Let's talk about the post-election landscape in American politics. There are a number of reasonable probabilities that will more than likely occur. None of these are guaranteed, but trends and patterns speak volumes. So here go my predictions:
1. Hillary Clinton will be the new President-Elect with approximately an 8% victory and approximately 350-370 electoral votes. Donald Trump will complain about a rigged election, but the margin of victory will force him to concede.
2. The Democrats will pick up between 5 and 7 senate seats and will take control of the senate. One of the first actions that the new senate will enact will be the so called "nuclear option", eliminating the 60 vote threshold for most votes, including Supreme Court and lower court nominees.
3. The Democrats will pick up between 10 and 15 seats in the House of Representatives. This will not be enough to turn the house, but it will be a clear sign that the demographics on a micro level are beginning to shift in the Democrat's favor.
4. Paul Ryan will be usurped as speaker of the house and replaced with someone out of the far right wing of the Republican party. This will signal the beginning of a suicidal internecine war within the Republican Party. That war will continue over the next four years with the battle raging between far-right members and traditional Republicans for the heart and soul of the party.
5. Ryan will become the leader of the traditionalist Republicans and show some softening in his positions and his willingness to work with Democrats, while Trump and his associates in the Breitbart universe will seek a young southern ultra-conservative to carry their Trumpian message.
6. The real battleground during the next four years will be the state houses and legislatures. With census redistricting occurring after the 2020 census, the control of state government will become the key issue for political debate. Will the Democrats be able to control enough governorships and state legislatures to control the redrawing of congressional lines after the next election. This will be the issue that will define congress throughout the 2020s. Much of this battle will be waged in the Supreme Court.
7. Overall politics will move markedly to the left due to the changing demographics of the nation. With the increased number of Latinos and Latinas, increased numbers of non-white immigrants, and increased numbers of Americans that practice religions other than Protestantism, the nation will have more diverse opinions. The other major issue in this liberalization will be the reversal of an aging America. As the country becomes younger, it tends to become more liberal.
8. The immediate question after this year's election will be the "republican self-autopsy". What do they have to do to remain a national party? What changes have to be made? They will, once again, read the American people wrong and think that they weren't conservative enough. What they will fail to understand is that most Americans want to see a politics of inclusion not one of exclusion. Until they understand that simple principle, they will remain a political party in their death throes.
9. There may be an attempt to start a third, moderate to slightly right of center party. The effort will fail, only because this nation has never been able to support a multi-party system. The effort, after some electoral failure, will result in a concerted effort to restructure the Republican party.
This has been a tumultuous and bitter campaign season. The most significant casualty of the election has been that there has been so little discussion of the issues that truly define a presidential election. What are we going to do about climate change? How are we going to improve our educational system in a way that every student benefits? How do address immigration in a logical and humane and truly American manner? How do we guarantee equal rights for all Americans? How do correct injustices in our criminal justice system? How do we change the views of extremists throughout the world, so that there can be peaceful co-existence between nations and the people who live in those nations?
Perhaps we needed an election of catharsis to rid our body politic of the cancer that seems to have invaded it. If the end result of this election is that we can get back to being a nation of governance of all the people, maybe this agony of an election cycle would be worth it.