America dodged a bullet on November 8th. Through the vote of the people, by the electoral college, Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States. Hillary Clinton was one of the most disliked presidential candidates in history, consistently staying above 50% disapproval ratings, according to RealClearPolitics.com. She was corrupt, illegally running for president with clear outstanding violation of 18 U. S. Code § 783e/f, 18 U. S. Code § 1519,and 18 U. S. Code § 2071.* (Mishandling of Classified Information, Destruction of Evidence, and Destruction of Classified Information)
She vowed to continue current President Barack Obama’s legacy, pushing America into a socialist hell hole from which escape would be nigh revolutionary. Her track record of alleged pay-for-play would have followed her into office and her administration may have continued Barack Obama’s record of political bullying. America escaped what may have been the end of its sanity.
However, a new danger has emerged, and one that may put that sanity into question once again… the man who shoved America out of the way of a bullet: Donald J. Trump.
Or more specifically, the effect he has induced.
Over the course of the election cycle, Donald Trump channeled the public’s desire for change and a movement away from the apologetic, globalist policies of Obama. He tapped into the anger many Americans felt: that their homeland was changing for the worse, and they were supposed to accept it while kowtowing to foreigners and minorities who had no respect for them. They were tired of being shouted down by a dominant leftist sphere in the national media and called racists, sexists, bigots, or xenophobes. Donald Trump knew the American people wanted change and he definitely hit that chord.
The problem was that the American people didn’t just want change, they wanted revenge.
The leftist media had called Republicans racists for so long, anyone who took a direct shot at them had their eye. Donald Trump hit the media and he hit them hard. He called out their tactics and he had a brutal way of shoving them aside while his primary opponents struggled to maintain good graces with them long enough to get air time. He was outrageous, he said what he said and he didn’t prepare his words carefully, giving him a raw, everyman touch. He wasn’t afraid to play dirty, either, spreading rumors about his opponents the same way the mainstream media had spread rumors about republicans since before Bush.
His voters loved it. Many ceased to care whether the information they passed around was 100% accurate. They were beating up the bad guys. They were tired of playing nice. They had tried to reason with the media. Every time a Steven Colbert or a George Stephanopoulos cried “Racist!” they would try to explain calmly why they were not racist at all. Every time an ignorant A-list celebrity would talk self-importantly about the horrors of guns, millions of gun-owners would try and explain to their liberal friends why owning a gun was actually responsible. And the left laughed at them.
Genuine racists began to appear in the Trumpian ranks, a fraction of the voters, but few of Trump’s followers seemed to care anymore. The word racist had ceased to mean anything to them, the left had called everyone from David Duke to the black candidate Ben Carson a racist. What did it mean anymore? It was just a ‘leftard’ word. They were hitting back, and the Martha Raddatz’s of the world could only sit there fuming as they tried to stop them.
This culminated when Donald Trump lead the Republican party to victory on November 8th. He was their hero, and anyone who opposed him was an opponent to the change that America so desperately needed. Anyone who opposed him was an opponent to America.
I do not intend to pass any judgements here, I just want to call out the online and public interactions that I see everyday. I don’t pretend to be better than anybody, but to the Trump Voters who wanted to see an end to the ‘Feelings-Centered Politics’ I refuse to care about your feelings.
I really believe that the average Trump voter is better than all that, and while many succumbed to the revenge mentality, many Trump voters did not. That being said, the calm, collected voters are not driving the public discussion, the angry ones are. People like Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter, who two years ago preached moderation, now want blood.
Trump won on November 8th, and yesterday (December 19th) with the electoral college. Many leftists rioted in the streets, and Republican resolve strengthened to stick with Trump as his name was slandered across the media. Trump had won, and relief had never been so sweet. They had won, and they would have revenge. They were going to put America to rights.
The problem with revenge, however, is that is like that liquor… you start seeing double.
Republicans standards for conduct have more than faltered under Trump, they have practically melted. Double standards abounded as crony Trump decisions became rebranded as principled America-First ideas, and his messy ties to Russia played as strong or not that big of a deal. Economic policies that Republicans would have staunchly repudiated under Obama are now considerations under Trump, such as his trillion-dollar stimulus plan.
Above: Trump, speaking at Carrier after making deals with the company to stay on U. S. shores.
Trump has dramatically changed the party as standards for anything from common courtesy to economic policy have been practically thrown out the window and conservative standards non-the-least. Conservatism was the philosophy of the weak Ted Cruz’s and Glenn Beck’s, who refused to beat up the media the way Trump had. This led to odd pairings as those who cried ‘drain the swamp’ soon discovered strange bedfellows in Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich, men who have no real record of anything related to swamp-draining.
Traditional, though not necessarily principled, Republicans tried to hold to old values of decency. Republicans such as John McCain and Mitch McConnell soon became the face of Never-Trumpers (those who thought Trump too vile to vote for in the Primaries and General). And with a face as crooked as those two men, Never-Trumpers became the vile swamp that Sean Hannity called them throughout the general election.
The second problem with liquor? Getting beat up is hell of a lot easier. And there are two ways it could go down.
The first way is from the Left. As angry Trump supporters drift further down the populist/tribalist line of thinking, they leave themselves open to attack. Fake News, though not the reason for a Trump victory, has abounded in the Republican circles of the internet. Pizzagate was a prime target, and now the leftist media have new ammo, except this time, it is real. Without facts to back up arguments and real stories to feed policy decisions, Republicans are at a greater risk than ever to losing the American people in the long run.
Moderate voters are slipping away from the Republican party already as many start to perceive it as the party of aggression and bald-face lying. (Trump’s casual shoot-from-the-hip style isn’t helping.) In addition, we are at risk of losing the next generation as they grow up under a Trump administration and see Republicanism and Conservatism as the philosophy of angry men yelling down any person who does not sign their name under the golden TRUMP.
The second way the beating could come is via Trump’s own policy. Trump has a big-government way of thinking when it comes to bailouts, stimulus, healthcare (he has already been open to keeping most of Obamacare), and trade, if not when it comes to businesses. These policies are already being cheered by the Republicans who formally raged against Obama on the issue, begging the question: What will Congress do if a new Trump Single Payer Healthcare Plan lands in their laps? Or any other big-government leaning bill for that matter? Are they going to stick to their guns and say no, or stick to their constituents?
If Congress follows current trends toward populism, this shift could effectively turn the Republican party in the European Right, an ideology that differs from the Left on little except immigration. Either way, America loses.
Finally, what does this mean? Does this mean the Trump Presidency is doomed? Has America lost its last hope?
No. As long as we reject the emotions that got us here.
We say we don’t care about feelings. Let us act like it. The next time someone says something that offends you, treat it the same way you would treat it if you offended them: suck it up. If someone criticizes Trump, realize it for what it really is- a difference in opinion.
We need to be the party that upholds free speech more than anyone. We need to let what few racists reside under our shelter know they are not welcome. We need to hold all of our politicians to the same rigorous standards that we would have held Clinton and Obama. Just because you hold to a principle, just because you play fair, doesn’t mean you can’t win.
And really, that’s the only lie Donald Trump ever really sold the American people, and one for which we can’t really blame him: we thought of it first, he just tapped it. We don’t have to play like the left in order to win.
We cannot afford to become the party of insanity. Leave that to the Democrats.
*Special thanks to the Legal Information Institute.