As Maryland Goes Blue, America Opts for Trump

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Trump Acceptance Speech

Last night, while Maryland voters predictably went almost entirely with Democrats in their picks for Congress, America went down a different path. In an astonishing outcome, conservative voters from across the country picked Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House and kept the Senate and House under Republican control.

Trump’s win has shocked the world. He blazed an angry trail this year, even as a candidate with no political experience, more than a handful of sexual assault allegations against him and pending lawsuits that created serious questions about his character. Many of America’s uneducated white voters appreciated his threatening rhetoric aimed at opponents and calls to disenfranchise certain groups of Americans. They wanted a president with an aggressive personality who minces no words, and they got one. The win for the 70-year-old real estate developer is a clear turn away from the Republican establishment in our country.

Maryland was not among the states that helped him secure our nation’s top office. As of this morning, polling results (courtesy of WTOP) show 61 percent of the state voted for Hillary Clinton, while just 35 percent went with Trump. A county-by-county look shows the clear influence of the Baltimore area and D.C. suburbs. Seven counties, Baltimore City included, were responsible for the overwhelming win for Hillary, but the 17 others across the state went with Trump.

In an interesting twist this year, Gov. Larry Hogan was not among the Republicans who supported Trump. As early as March, when he emerged as the serious frontrunner for the party, Hogan spoke out against the divisive candidate. “I’m not a Trump fan,” he told the AP. “I don’t think he should be the nominee.”

The Republican governor’s words didn’t hurt him; his approval ratings soared to a record high, even while Trump galvanized support among others states’ elected officials. Yesterday, Hogan held true to those feelings and opted to write in his father, Larry Hogan, Sr., at the ballot box rather than go with Trump, according to reports.

Our incoming president has already shown this year that he has a penchant for revenge. He issued violent calls to jail his opponent for her alleged mishandling of emails, threatened media if they portrayed him negatively and disparaged other top Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. John McCain, when they immediately refused to back him.

As weird as it sounds, Donald Trump will soon be in the White House. This morning, Hogan’s office released a statement congratulating him. The rest of his message focused on the future, the nastiness of this past election campaign and tackling partisan gridlock:

“I offer my congratulations to President-elect Donald Trump and to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and will work with the new administration on behalf of all Marylanders. Now is the time for all of us to come together to find real solutions to the problems we face as a country. For the past two years, our administration has been committed to working with both Democrats and Republicans to change Maryland for the better and that is exactly what we need to see more of in Washington, D.C. As we move forward, I encourage both parties to leave behind the divisive politics that have marred this election season and our nation for far too long and focus on doing what is best for America.”

We’ll have to see how the tense dynamic plays out across the Beltway come this January. One thing’s for sure: It’s going to be a very different four years in our country.

Ethan McLeod
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