The election of 2016 was rancorous even by the normal rough-and-tumble standards of U.S. politics. But the hostility between the candidates may be less important than the attitude towards the political system itself which the election revealed and encouraged.
The election revealed deep distrust of the political system and “the media” by many voters. Any sense of shared values and so trust between the parties seemed to erode further. The nomination process showed an upheaval against the “establishment” in each party. An “outsider” President now claims support of “the people” against “a small group in our nation’s capital.” “Alternative facts” are promoted against media that should “keep its mouth shut.”
Trump’s election may be seen as the culmination of a lengthy process of growing anger, distrust, and de-legitimation of institutions. What then, does it suggest about our government and politics going forward? As one of the core analysts for fivethirtyeight.com, Clare Malone contributed towards its sophisticated analysis of the election while it happened. Now she’ll discuss what it might mean.
BIO: Clare Malone
Clare Malone joined the staff of fivethirtyeight.com as Senior Political Writer after working on the editorial staff of The New Yorker and a web editor of The American Prospect. As a free-lance writer, her work has been published also in Harper’s, The New York Times, Elle, VICE, and The Daily Beast. She is a writer and transplant to Brooklyn by way of Washington, D.C.; Doha, Qatar; and Cleveland, Ohio.