Andrew Malcolm writes at about the significance of Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president.

Gallup found that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were the most negatively-viewed candidates ever. American views of their negative campaigns were also the worst Gallup has ever recorded.

Satisfaction with Trump’s campaign was the worst in Gallup’s history. Clinton’s was third worst. Voter confidence in election honesty dropped 10 points in one summer survey. Enthusiasm for voting was the lowest in four recent presidential cycles.

If you sensed the world had turned upside-down, you weren’t alone. “The irony here,” wrote Frank Newport, Gallup’s editor, “is that Trump was able to rise to victory in the political process because he was critical of that self-same process.”

Here’s how skewed 2016 was: A large number of voters said Trump was clearly not qualified to be president. Therefore, a large number of Americans cast their ballot for Trump because that proved as an outsider he would deliver radical change.


Even pitted against such an unconventional, even tasteless competitor, a White House return was once again seen as Clinton’s to lose. And she succeeded in that.

In her gracious, tardy concession Wednesday, Clinton acknowledged the deep pain of losing. That’s understandable. Like them or not, respect them or not, we do owe our national candidates gratitude for exposing themselves to the scrutiny and abundant abuse of countrymen. As even the winner said, “This political stuff is nasty.”

It will take Clinton even longer to get her head around being the most experienced presidential candidate in modern times. Yet losing to a former donor who went out of his way almost daily to demonstrate he wasn’t standard commander-in-chief material.

Voters saw Trump’s inexperience, lack of leadership and coarse behavior as evidence the oldest man to become president was just the right guy to disrupt Washington’s self-serving, entrenched elites, whom they’ve come to detest and blame for everything.