Five Reasons Not To Worry (Too) Much About Trump

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If you watched in disbelief as the results of the 2016 US Presidential election came in Tuesday night, you may still be struggling to put a positive spin on the outcome. So to (very partially) allay your fears, here’s a list of five reasons why Mr. Trump’s election might not be as catastrophic as it at first seems:

1.History suggests there is a good chance the Democrats will win back the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections

While it might be tempting to throw all conventional political logic out the window in times like these, it is important to note that the party holding the White House almost inevitably loses countless Congressional seats in midterm elections, held two years into the presidential term. The Democrats, for example, lost over sixty seats in the lower legislative chamber in 2010, handing control to the GOP, and stifling Obama’s agenda for the next six years. Should a Democrat win in 2020, there is a very high chance they will be working with a Democratic controlled Congress as well.

2. Democrats have won the popular vote in 6 of the last 7 presidential elections

As a result of America’s indirect system of choosing their Commander in Chief, this has only translated into 4 Democratic terms in the White House (Clinton 1993-2001 and Obama 2009-2017). Al Gore (2000) lost the electoral college by a whisker after a controversial result in Florida swung the election to George W. Bush – Gore won the popular vote by just over half a million. While Donald J. Trump looks to have won a substantial victory in the electoral college, current projections see him losing the popular vote by around a quarter of a million. This may provide little comfort, but the fact only one Republican (Bush Jr in 2004) has actually won the most votes in the last 28 years of presidential elections does prove that liberalism in America is not dead by any stretch.

3.Hillary Clinton may have lost, but her losing margins in previously safe red states are encouraging for future Democratic candidates

Although Mrs. Clinton did much worse than Mr. Obama in Midwestern states such as Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin, she outperformed his 2012 margins in states including Texas, Georgia and Arizona. The next Democrat candidate in 2020 will surely have to replicate Obama’s vote tallies in at least parts of the heavily white, working class Midwest to secure victory, but it may not be too long before these states can perhaps be replaced in the blue column by currently Republican, but demographically diversifying, states in the South and West.

4.Senate Filibuster rules and the US constitution’s system of checks and balances mean that The Donald’s ability to permanently undo Obama’s legacy is limited

The filibuster rule in the US Senate (the upper legislative house), which effectively requires a three fifths majority in favour of a bill for it to be passed, has frustrated the Democrats for the past six years. However, this powerful weapon will now come in very useful, as Republicans will struggle get a partisan agenda and highly conservative Supreme Court Justices through Congress. This may not save Obamacare and other signature Obama initiatives entirely, but it will ensure that the bulk of his legacy is retained on the statute books, even though the Republicans now control both the White House and Congress.

5.President-Elect Trump might actually come good on his promise to make deals on Capitol Hill

This might sound preposterous, especially in light of the vitriolic rhetoric coming out of the Trump campaign prior to the election. However, one thing we know about the President-Elect is that he has very few immovable principles, and is therefore likely to be willing to strike deals and make compromises. Yes, this will mean that concessions will have to be made on both sides, but if there is a glimmer of hope in the election of a man who through the course of his life has taken every ideological position imaginable, it may well be that nothing is off the table when it comes to getting things done.

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Final year History student, Chair of Romsey and Southampton North CF and former President of the Southampton Debating Union. Follow me on Twitter @realBradBell

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