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OPINION

Trump’s win turns politics upside down

Dennis Lennox

The song “The World Turned Upside Down” is said to have been played by awe-struck British soldiers during their surrender at Yorktown, where George Washington’s victory brought about the end of the American Revolution.

That old English song also fittingly symbolizes President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, which wasn’t suppose to happen.

The chattering class, citing numerous polls showing Trump down and out, crowned Hillary Clinton. All she had to do was get through the pesky mess that is Election Day. Of course, that ended up being far easier said than done.

The magnitude of Trump winning really can’t be overstated. It may go down in the annals of U.S. political history as the greatest electoral victory of the modern era.

Trump defied just about every political convention and norm and even waged what seemed like an endless war against many of his own party’s grandees.

There would be no Trump had millions of everyday Americans not risen up against establishment politics during the tea party revolution in 2010. The tea party often lost more than it won, but its impact was felt time and time again. And now, in its penultimate act, the tea party can claim the presidency.

Trump’s victory also represents the complete rejection of President Barack Obama.

Obama’s two terms will surely be seen as a miserable failure, especially when Obamacare, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, immigration, climate change, the Iran deal, and other signature policy legacies will be repealed. In many respects, it will be as if the Obama presidency never happened.

It remains unclear, however, the extent Trump’s election will change the Republican party.

Will the more traditional Republicans eschew their party’s orthodoxy for Trump Republicanism? That’s certainly the big question in Michigan, where Trump posted a stunning victory and carried counties — Bay and Saginaw being prime examples — traditional Republicans just don’t win.

Expect Attorney General Bill Schuette and Lieutenant Gov. Brian Calley to carefully review the Trump playbook for ways it could be used in their battle for GOP nomination to succeed term-limited Gov. Rick Snyder in 2018.

Schuette stood by Trump after the primaries and caucuses while Calley withdrew his endorsement, though neither is in a good position to run as an outsider.

One name that could make it interesting is outgoing Congresswoman Candice Miller, who rode the Trump coattails to defeat the incumbent Democrat drain commissioner in blue-collar Macomb County.

Not only could Miller emphasize how she didn’t have a role in the controversies of the Snyder-Calley administration, but her political base in the state’s third most populous county, which overwhelmingly supported Trump, would make things interesting.

But many think Miller has no interest in embarking upon the statewide campaign trail, which she would need to do this winter and spring, when GOP county parties begin holding rubber-chicken dinners.

Then there is always the possibility that someone else will emerge and emulate Trump’s playbook only to find themselves in the governor’s mansion.

Dennis Lennox is a Republican consultant.

Twitter: @dennislennox