America is broken. Into two irreconcilable halves. In a historic and baffling election -- after a brutally ugly campaign -- Donald Trump, an erratic candidate who campaigned as a bully and a bigot, who demonstrated a weak understanding of crucial policy matters, who set a record for false statements, who encouraged violence, who was caught bragging about committing sexual assault, who hid key information about his life from the public, and who was called by members of his own party a con artist, a racist, and a danger to the nation, won the votes (if not the hearts and minds) of tens of millions of Americans and the keys to the White House. Pocketing a huge majority of non-college-educated white voters, Trump prevented Hillary Clinton from becoming the country's first woman president. Hate did trump. The Republicans' animus-driven effort yielded a decisive victory for the reality television celebrity and left the nation bitterly and fundamentally divided.
Pushing a message of inclusion and declaring that "love trumps hate," Clinton pulled together a diverse coalition of voters reflecting the demographic changes underway in America, much like the majorities assembled by Barack Obama. Trump mounted a demagogic effort fueled by anger, resentment, fear, and lies that appealed mostly to older white guys without much education. The 2016 election, because of Trump's thuggish conduct and racist and misogynistic statements and actions, marked a severe decline in US political discourse.
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