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A young girl stands in line at a Donald Trump rally in January in Muscatine, Iowa. AP

What Just Happened? A Look Back at the Presidential Election of 2016

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by A. Patrick Huff, Ph.D.

Historians will have to attest to the accuracy of this statement, but by all accounts   this certainly was an election like no other, at least in the memory of most people living today.  My first voting election was 1972.  It was Nixon v. McGovern.  The dividing issue was the Vietnam War, just as it had been in 1968 when Nixon initially was elected.  A person had to be 21 to vote at that time.  I remember the chant was, if you are old enough to fight for your country you ought to be able to vote.  We were a divided country, much like we are today.  We were not able to put partisan issues aside and come together.  This article will take a look at some of the issues that made this election one for the ages.

One of the chants from the Left and the Right was that Trump was not fit to run for office.  Yes, Donald Trump had made a number of questionable statements that were taken by his opponents and turned into a referendum on his character as a person, on his judgment and his morality.  For those who can recognize what was in play, this was partisan politics pure and simple.  We were not electing the next preacher for the local Baptist church.  There have been many men and women in political leadership roles that have had questionable and rather salty language through the years.  Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Governor Ann Richards just to name a few.  Don’t forget the philandering of JFK that we all seem to excuse, because we see the merits of a man who tried to make a difference in his presidency, and was taken out because of the stand he took in certain matters of importance.  It is easier to attack a person on his or her character rather than substance, so that is what has been done to Trump during this campaign, again from the Left and the Right.  This argument against Trump is weak and needs to be discarded.

The rejection of Trump by the Republicans was evident from the beginning of the campaign.  The smug declaration Jeb Bush made on the debate floor when he said, “You will never be President of the United States” drew the line early and laid the groundwork for many attacks to come.  The attack against Trump from the Republicans was also one of the elements that drew many people, both from the Left and the Right, to support him. People began to listen attentively to what was being said.  Trump began to rise in popularity.   

Political correctness has ruled the day in matters of social discourse and political debate for far too long and most Americans are sick of it.  This was one of the appealing attributes of Trump from the start and the single greatest trait that was appealing to so many people.  He made fun of everyone and in so doing was labeled a racist, a misogynist, a homophobe, and even a rapist by a woman who later had to recant her accusation because it was unfounded.  This all goes back to the tried and true way to get at your opponent:  If you can destroy the messenger their message will not be heard.  This is one of the oldest tricks in politics and again should be discarded.

The attack from all sides of the establishment:  political, media, (tv, radio, magazines), entertainment, and religion, was also something that was appealing to many Americans.  All the major networks, cable news outlets (even Fox News), major publications, financial analysts, and the Hollywood entertainment industry, took up their mantle and stood against Trump.  Even the Pope came out against Trump!  Many were not fooled.  For the most part, we the people are not stupid.  We may be ignorant on certain issues, but we are not stupid.  There is a difference between the two.  The attacks were carefully coordinated and soon it became socially taboo to support Trump.  Many people were afraid to even put a bumper sticker on their car for fear it would invite vandalism.  Support for Trump became comparable to supporting Hitler!  Middle America, however, remembered all of this when it came time to vote.  Buying into this piece of propaganda was part of the manipulation and again was an attempt to destroy the messenger.  Recognize it for what it is and discard it.

The establishment stood against him because, from the beginning, Trump was standing up to the globalist agenda that is tied into all the news, entertainment and publication outlets. It was Trump against everyone else.  That’s why he went on the attack immediately against all the other Republican candidates, refusing to bow down in political correctness to the status quo regime.  He did not respect them because he did not respect what they stood for and the powers that were behind them pulling their strings.

His irreverence for the political establishment is what immediately drew many people to Trump and soon they became his base.  His lack of respect for the other politicians on the stage with him, while it drew the ire of the pundits, was music to the ears of those who were tired of the same ole politicians being propped up on stage by corporate interest that don’t have the American people’s interest at heart.  Why did the likes of Bush 41 and Bush 43, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Paul Ryan align themselves against Trump from the beginning?  These men represent all that Trump stands against; the establishment that has been in power supporting one another and the corporations and lobbyist that fund their campaigns and make them millionaires many times over by the time they leave office.  In Texas both Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick were against Trump during the primaries?  They were steadfast behind Ted Cruz.  One could say they were supporting a fellow Texan and a Texas Senator, but also they were unable to see the draw of Trump as an individualist and they were putting their partisan politics ahead of a once in a lifetime opportunity to right the ship.  If a person knows what the other professional politicians stand for, that being the status quo in the Republican Party, and you have a person standing up to this neo conservative group of globalists, you immediately are drawn to this seemingly rogue individual that is willing to attack everything that they stand for.  One quickly sees this game for what it is, rule by an oligarchy.  We change out the front men and women from time to time, mix up the parties to make it look bipartisan, but the same ruling class stays in power.  This is not what our Constitution and representative republic form of government should tolerate.  Thomas Jefferson wrote into the Declaration of Independence that it is our duty to throw off this form of tyranny and make way for a new government that is tied to the people and not to a selective elite.  Trump represents this spirit of independence.

Another thing that drew Middle America to Trump is that, from the beginning, he framed his arguments with his slogan, Make America Great Again.  Well, in order to understand this you had to admit to yourself that America has lost its edge on the world stage.  It is very unfortunate that our government has become the bully of the world.  We are attacking sovereign countries and overthrowing elected leaders in order to impose our will in their country.  This has created chaos in the Middle East, the migration of millions of refugees into Europe, and threatens to plunge the entire world into war.  This war agenda has once again been carried out by both political parties and by some strange twist of fate related to attacks on 9-11. Any objection to these undeclared wars is seen as unpatriotic.  This thinking that has been pushed by both administrations of Bush and Obama and promoted through the media, movies and television has distorted our ability to think rationally.  It must stop.  It now threatens to put the two most powerful countries into a war where there will be no winners.  Trump wants diplomacy and is derided for his position and made out to look weak.  He is even accused of being a foreign agent and Russian sympathizer.  This is lubricous and no rational thinking individual should buy into this dangerous propaganda.

Our government has allowed the global international financial houses to destroy the value of our currency and hold hostage other countries because their economies are tied to the American petro dollar.  The history of our country can be framed from the standpoint of who is going to control the money.  Thomas Jefferson warned about the international banking interests and how we had to maintain control of our own treasury.  It is written into the Constitution that the Treasury is to maintain control of the printing and issuance of money, yet we find ourselves subservient to the Federal Reserve, a private international bank controlled through the International Monetary Firm.  The stranglehold that the IMF, World Bank, and Bank of International Settlements has on all the nations economies, including ours, is something that must be addressed.  Trump is aware of these issues, but it remains to be seen what direction he will take toward the Federal Reserve.  The issue of the Fed never came up in the debates.

Donald Trumps education policy is a question mark.  The nations public schools have been taken over by Washington DC and have sunk into a malaise of over testing and stifling accountability measures.  He has spoken against Common Core, but has also embraced school choice (charter schools and vouchers).  From my standpoint, I can only hope that he will have competent advisors on education issues and not fall prey to the standard Republican and Democratic policy that has crippled our nation’s schools for the past 35 years.

Trump also was the only Republican candidate that was talking about the trade treaties.  He attacked NAFTA from the beginning, saying that our government had to do away with this awful treaty that stole our manufacturing base and with it our jobs.  For those of you old enough to remember the debates between Ross Perot and Al Gore on the Larry King show, Gore was declaring how NAFTA was going to be a good deal for America.  Perot made the famous quip about the “giant sucking sound” we would be hearing as all the jobs went south and out of the country.  Who was right about those two statements?  Which path did our government follow?  Trump talked openly about the destructive nature of NAFTA and the other global trade treaties our government have signed.  The big one that is looming on the horizon, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) many have said will be NAFTA on steroids.  In order to get our economic engine retooled and refueled we must provide the incentive for the corporations to begin producing their products in our country again.  If that can be done we will get the jobs that go with it.  This became one of Trumps key policy agenda items.  He was alone in his emphasis that for America to be great again, the trade treaties must be addressed and renegotiated.

Keep in mind; this is a Republican and a Democratic problem.  Both parties are to blame for the state of our country.  The Clinton Administration passed NAFTA, but the Republican Administration did nothing to rescind NAFTA.  In fact it was George W. Bush who held the meetings with the Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and the Mexican President Vicente Fox to establish another trade treaty, the Security and Prosperity Partnership that was tantamount to laying the groundwork for a North American Union.  This is why we essentially have no border to our south now.  We have a United States of America in name only.  We have no immigration policy for our Mexican neighbors, or our Latin American neighbors further south.  We are a North American Union.  This is a UN agenda item.  Don’t believe it?  Look into it.  Don’t just dismiss it.  Why have things been happening the way they have for the past 35 years, from one administration right into the other?  It is an agenda, a UN agenda.  At this point in our country’s history it is safe to say our two major political parties are just two wings of the same eagle.  We are divided according to emotional, social issues, but on matters of geo-political direction the two parties are in lock step.  Trump recognizes this dilemma, and spoke of nationalism rather than globalism.

What Trump represents to the American people, the people that have been affected by the policies of the past 35 years, is true change.  Not the change that was promised by Barack Obama, who only continued agenda items already on the books and in operation.  Obamacare was not original.  It was already on the drawing board, planned many years before and waiting for the right person to move it through.  The agenda in the Middle East was continued and ramped up even further by President Obama.  This was not change.  We were not in any danger from the countries that were attacked during the Obama Presidency.   Obama has ordered the continuation of hostilities or ordered bombings in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.  Obama was going to end the wars.  He ran as a pacifist.  He was given the Nobel Peace Prize for God’s sake.  This was not the change he promised.

People in America want their country back.  There are many people now who are awake and aware of the global agenda playing out before their eyes.  These people read beyond the news pundits that seek only to keep the population in separate boxes of ignorance.  They want hope to regain what they once had; an American government that looked out for the American people first, and then reached out to its global neighbors, not with sanctions and war, but in an atmosphere of global diplomacy that gives the opportunity for peace.

Trump’s challenge now is to put together an Executive Branch that is true to his ideals.  The globalists are already attempting to infiltrate and influence his cabinet.  He will need trusted advisors he can rely on for guidance if he is to remain true to the American people who voted for him and give his new agenda time to get started.  Can it happen?  Can America be revived and placed on a new path?  Can most Americans put aside their personal agendas and allow this independent thinker a chance to make America great again?  Time will tell.  Let us all come together and give this new era a chance.  What have we got to lose?  We have already lost our country.  Now, let’s get it back!

Dr. Patrick HuffDr. A. Patrick Huff is an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.  He is a retired public school educator of 34 years, serving as both a middle school and a high school principal.  He lives with his wife Connie in Tomball, Texas. He is also the author of the book, The Takeover of Public Education in America:  The Agenda to Control Information and Knowledge Through the Accountability System, Authorhouse Publishing 2015.  His book and other writings can be found at http://www.aphuff.com

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