Adorable Deplorable

By on November 9, 2016

 

The 45th President of the United States Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, in Hershey last week.

The 45th President of the United States Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, in Hershey last week.

 

 

Trump shocks the world, becomes 45th President of the United States. Nearly 70 percent of Ephrata voters choose Trump

 

 By Patrick Burns

While local homeowners had posted Donald Trump lawn signs about 35-times more often than dwellings fronted with Hillary Clinton placards, the news programs broadcast inside those homes offered little chance for the supporters of the maverick GOP presidential candidate.

Yet beyond all of the doubt and polling predictions that Trump would be admonished into oblivion in the race to be the 45th President of the United States, Trump handily defeated favored Democrat Hillary Clinton in a race that wasn’t officially decided until about 3 a.m. Wednesday, 20 hours after the polls opened in Ephrata.

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump cheer as they watch election returns during an election night rally, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump supporters cheer as they watch election returns during an election night rally.

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate

Trump not only won more than 137,000 votes in the heavily favored county, or 57 percent, he managed to take Pennsylvania, something a Republican hasn’t done since 1988. Trump’s sometimes bombastic and verbose language resonated among working-class voters, who appeared to have defected from the Democratic Party.

Running on a populous message as the anti-establishment candidate who burned bridges even among respected GOP elected officials and party leaders, Trump promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington.

His message, which resonated with local residents such as Denise Bromhead, helped win Lancaster County with more votes than either of the last two GOP presidential nominees.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop in Orlando.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop in Orlando.

Bromhead, who arrived to vote at about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, expressed extreme dissatisfaction with President Barack Obama. She feared a win by Clinton would bring more of the same and vowed Trump “is the real deal.”

“He might be brash and he might be crude,”she said. “But it’s what’s in his platform that counts.”

Like many Trump supporters, a baked-in distrust of Clinton fueled a fiery passion and loyalty not seen in a presidential election in recent memory. “At least he’s not a crook,” she said referring to allegations of corruption often spouted by Trump voters.

Trump’s grassroots movement was also stimulated by a fundamental hatred of the national media, especially CNN and the Washington Post, Bromhead said. She hoped a Trump win would create a backlash against an “unfair media that would reevaluate its “bias.”

“When you’re on Facebook with over 300 friends and only seven are voting for Hillary, how can you believe what papers like the Washington Post are saying?” she said.

Helped by feverishly loyal fans, who often arrived up to seven hours prior to Trump speaking engagements, the new president performed strong in a state that had not sided with a Republican presidential nominee since George H.W. Bush in 1988.

Andy Spade, chairman of the Warwick Area Republican Committee summarized the Trump phenomenon.

“This entire presidential election cycle has been unlike any I’ve seen. It’s been driven largely by people who aren’t traditionally politically active. I think many have felt disenfranchised, and Donald Trump tapped into that. For those people, he gave them a voice. I think it’s a sign that people want change.”

“I’m proud of our local Republican candidates and the fine job they do, and so far it appears the voters agree.”

Still, anti-Trump sentiments weren’t hard to find at the polls on Tuesday.

The choices presented to the public seemed so unpalatable as to be nearly impossible to swallow, an opinion echoed by many as they left their polling places.

“I don’t like either of them; in fact, I really dislike both of them,” said Bob Galgon of West Church Road, as he left the Clay Township Municipal Building, where he had reluctantly cast his vote. “You’d think, with 17 candidates, we could have picked someone better. And Hillary — forget her.

“The whole system is bad,” Galgon continued. “They rip everybody apart (in the primaries), so who wants to run when you’re treated like that? That’s why we couldn’t find anybody better.”

Husband and wife Paul and Brenda Vogt of Clay Township couldn’t agree more, saying they voted for the lesser of two evils.

“This whole system is ridiculous,” Paul Vogt said. “The whole election process is a mess — absolutely. We don’t care for either candidate.”

Brenda Vogt said she hated the contentious, back-biting nastiness of the campaigns. The mudslinging got in the way of the real issues, she said.

“In the end, I looked for leadership and went with the candidate who I thought had more knowledge of political situations,” Brenda Vogt said.

After voting yesterday morning, Melissa Miller of Hopeland said she had put a lot of thought into her decision.

“I just wasn’t sure either one was the right one to vote for,” Miller said. “The debates didn’t help, either. I looked for who was going to be the better person to run the country.”

The historic possibility of a female president meant little to Miller, she said.

“It seems to me that Trump will be able to take better control,” Miller said. “Hillary’s legal troubles also helped to sway my opinion.”

Jennifer Shettel of Lititz favored Hillary Clinton because she worried about inclusion and tolerance issues.

“I’m motivated by the importance of equality for everyone and I’m also passionate about issues for woman and children,” she said.

Cassandra Allia didn’t care for either Trump or Clinton and considered voting for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson but found him to be too “wishy-washy.” She cast a write-in vote for Evan McMullen.

“I was very scared. Events in the voting season made me nervous,” she said. “I have a young family and wanted to make sure at least thinking I’m doing what’s right.”

Cathy Gonzalez of Lititz staunchly defended her vote of Hillary who can keep the country “continuing on a path to being better.”

“I think it’s a matter of voting for sanity versus insanity,” she said. “I do understand where the emphasis is coming from for Trump supporters but I don’t think it’s healthy for our country.”

In Ephrata Borough and Ephrata Township nearly 70 percent percent of votes cast for a Republican or or Democrat went to Trump.

 In other local races, Dave Zimmerman, a former sales manager finishing his first term in the New Holland-area seat, easily beat beat out Duane Groff, a production specialist for Dutch Valley Foods.

GOP Rep. Steve Mentzer won reelection to his seat in Pennsylvania’s 97th District, which includes Lititz, Warwick Township and parts of Manheim Township in Lancaster County. Mentzer, who easily defeated democratic challenger Charlie Klein, said he’ll be back to work early this morning.

“I’m honored to be awarded the position for another two years, I’d like to thank the constituents of the 97th District,” he said. “It was a great day, a beautiful day.”

Mentzer, who as of 11:30 Tuesday evening had yet to speak to his opponent Charley Klein, said he had a speaking engagement this morning at Manheim Township High School.

“The first thing we have to do is select leaders of the PA House where we were very fortunate to elect Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom) to the majority Whip position,” he said. “The Lancaster coalition is very organized and getting him reelected will be the first order of business when we get back up there next week.”

In other area races, Republican Lloyd Smucker won a hard-fought and expensive battle Tuesday to succeed U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts, who is retiring after 20 years representing most of Lancaster County in Congress.

The two-term state senator fended off Christina Hartman, whose energetic and well-funded campaign raised hope among Democrats here and in Washington that the reliably Republican 16th Congressional District might turn blue this election.

Smucker called his win “exciting and humbling.”

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden stated “Congratulations to Lloyd Smucker on his victory this evening. Lloyd knows what it takes to bring jobs back to Pennsylvania and will find commonsense solutions to grow a thriving economy in the 16th District. I am excited to have his experience and knowledge as part of our Conference.”

In the 7th district, which includes seven eastern Lancaster County municipalities, Republican Pat Meehan defeated Democrat Mary Ellen Balchunis, 60 percent to 40 percent.

The 7th district also includes parts of Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties and most of Delaware County.

Marylouise Sholly contibuted to this story.

Patrick Burns is social media editor and staff writer for the Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

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Social media editor and staff writer for Ephrata Review and Lititz Record Express.

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