What the hell have we done? There is no other way to ask this question. Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States, confirming that we have four years of reality television covering the highest office in the land. We also have a Republican Congress, opening up a straight path to a right-wing agenda for America without any brakes, off ramps, or forks in the road.
There are a lot of questions here about what happened. The polls, for example, were significantly off. We gun owners have speculated for a long time about the number of people in this country who don’t get polled or who don’t talk to strangers on the telephone, and this election makes that something that deserves more research.
The Brexit referendum in Britain to some extent goes along with that, though the numbers were much closer there. But the desire of ordinary people to have their government represent them may be something that the pollsters have a hard time getting.
World markets have reacted as well to the surprising results of the election. Where this will bring us eventually is anyone’s guess, but in the near term, instability in the global economy looks inevitable. The people who move money around by the billions like to know what’s going to happen. But this ties in to the same mood shown in the Brexit. Trump’s support, much more than that of sexists and racists, came from folks who don’t feel connected to wealth, and while the establishment in both major parties will try to spin this election in their favor, the truth here is that ordinary people will no longer accept being treated as fodder.
One demonstration of this, curiously enough, has been marijuana on the ballot. California and Massachusetts voted to legalize recreational pot, and while it might be easy to dismiss this as deeply blue states pushing yet another part of a leftist agenda, but my own state of Arkansas approved medical marijuana. People in power may wonder if we’ve gone schizophrenic, a red state at the heart of the Bible Belt, but I choose to read this as a trend toward personal liberty. And that’s a healthy sign.
Democrats — at least the party leadership — will have a lot to answer, thanks to what has happened. They were told over and over that if they had picked Sanders as their nominee, they’d win. Now we’ll never know. Instead, they chose Nixon to run against Mussolini in a year that the people wanted a populist. Interestingly, the Canadian immigration office’s website has crashed, so it may be that the people who need to learn the lessons of this year may be working hard to avoid doing so.
The Trump campaign expressed the darkest parts of America, but many of his supporters spoke out of their frustration with a system that has left them behind. As gun owners, there’s a potential good to come out of all of this, but as Americans, we all have a duty to remind the victors of this election that they got into or keep office because of our votes, and if they don’t do good for us, we can remove them in two, four, or six years.
And we can continue pushing liberty forward.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.