Was it Yogi Berra who said “it is déjà vu all over again?”
With 99 percent of the vote counted, Hillary Clinton had about 200,000 votes more than Donald Trump. She had 59,814,000 while Trump had 59,611,000 but he had more than the 270 electoral votes needed to win and she was stuck at 228.
"It certainly is going to bring this back into the forefront of public discussion," John Koza, the founder of the National Popular Vote campaign, which aims to effectively get rid of the Electoral College, told NBC on Tuesday night as votes were counted.
"We think every vote should be equal throughout the United States," he said. "We think the candidate who gets the most votes should become president."
In a country where it is supposed to be one man, or one woman, one vote, this destroys for some the legitimacy of a government already unpopular.
And it would be the second time in 16 years.
George Bush was elected in 2000 after several days of counting and court cases only settled by the Republican-dominated U.S. Supreme Court. Bush won a second-term but became widely unpopular because of a recession and war in Iraq that was launched looking for weapons of mass destruction that were never found. Some believe the war led to the creation of ISIS terrorists.
The nation still hasn’t recovered and the Middle East plague of terrorists has reached the U.S. and Europe.
Former Vice President Al Gore, meanwhile, had more votes but chose to concede in 2000 to avoid creating a controversy that might hurt the nation.
This week, unlike 2000, it was clear in 24 hours that Trump lost the popular vote and thousands of his opponents hit the streets in big cities from coast-to-coast in non-violent protests Wednesday night. A common cry was that Trump was not their president.
Also unlike 2000, Republicans will be inheriting a government that they deliberately sought to destroy. They publicly stated they would make it impossible for President Obama to get anything done when he was first elected in 2008.
It was a fight all the way, though Obama restored the economy to previous levels and killed Osama bin Laden.
Trump will have a narrow margin in the Senate, and it would be no surprise if Democrats block him any time they can.
The battle to take away the rights of women and gays by appointing conservatives could backfire. The way the court works, justices try to avoid turning around on important decisions.
Cornell University says: “Stare decisis is the doctrine of precedent. Courts cite to stare decisis when an issue has been previously brought to the court and a ruling already issued. Generally, courts will adhere to the previous ruling, though this is not universally true. See, e.g. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 US 833.
Stare decisis is Latin for “to stand by things decided.” The doctrine operates both horizontally and vertically.
Horizontal stare decisis refers to a court adhering to its own precedent. A court engages in vertical stare decisis when it applies precedent from a higher court. Consequently, stare decisis discourages litigating established precedents, and thus, reduces spending.
“According to the Supreme Court, stare decisis “promotes the evenhanded, predictable, and consistent development of legal principles, fosters reliance on judicial decisions, and contributes to the actual and perceived integrity of the judicial process.”
In practice, the Supreme Court will usually defer to its previous decisions even if the soundness of the decision is in doubt.
A benefit of this rigidity is that a court need not continuously reevaluate the legal underpinnings of past decisions and accepted doctrines. “Moreover, proponents argue that the predictability afforded by the doctrine helps clarify constitutional rights for the public. Other commentators point out that courts and society only realize these benefits when decisions are published and made available. Thus, some scholars assert that stare decisis is harder to justify in cases involving secret opinions.”
President Trump vowed the morning after he was elected to be conciliatory.
Nevertheless, he will be under pressure from his base to overturn decisions supported by the majority in many polls.
With California voting to legalize recreational marijuana, which is growing more popular from coast to coast, Trump will be risking losing his majorities in both the House and Senate. Seven states have legalized recreational marijuana and more than a dozen more have made medical marijuana legal.
The 2018 election has already begun.
2016 US election news and other news from the USA
Worked in journalism, including on the Internet, for more than 40 years. Started as a news editor at the Colorado Daily at the University of Colorado, joined a small Montana newspaper, the Helena Independent-Record, and then United Press International.