The most controversial American Presidential Election of all time concluded last week with a total shock from nearly every media outlet in the country as Republican Donald J. Trump was elected President. After 2 years of polls consistently showing Democrat Hillary Clinton leading up until the votes were tallied, did not see a probable Trump win. It truly reminded me of the Harry Truman election in 1948, when the newspapers named Thomas E. Dewey president as they filed their final editions on election night.
I watched with fascination in the weeks leading up to and throughout the Election Day Coverage. The last time I stayed up until 3:30 a. m. was the night my eight-year-old granddaughter Maggie Dicus was born. It was worth every minute to witness history. President Elect Trump gave a positive sincere acceptance speech about 3:15 a. m.
Many friends and family were not in the Trump camp, and for the most part I did not weigh in on all of the negative and controversial rhetoric spewed by both candidates in the past few months. Ever since Trump came to our Mohegan Sun Arena in April 2016 on the day before the presidential primary, attracting 18,000 supporters both inside and outside the venue, I felt in my heart that Pennsylvania was in play.
When Clinton came to our area it was Scranton both times at venues that held very small numbers, 500 seats or less. Her visits were tied to fundraising. Clinton’s childhood ties to Scranton and Lackawanna County were always mentioned. The populace was not engaged. I did not see a winning path for her in our region in 2016.
As Election Night coverage continued past midnight, past 1:00 and past 2:00 a. m. with crucial must win states of Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio were called for Trump. Pennsylvania put Trump over the top with 274 electoral votes. Michigan and Wisconsin were added later to further claim victory for Trump.
Luzerne County was very slow to post vote totals for their 180 precincts on their website. Rice Township finished voting at 10:00 p. m., two hours past the usual poll closing time. Turnout was heavy statewide as well. The lines and wait times were unprecedented.
I enjoyed analyzing the vote totals by municipality for president and senator. Mountaintop’s plurality for Trump was 65.59% to Clinton’s 34.40%. Sweeter numbers I can never remember.
The new president is 70 years old, and leads the oldest of the Baby Boomer generation born between 1946 and 1964. Other Boomer elected presidents were Bill Clinton in 1992 and George W. Bush in 2000.
Disappointed Clinton supporters turned out for demonstrations in many cities the day after election. In most areas the gatherings were peaceful, but with excitement and large crowds some places were not.
New York City has the most diversified population in our country. Citizens regularly turn out to exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech. Our democracy allows us to agree to disagree. The city was ready to keep the peace even if it meant surrounding Donald Trump’s New York home, Trump Tower, with concrete barriers.
I was thrilled with the Presidential Election outcome. A man with no direct political experience in government managed to pull off winning the most exciting election in our collective memory. People have been complaining about governmental gridlock for years. Republicans will now control all three branches of government. Congress, the Supreme Court and the Presidency will all have plenty of work. It took a controversial businessman to break the gridlock.
I found a page one story in the Saturday November 12 edition of the Wall Street Journal highlighting Luzerne County’s role in ensuring a Trump win for Pennsylvania. “The Great Unraveling-The Places That Made Donald Trump President” begins “Rust Belt counties facing declines in manufacturing, shrinking populations, rising immigration and fraying social fabric moved heavily toward the Republican candidate and his message of national restoration”. The city the Wall Street Journal led off with was our own Wilkes Barre.
“On its own, Luzerne County accounted for 40% of the Republican’s roughly 65,000-vote winning margin in the state,” the Journal wrote.
There are charts showing “Luzerne, the Pennsylvania county that flipped most dramatically for Donald Trump on Tuesday, helped to deliver the state—and the presidency—to the Republicans. Surrounding Luzerne is a swath of counties whose votes for the GOP nominee increased vastly from 2012,” the paper continues.
On September 30 I wrote in this column: “Pennsylvania is one of the important “Battleground or Swing States”, which together will deliver 146 electoral votes, more than half of the votes necessary to win the presidency. Battleground states are likely to vote closer to the country as a whole and are Florida (29), Pennsylvania (20), Ohio (18), and Michigan (16) and are crucial states for winning the presidency. North Carolina (15), Virginia (13), Wisconsin (10), Colorado (9), Nevada (6), Iowa (6), and New Hampshire (4) round out the battleground list. There are lots of polls out there and a lot of time before the last vote is counted.”
Little did we know 40 days from Election Day that Trump would win the biggest prizes, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan and add in North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Iowa. The Trump Battleground/Swing States netted him 99 electoral votes out of the 146 votes in play. He won them with perseverance and a relentless schedule of rallies in all of the must win states. He came to the people and the people listened.
There is always some grumbling about “popular vote” totals. Each state is won or lost by the “popular vote”. Trump won more populated states to win more Electoral votes. Our constitution was written to ensure that presidential elections would give a voice to every distinct region in our great country
Although Trump won the Presidency as a Republican, he reached out to all voters regardless of sex, age, ethnicity, or political affiliation. Pennsylvania was a crucial player and Mountain Top was a solid Trump winner.
It is time now to dry the tears of disappointment and look forward to a new dawn of positive power for our country. It appears that Donald J. Trump knew “The Secret”.