Elec­tion leaves every­one in shock

Cherokee County Herald - - VIEWPOINTS - By Steve Flow­ers

Don­ald J. Trump’s elec­tion to the pres­i­dency left the poll­sters and pun­dits from ev­ery me­dia out­let and news net­work with egg on their face. It also left them with their mouths ajar in shock.

Ev­ery poll and ev­ery pun­dit had Hillary Clin­ton win­ning the pres­i­dency. It was as­sumed that the Elec­toral Col­lege ad­van­tage for a lib­eral Demo­crat was im­preg­nable. Trump’s amaz­ing sur­prise vic­tory will be recorded as one of the big­gest up­sets in mod­ern po­lit­i­cal history. It will be com­pared to and was very sim­i­lar to the up­set vic­tory that Harry Tru­man pulled off against Thomas Dewey in 1948.

There are un­canny sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the Tru­man come from be­hind vic­tory and the Trump win. All polls showed Tru­man los­ing. How­ever, in the fi­nal weeks of the cam­paign, Tru­man was bring­ing out large crowds as he spoke from the back of a train in what was re­ferred to as his Whis­tle Stop Tour. To­ward the very end his crowds were grow­ing larger and larger.

Like Trump, Tru­man was plain spo- ken and the crowds would shout out, “Give ‘em hell Harry!” He would re­tort, “That’s what I plan to do.” It was so as­sumed that Tru­man would lose that there was a fa­mous photo of Tru­man hold­ing up a copy of the “Chicago Tri­bune” with the head­line, “Dewey Wins.” Sim­i­larly, there is this year’s rev­e­la­tion that “Newsweek” in order to get to press early had Hillary win­ning with the head­line, “Madam Pres­i­dent.” They had to re­call mil­lions of copies. Also, I have had to ad­mit that yours truly had writ­ten a much dif­fer­ent head­line story on the Mon­day be­fore Tues­day’s Elec­tion Day for today’s col­umn.

There is no ques­tion that we live in two dis­tinct, di­verse, and dif­fer­ent philo­soph­i­cal Amer­i­cas when it comes to pres­i­den­tial pol­i­tics. It ap­pears that we in the south are not the only folks in Amer­ica who be­lieve in a bal­anced bud­get, a strong mil­i­tary, and sus­tain­ing a strong agri­cul­tural base. In ad­di­tion, we may not be alone when it comes to be­ing pro-life and pro-gun. The rest of the coun­try may be more like us than we think. We ob­vi­ously have some south­ern think­ing folks in the Mid­west­ern Rust Belt states.

In short Trump won the elec­tion be­cause white con­ser­va­tives all over the coun­try turned out in mass as though their na­tion de­pended on it and they prob­a­bly were right. Evan­gel­i­cal Chris­tian vot­ers re­al­ized the im­por- tance of the im­pend­ing Supreme Court ap­point­ments. That will in­deed be Trump’s most last­ing legacy. He will ap­point con­ser­va­tives to our Supreme Court, and they will be con­firmed by a Repub­li­can U.S. Se­nate.

The Repub­li­can con­trol of the Se­nate is another vic­tory for con­ser­va­tives through­out the coun­try. Trump will be a Repub­li­can Pres­i­dent with a Repub­li­can U.S. Se­nate and a Repub­li­can con­ser­va­tive U.S. House. This Repub­li­can gov­ern­ing ma­jor­ity will be im­mensely ben­e­fi­cial to Alabama. Six of our seven con­gress­men are Repub­li­cans.

More im­por­tantly our two Sen­a­tors, Richard Shelby and Jeff Ses­sions, are in the ma­jor­ity in the Se­nate. Shelby will be beginning his sixth six- year term. Within two years he will break the record set by John Spark­man as the long­est serv­ing Sen­a­tor in Alabama history. But, more sig­nif­i­cantly, he will be­come Chair­man of the Se­nate Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee.

The Trump elec­tion changes the en­tire po­lit­i­cal land­scape in Alabama pol­i­tics. More than likely, Pres­i­dent Trump will ap­point our Sen­a­tor, Jeff Ses­sions, to a ma­jor cab­i­net po­si­tion – more than likely Sec­re­tary of De­fense. Ses­sions will prob­a­bly ac­cept this pres­ti­gious and pow­er­ful post.

Folks this leaves a va­cant U.S. Se­nate seat in the Heart of Dixie. There are prob­a­bly a dozen ma­jor vi­able po­lit­i­cal fig­ures who will pur­sue this cov­eted once-in-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity. Gov­er­nor Bent­ley will ap­point Ses­sion’s suc­ces­sor. How­ever, who­ever gets the ap­point­ment will have to run in 2018.

Bent­ley has been un­ortho­dox and un­pre­dictable in his ap­point­ments. This one is by far the most sig­nif­i­cant of his ten­ure. Some spec­u­la­tion is that he might ap­point him­self or a close ad­vi­sor. Oth­ers say he will ap­point At­tor­ney Gen­eral Luther Strange, who will prob­a­bly run for the post in 2018, re­gard­less. Some say the in­side track be­longs to Perry Hooper, Jr., who has statewide name iden­ti­fi­ca­tion from his role as Trump’s front man in the state and has a staunch con­ser­va­tive life­time GOP pedi­gree.

If you thought we had a good year awaiting us in 2018, it has be­come ex­po­nen­tially more tit­il­lat­ing. We will have a gov­er­nor’s race, U. S. Se­nate race, and ev­ery con­sti­tu­tional of­fice is up for grabs, as well as all 140 State House and Se­nate seats. It will be quite a year and be­lieve me, it has al­ready be­gun.

Steve Flow­ers is Alabama’s lead­ing po­lit­i­cal colum­nist. His weekly col­umn ap­pears in over 60 Alabama news­pa­pers. He served 16 years in the state leg­is­la­ture. Steve may be reached at www.steve­flow­ers. us.

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