Liberal and moderate New Yorkers wander NYC streets shell-shocked. Donald Trump President of the United States?
How could this happen?
Many blame FBI Director James Comey, whose reopening of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails grounded her momentum to a screeching halt. His reversal two days before the election was too late. Others cite a hacking plot involving Russia and Julian Assange.
Some grumble that Sen. Bernie Sanders could have easily won. They are kidding themselves. The GOP would have ruthlessly exploited Sanders’ radical background and scared the crap out of Americans about a proud socialist being president.
Meanwhile, it is clearer than ever that Clinton is a weak campaigner. A relatively unknown Barack Obama trounced her in 2008, while Sanders gave her a real battle, despite the media virtually ignoring him.
But the main reason for Trump’s victory? As Bill Clinton said years ago, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Yes, unemployment numbers have dropped, but millions of people are still struggling economically. Technology continues to steal jobs, especially from the working class, and this will only accelerate, no matter who is president.
Stroll in to your local drugstore, and see how many kiosks have replaced humans at checkout. Look around your office. How many jobs have been replaced by automation?
Angry white men without college degrees, who helped drive Trump to victory, are in deep trouble economically. According to CNN Money, nearly 25 percent of them are not only unemployed, but have given up looking for work. Many others drive to earn a living, and will only see things worsen as driverless cars take over. And Trump expertly exploited their anger.
But despite his confident boasts, Trump can’t reverse this economic trend. Conservative Wall Street ominously signaled its feelings about Trump’s ability to right the ship when the financial markets plunged immediately after the election.
The sad truth is that no matter which party is in power, jobs will continue to disappear. Despite Trump’s scapegoating, it’s not immigrants here illegally doing the jobs Americans would never do who are to blame.
It’s technology, which also has historically improved millions of lives. But there are always unintended consequences.
Such as President Donald J. Trump.
Playwright Mike Vogel is the author of the new comedy “Senior Moment.”