I wish I could say I'm surprised.
Even when Hillary Clinton was projected to win by a comfortable margin, I was cautious. The people who made a difference this election were not the people who pollsters pay attention to. President Trump spoke to a large chunk of the population who feel that their values and way of life are fading away, and they are so desperate to hang on to all they hold dear that they elected the candidate that promised them the world. Even though deep down they know that many of those promises will never happen.
And, as I've said more than once, the Democrats have nobody to blame but themselves.
They could have run just about anybody against Trump and won. But they picked a career politician drowning in scandal (real or imagined) who many, many people do not like and would never vote for. You can play up her lifetime of community service... her experience... her famous friends... her popularity with the younger generation... whatever... in the end there are just too many people who don't care about any of it. They are "Never Hillary Voters"... and, apparently, a large enough number of those were casting votes for Democrats in previous elections. This time they sat out, went Trump, or voted third party candidates to grave effect. Sadly, some of those were undoubtedly "Never Hillary Voters" because she was a woman (as difficult as that may be to accept). I am hopeful that wasn't a deciding factor but, make no mistake, it was a factor. I am convinced that a woman candidate could have won against Trump... but this woman was always a gamble.
And, just to be fair, I would have said the Republicans have nobody to blame but themselves if they had lost. Ironically, both parties picked candidates that could only lose against each other.
And soooooo... what's the worst-case scenario that comes from electing President Trump?
The Supreme Court Goes Hard Conservative. This is probably the biggest change for the USA. It is very likely that, in addition to the open seat that's there now, another seat or two will go to a Conservative judge. The ramifications are vast. Abortion will most certainly be made illegal. Money equated to "free speech" will become even more entrenched, meaning even more money in politics. Same-sex marriage and other LGBT protections could be overturned. It's likely that women's rights will take a hit. And what progress we've made in opening up voter's rights will be buried (disenfranchising voters and making it more and more difficult for anybody but Republicans to get elected). This could be a very different country four years from now... and since Supreme Court appointments are a lifetime deal, it's not something that ends when the Trump presidency ends.
Health Care Dismantled. Since Trump was so vague when it comes to his plans for replacing The Affordable Car Act, it's tough to know exactly what's going to happen here. It's likely that a lot of people living in poverty will lose any option they might have for health insurance. Could denials for preexisting conditions come back? Yep. Could lifetime limits in coverage come back? Yep. Even if you get your health care from your employer, you may be in for some shocking changes as insurance companies, free from restraint, attempt to squeeze even more profits out of the people they insure. We've been promised that competition will make for cheaper rates. But collusion between insurance companies makes this seem unlikely, because there is money to be made... lots and lots of money. Why compete when you can work together to screw everybody over and get rich? Past precedence has shown that the insurance lobby is a ruthless force in government. And now there will be nothing to stop them.
Medicare Dismantled. It's hard to know which system Republicans hate more... Social Security or Medicare. If they end up still existing at all, it's likely they will take a very different form once they've been filtered through a Republican gauntlet. My guess is that Social Security will be given some thought because the elderly are a huge voting block that Republicans can't afford to lose. And that's assuming the funding can be found with all the tax cuts Trump has promised. But Medicare? The system gains Republicans almost nothing. It will be privatized as quickly as possible. Which is to say it will die a slow death because there's not enough money in it to make it worthwhile. Whatever you do... don't be poor, unlucky, and unhealthy in America.
World on Fire. Given Trump's disparaging statements towards Muslims (specifically) and persons of foreign nations (in general), there's bound to be an escalation of hatred towards us. This will have disastrous results when it comes to galvanizing terrorists to attack The United States. Foreign relations will likely suffer as well... even when it comes to nations we're friendly with. Contrary to what Trump has been telling us, our standing in the world has taken a dramatic, unfathomable notch downward. Several notches. That's what happens when you shelve diplomacy and cooperation all in the name of "winning." The long-term consequences of this country being seen as a global bully are incalculable. Our allies in Muslim countries may no longer be allies, and that alone is a very scary thought.
A Nation of Bullies. As I said three days ago, electing Donald Trump is the equivalent of hanging a giant banner outside the country advertising the fact that we're a nation of racist, homophobic, misogynistic, foreigner-bashing, non-Christian-hating, ignorant, unstable, narcissistic, intolerant, bigoted pieces of shit. I honestly believe that. And so will the people empowered by the fact that our president embodies all those traits. I genuinely fear for anybody who's not a white, straight, Christian male in this country. Depending on where you are and who you are, your very life could be in danger (or in even more danger). Which means we're all in danger. Electing Trump is like igniting a powder keg that will blow us even further apart as a country. And we have nobody to blame but ourselves. I have no idea what Trump means when he says he's going to "bring law and order to this country," but it may very well mean martial law. For our own protection. From ourselves.
Big Issues That Never Made It to The Debates. And then there's all the stuff that Republicans have been battling over the year for which victory is now possible. I'm a firm believer that Net Neutrality will be killed off in short order. The ramifications of which are absolutely terrifying for a free and open internet. Environmental protections are going right out the window in favor of big business interests. Which means battling climate change isn't even going to be on the radar (it's just a hoax invented by the Chinese anyway, right?). The list goes on and on. I'm betting there are a lot of things that we never imagined being affected that are affected. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing I just don't know. My guess is that it's a very bad thing in most cases. If wealthy people are in control of this country now, they will own this country come January. What they'll do with their new property is anybody's guess. But, unless you are one of them, odds are it's not going to favor you.
The Great Unknown. Will Trump, in fact, have Hillary Clinton jailed? Is he in league with Russia? What happens to all the lawsuits against him? And what about that wall he's going to build on our Mexican border? There are so many unknowns when it comes to President Trump that it's impossible to say what's going to happen.
And the best-case scenario for President Trump? The United States of America endures.