What happened? How did Donald Trump get elected President?
Cutting to the chase, I see his election as a rejection of the status quo. Which, from that aspect, and ignoring the personalities actually involved, is long overdue. Factor in the personalities involved, and you have a story that would have been rejected by any publisher as absolutely absurd fiction that no one would buy it… or buy into it.
Donald Trump won the primaries because most of the Republican voters were tired of the status quo, and rejected candidates that would be more traditionally to their liking. The man ran a horrendous campaign, didn’t specifically promise anything, was extremely vague on everything, and people ate it up. His supporters swear he will deliver them to the “promised land”. On what they base this faith I have yet to see, but he was and is the “anti-status quo” guy if there ever was one.
Hillary Clinton faced a stiff challenge from Bernie Sanders, and Bernie himself was most definitely a product of a sizeable group of people feeling neglected and making their presence known. Bernie forced Hillary to take on issues that she didn’t want to, i.e. student loan debt, etc., and incorporate them into her platform. His influence was unmistakable.
BOTH Bernie and Donald were rejections of the status quo. I believe that Trump won only partially because of Hillary’s issues, but rather primarily that she was and is the embodiment of a continuing of the status quo. President Obama essentially said as much when he campaigned for her. That didn’t play well this time.
Now, ideally, a couple things should have been done better by the people. One, they should have become disenchanted with the status quo long ago, and hence made more moderate choices. Instead, they went for the proverbial nuclear option. And two, it would have been nice if they had extended their rejection to Congress. To a great degree the President is more of a figurehead. The bulk of the work actually happens in Congress. It doesn’t do much good to eliminate the figurehead and keep the body that causes most of the problems in place.