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What Did We Miss?

Without naming a particular individual, the mention of a pompous, overbearing, ostentatious, xenophobic bigot unmistakably alludes to one lone figure. An influential American businessman, his prominent character and definitive manner allowed him to carry out an incredibly momentous presidential campaign. With an unprecedented caliber, Donald Trump has somehow forged an unparalleled path to presidency. Yet, projections speculated his defeat at the hand of Hillary Clinton. So herein lies the question: what did we miss?

While Clinton occupies years of experience, her involvement in controversies including her email scandal and failure to effectively protect American lives in Benghazi leave her with highly unfavorable ratings. However, Trump, who basks in his own sea of flaws that Americans believed continually diminished his chances of presidency, can hardly embody the universal desire for change either.

Trump alienated communities at large, spewing racist, sexist, discriminatory remarks which caused a quarter of his critics to agree upon racism as his greatest flaw. According to the 2010 census, 36.3% of the United States emerges from a non-white background. In such a racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse country, the individual running to lead the country cannot uphold racism as acceptable.

However, many failed to realize that, as of the latest election, the concentration of whites heavily outweighs minority communities within the population of the United States. Despite the growing Hispanic population, Trump was able to solidify Florida due to its sizable elderly, white population. Although Trump paid the price for his obscene remarks about immigration in states such as Nevada and Colorado, the push from minorities was not great enough to gift us the presidency of Hillary Clinton.

The second great error was made in turning a blind eye to the middle class. Once hidden in the combined shadows of the upper and lower classes, this year the middle class gave way to the Trump victory. In the ever-changing, ever-advancing contemporary society, the American economy has continually disrupted the livelihood of the middle class.

Jim Tankersley of The Washington Post acknowledges that as Americans continually devalued their work and handed off industries to those that obtained college degrees, “[the middle-class] were not the only ones who felt abandoned by a rapidly globalizing economy, but they developed a distinctly strong pessimism in its face.”

The frustrations of the middle class have been rising over the past few decades and with the upcoming election in mind their grievances and resentment boiled over, providing Trump with the push he needed to obtain the oval office. Democrats continually miscalculated the value of white working-class voters to their party, just as America has belittled their importance to the inner workings of our economy. As written by Joel Kotkin, “In an election so ugly and so close, one is reluctant to proclaim winners. But it’s clear that there’s a loser—the very notion of the United States of America.”

The placement of Donald Trump’s name upon the ballot once seemed a rather far-fetched disposition. However, with unanticipated votes, the improbable became the reality.

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