Donald Trump is now America's president-elect and many commentators are calling it "unthinkable"—but they also admit it is a possibility they should have probably thought a lot more about. Some early reactions to the historic victory:
- Trump's "astonishing" victory "is the greatest upset in the modern history of American elections—convulsing the nation’s political order in ways so profound and disruptive its impact can’t even be guessed at," writes Glenn Thrush at Politico. He was able to defeat "a better-funded, better-organized Hillary Clinton by surfing a tsunami of working-class white rage that her army of numbers crunchers somehow missed," Thrush writes.
- What Trump "has done is nothing short of cataclysmic," writes Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post. "He has fundamentally reshaped the political map. He has broken the Republican Party into pieces—and its shards still remain scattered everywhere. He has proven that the political polling and punditry industries need a deep re-examination." But beyond that, Cillizza writes, the victory shows that "many of the assumptions that people have long made about who we are as a country and what we want out of our politicians, our political system and each other are, frankly, wrong."
- Conor Friedersdorf at the Atlantic says that he hopes Trump will "rise to the occasion"—but to be on the safe side, people should start thinking now about how to thwart Trump "misbehavior." "The most important project in American politics for the next four years is safeguarding the rights conferred by the Constitution and the norms of a liberal society," he writes. "The effort expended by ordinary citizens will determine the odds of that project’s success."
- Jim Rutenberg at the New York Times sees the media's failure to see what was happening leading up to the Trump win as not just a failure of polling, but a failure "to capture the boiling anger of a large portion of the American electorate that feels left behind by a selective recovery, betrayed by trade deals that they see as threats to their jobs and disrespected by establishment Washington, Wall Street and the mainstream media."
- Trump didn't just "vanquish" Clinton, writes Gerald F. Seib at the Wall Street Journal. He "instantly remade the Republican party in his own image. He rewrote some of the GOP’s most dearly held policy and philosophical positions." Trump has sent the capital into a "zone of uncertainty the likes of which it hasn’t experienced at least since Ronald Reagan’s conservative revolution in 1980," and is about to become "the most unconventional president in modern American history," Seib writes.
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