a Trump presidency. She calls his inflammatory and reprehensible statements on the campaign trail “hyperbole.” She states that he is doing “everything possible to bring people together.” Delegate Eric Luedtke writes he is shocked at how thoroughly Delegate Kittleman misunderstands the fear that has gripped many Marylanders since the election. He is also “aghast at her temerity in arguing based on absolutely zero evidence that Trump will be somehow a moderate and reasonable president.:
Whenever national difficulties mount, popular anger focuses on professional governing elites. Contrary to accepted opinion with regard to the current era, these populist uprisings are in fact an established aspect of the current American political system.
There were long lines at some polling places on Election Day, and hundreds of voters waited for hours, particularly in Baltimore County. But there is no evidence of a partisan conspiracy, as some Republicans believed, just a shortage of scanners.
Dealing with political loss is difficult. I’ve probably had more practice than most, being a Republican in Maryland. Eventually, the pain goes away. The one thing I want to say, here, however, is that you need not harbor “fear” in addition to your pain. I’ve heard a number of people say that they fear what President-elect Trump might do or say as president based on the personality they saw during the campaign. Don’t worry; he won’t.
A Martian landing in Maryland on election night never would have guessed that Donald Trump was about to pull off the upset of the century. That’s because Maryland is an outlier, an exception to what happens in presidential elections in the rest of the country.
Pundits aplenty are dissecting why Hillary Clinton lost and Donald Trump won. Rather than do that, I would caution President Elect Trump against hubris, disrespect, and overreach. President Obama campaigned hard over the past few weeks. He hit the hustings with vigor in minority communities to exhort African Americans to protect his legacy. His legacy is firmly intact: He has destroyed the Democratic Party, as we know it.
While Maryland voted for the Democratic candidate in 2016 for the seventh straight presidential election, a deepening Republican loyalty in more rural areas of the state indicates increased polarization throughout Maryland. While liberal-leaning urban areas helped Hillary Clinton secure Maryland’s 10 electoral votes and Democratic candidates won all but one U.S. House seat Tuesday, the state’s liberal base didn’t perform according to expectations.
Anger over Clinton winning the popular vote are misplaced. There is no way to know who would’ve won the popular vote in the absence of an Electoral College. You cannot assume the popular vote total would be what it is today.
Maryland Republicans were losing the U.S. Senate race by a wide margin, losing hard fought races for Congress, and yet Tuesday night in a ballroom at the BWI Marriott, they were celebrating and looking ahead to the 2018 election with glee.