For the liberals and leftists in America, there may be few words that could be worse than ‘President Trump’. ‘The local Whole Foods is closing down’ might be one of them, but there are probably a few more that I’m forgetting. What we need to realize, friends and family, is that for the last 8 years we’ve become more isolated, too confident and more self-assured. We expected that our country had turned the corner on the 1960’s and the 1860’s, that divisiveness was a remnant of our grandparent’s generation. We assumed that most Americans would agree that experience, intelligence, debate performance, celebrity, financial titan and expert policy maker endorsements would be more than enough to ensure the next leader of the free world would be Hillary Clinton.
As I’ve stated before, Clinton had her failings, some moral, some optical and perhaps some ethical. A Clinton presidency would have been fraught with attacks from the right and the left. Government shut downs would be common, and Court vacancies would likely increase. Based on speeches and donations, we knew that she would be beholden to Wall Street, so we cannot delude ourselves into thinking she would be female version of Bernie Sanders, with free education and healthcare for all. That is a dream, a myth – something you told yourself when you voted for her as you tried to put away what she (and the DNC) did to her primary opponent. She was a hawk – at least somewhat responsible for the destruction and implosions of Syria, Libya and Iraq, and her desire to implement a no-fly zone in Syria placed the entire world at risk. Putting aside the fact that she would have been the first female President, Elizabeth Warren would have been the better alternative for a myriad of reasons.
But that doesn’t make you feel better – you’re a fish out of water, struggling to breathe. It’s Donald Trump. President Donald Trump. And it’s coming. But it’s not the end of the world. Here’s why.
First, Trump has a long history of waffling on issues, big and small. He has been pro-choice, he’s not particularly religious and it’s unlikely he’s going to make divorce illegal anytime soon. He even changed his tune on immigration several times during the election season. Second, Trump has viewpoints that are nearly the same as Bernie Sanders on both trade and foreign policy. He appears to be against American empire and imperialism. His views on the Iraq War (at least today) are the same as yours before George W. Bush decided to invade. Trump is no neocon, he’s an isolationist. That could mean bringing most if not all of our troops home from abroad, closing bases, and saving the American tax payer trillions of dollars that can be used for infrastructure. And on that note, Trump promised in his acceptance speech that he would be building new roads and bridges. He struck a conciliatory tone, and I expect his immigration views will soften substantially during his term.
Donald Trump is in many ways pathetic, boorish and a bully, especially towards women. His conduct during the election was inexcusable and an embarrassment. But if his domestic policy creates jobs and his foreign policy saves lives, then this is not the worst thing to happen to our Republic. We need to try to look at the bright side, and not be obstructionist, just because it has the Trump stamp on it. Should we strongly oppose inhumane efforts to deport illegal immigrants and prevent Muslim refugees entry onto our shores? Absolutely. Should we form human chains to stop the construction of the border wall with Mexico that probably won’t actually be built? Sounds like a plan (although my shoulder is injured so I’ll have to sit that one out). Should we pray that his penchant for Twitter wars with celebrities doesn’t equate with a desire to arrest and torture political opponents and send nuclear weapons into San Francisco? Yes. Please pray. But let’s try to look on the bright side here, hope for the best, and fight for what’s fair. It’s going to be a long 4 years, but we can persevere. And if not, I’ll meet you for some consolation at the Whole Foods.