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Vox Sentences: Your guide to the Donald J. Trump administration

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what's happening in the world, curated by Dara Lind and Dylan Matthews. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.

Your cram session for the dawn of the Trump administration.


Donald Trump Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
  • So ... that happened. (The NYT has interactive maps showing precisely how.) [NYT]
  • Yes, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote — just as pollsters predicted she would. But in pretty much every other regard, they got 2016 Very, Very Wrong. (Vox's Jeff Stein got seven of them to try to defend the continued existence of their profession.) [Vox / Jeff Stein]
  • One factor: Clinton failed to mobilize the full Obama coalition. Turnout was down from 2008 and 2012 levels. [CNN / Tami Luhby]
  • Another factor: White people voted for Donald Trump. He won among white voters of all age groups, genders, and education levels, with the sole exception of white college-educated women. (Confidential from Dara to other white college-educated women: Don't pull a #NotAllWhites on this; it's not cute.) [CNN]
  • But the presidential race understates the damage. The Democratic Party has shockingly little to show for itself after a cycle that was supposed to coronate a new demographic majority (causing some left critics to claim that the party needs to blow itself up and start over). [Slate / Jim Newell]
  • Republicans control the presidency and both chambers of Congress. They went from having 31 governors to 34. And they improved their hold on state legislatures. [AP]
  • The victories for progressives and Democrats were there, if you looked really hard. But they were few and far between. [Fusion / Michael Rosen]
  • Now America needs to figure out how to live with itself after 18 long months. Two notes of caution. One: Life in a democracy means living among people whose views you despise (and not bailing out to abandon those who might be less fortunate). [Vox / Melissa Schwartzberg and Jennifer Gandhi]
  • But two: People of color are in genuine and deserved pain from this election result. That pain is not something that should be dismissed in the name of unity. [Vox / Lauren Williams]


Paul Ryan Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
  • What will President-elect Trump actually do in his (first?) four years in office? The best examination of this (albeit a little outdated at this point) was this New Yorker feature by Evan Osnos, which you should read if you haven't already. [New Yorker / Evan Osnos]
  • His first order of business, of course, is staffing up his Cabinet and other key administration posts — a process that's basically already begun. [WSJ / Michael C. Bender and Beth Reinhard]
  • It's not clear how much Trump's Cabinet would resemble a conventional Republican's, since so many members of the party's policy establishment despise and fear him (though whether that's an argument against taking a Trump administration post, or an argument for trying to limit the damage, is debatable). [Bloomberg / Megan McArdle]
  • The policy upside for Republicans is, shall we say, yuuuge. Republicans have unified government for the first time in a decade — and some are already calling for the Senate to eliminate the filibuster next year, to remove Democrats' only veto point. [CNN / Andrew Kaczynski]
  • What will they do with it? Well, repeal Obamacare, duh. [Vox / Sarah Kliff]
  • There's also a tax cut in the works, though its precise size and scope is to be determined. [Fortune / Howard Gleckman]
  • You can certainly bet that they will do absolutely nothing on climate change. Which is ... not exactly a good thing. [Vox / Brad Plumer]
  • And, of course, no review of President Trump's domestic agenda would be complete without the reminder that despite all your wall jokes, he actually articulated a clear and plausible plan for deporting millions of unauthorized immigrants from the US in four years and putting the rest of them under a cloud of fear. [Vox / Dara Lind]

New World Order

Viktor Orban Viktor Orbán
  • In the history books, Trump's victory probably won't seem shocking. It's part of a global backlash against cosmopolitan pluralism. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • You can pretty much determine which way a given foreign leader responded to Trump's election by which side of the cosmopolitan split he or she is on. [Vox / Jennifer Williams]
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel — who, once President Obama leaves office, will be the most powerful cosmopolitan leader in the world — turned her comments about Trump into a thinly veiled plea to remember liberal values (which, come to think of it, was also the tone of both Obama's and Clinton's speeches Wednesday). [Huffington Post / Audrey Allegretti]
  • But what Trump represents in the new world order is different from what foreign policy his administration will pursue. And regarding the latter ... well, let's just say there's still a lot of tea leaf reading going on. [NYT / Max Fisher]
  • Trump's agenda will come into focus as he staffs up his administration, of course (here's your cheat sheet). [Foreign Policy / John Hudson and Colum Lynch]
  • But uncertainty is something of a hallmark of the Trump brand — and it's very bad for diplomacy. Here's a starter pack of four crises that President Trump might provoke in office. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp, Yochi Dreazen, and Jennifer Williams]
  • That said, it's worth noting that global markets were surprisingly unpanicky today in the wake of Trump's victory. (The Mexican peso, however, is in trouble.)[The Guardian / Rupert Neate]


  • It's going to be a very busy four years for the ACLU. [ACLU]
  • Automation has made the world a far richer, better place. But sometimes it fails — and when it does, humans often aren't ready to step up. [The Guardian / TIm Harford]
  • Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev once called African migrant workers "cancer in our body" and shouted, "Go to Gaza, you traitor," at an Arab Knesset member. But she views herself as a champion of the downtrodden, a voice for Jews of Middle Eastern origin marginalized by Ashkenazis. [NYT Mag / Ruth Margalit]
  • "Playable cities," with features like piano stairs and "disco crosswalks," are a big new urban planning trend, and they are a nightmare. [CityLab / Feargus O'Sullivan]
  • In 2014, Burlington, Vermont, became the first city in the US to get all its electricity from renewable sources. Here's how. [Pacific Standard / Lucia Graves]


  • "He had run into some scrap aluminum sheeting from an actual World War II B-24 Liberator, and he wanted to design a guitar with it." [Matt Artinger to Popular Mechanics / Kendall Hamilton]
  • "I remember that when I myself belonged to the category of 'youth,' I too felt that there just wasn't enough time. Even in prison, when I did nothing but read, it seemed that one couldn't get enough done in a day." [Leon Trotsky]
  • "In fact, I'll go further. I contend that social incentives are the root of all our biggest thinking errors." [Melting Asphalt / Kevin Simler]
  • "You can’t be a girl who is scared to look at a French fry. Be a woman who scares French fries by looking at them." [The Hairpin / Casey Johnston]
  • "Just as all sentient life may arise from a single evolutionary mistake, so, too, can a love story." [NY Mag / Mandy Stadtmiller]

Watch this: It’s now on America’s institutions – and Republicans – to check Donald Trump

Now that Donald Trump has shocked the world, Vox editor in chief Ezra Klein explains what comes next. [YouTube / Ezra Klein]

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