You could tell by the low-key stage that Trump didn’t completely expect to win. The victory speech was meant be on the shiny blue map of America stage. Instead Clinton was probably too shocked to go out there and say anything at all. It’s really only shocking though because for the last 18 months the media has been saying he'll lose and the polls have been agreeing with that narrative. Wrong.
Trump did not win by a lot. But he definitely won. And he got the Congress and the Senate too. So it's a massive victory, obviously. You always had to wonder if the polls were wrong. Trump is an outlier and outliers cause modelling to break down. His victory has embarrassed the pundits. They had no idea what they were talking about all along. And we have no reason to think they do now. Without endorsing Trump’s actual political views it important to acknowledge the art of the victory. He had the imagination to cut through the noise and send his own signal. Despite being one of the wealthiest people in America, living in a huge apartment atop a building on Fifth Avenue with his name written on it, surrounded by luxury and security and healthcare and fine food, he had imagination. He had the thoughtfulness to understand that most Americans have none of the things he enjoys. He then took this appreciation and went out into the swing states and said to the people, I am rich and you are poor but if you come with me you can be like me, trust me, it’s gonna be huge.
When Bush got re-elected I had a phone conversation with my old man where I basically said I couldn't believe that they'd re-elected him. His response was that I didn't understand America. I knew about their fantastic popular culture but I didn't appreciate how most of Americans are forced to live. I've since been to the US three times for a total of ten weeks and most of that was spent driving cross country. Once you get past the Elysian Fields of California and New York City the interior is filled with poorer people, run down infrastructure, homeless war veterans with PTSD begging for change under bridges, addicts, abandoned factories and dusty townships. Maybe it's not all that bad but it ain't great.
Trump won the primary by picking apart sixteen, mostly seasoned, politicians. If he could devastate Jeb then so too Hillary, they were both the establishment. Without the GOP superiors actively working against him he ran a highly original line and all with less than half Clinton's money. He now has the gold medal. Not seeing Clinton give a concession speech when she knew she’d lost really felt like evidence that there truly is no room on the podium for second place. Right now the rest of the world looks at the US with confusion and derision. But maybe the Yanks don't care what the rest of the world thinks. A few of them at least are like Trump. They only care about who they view reflected in the glass. And right now Trump looks in the mirror and he sees a massive winner. But will it last? Hard to imagine so. Even Steph Curry can only hit so many three pointers in a row. America is a nation of complicated unpredictable tectonic shifts that can only be understood in hindsight. This is just another rapture. There will be more.