The world did not end on Tuesday 8th.
Not that you’d know it from some of the articles online. Or from the news media as it struggles to cope with the simple fact that bloggers – like me – called it for Trump while the MSM was so deeply involved with Clinton that it missed the significance of cultural change in the United States. To them, it’s the end of the world.
People who have taken Trump’s victory badly fall into three categories.
The Scolds have spent the last four days telling off America for daring to vote for Donald Trump. They are shaking their (hopefully metaphorical) fingers at Trump voters, calling them stupid or racist or homophobic … the old dirge that no one believes any longer. They cannot believe that they, the enlightened, could possibly have been wrong. And so they are blaming every last Trump voter rather than taking a good hard look in the mirror. They have been wrong so often that their opinions can be safely discounted.
The Cry-babies have been moaning and whining and crying. Like children, they allowed their emotions to overload their reason; like children, they throw tantrums when they don’t get what they want and they don’t know how to cope with it. And, also like children, they clung to a simple narrative and ignored the shades of grey. Some of them have turned violent, reminding every reasonable adult why children are not allowed adult freedoms; others are seeking to recast themselves as the victims of the whole affair, rather than either spectators or guilty parties. Their refusal to engage their brains before putting their mouths in gear means that their opinions can be safely discounted.
And then we have the Concerned.
Many of my friends are Concerned. Some of them believe that Trump is inherently a bad man, a monster who will do monstrous things. Some of them believe that Trump will seek out military conflict, either because his feelings were hurt or because he may feel America has to make a stand as soon as possible. Some of them believe that Trump’s victory will unleash reactionary forces across America, that there will be an upswing in racism and sexism and general unpleasantness. And some of them believe that Trump is by no means qualified to be President.
(Yes, I listen to people on the other side. Sue me.)
There are actually a number of very good reasons for believing that President Trump will not be a monster, neither the political reincarnation of Buchannan or Nixon.
First, Trump won the nomination – and the election – because he tapped into the feelings of a great mass of people (mainly Republicans) who felt that they had been left behind by the changing nation. Those people have sensed their strength, even as Trump used them to crush his opponents and rise to win election. Those people will not respond well to any form of Trump betrayal. Conservatives, historically more suspicious of the growth in government power, will continue to retake power in the Republican Party – despite Trump, if necessary. I think the push to limit the power of the federal government will continue.
Second, Trump will not have a free ride from either the Mainstream Media or the Alternate Media. The Mainstream Media, once it gets over its freak-out about Trump winning, will no doubt try to continue to undermine him. And while the alternate media will be more Trump-friendly, it will also be sceptical of the government, regardless of who is in the White House.
Third, and ironically, society has changed. These are not the days of Jim Crow. The vast majority of Americans are tolerant of homosexuality, for example, even if they find it distasteful. One does not need approval, merely tolerance. Combined with a belief that the federal government should not be poking into people’s private lives, I don’t think homosexuals have much to fear from Trump’s America. The time when homosexuals could be subject to large scale discrimination, at least in America, is over. And this is true of many other groups. We may well see a much-deserved crackdown on Black Lives Matter, but I don’t think there will be a mass return to Jim Crow.
Fourth, Trump has many admirable qualities. He has known failure, he has known opposition … and he has adapted, reacted and overcome. He can pick subordinates who know what they’re doing (one sign of a good manager). Trump is smart enough to reach out to potential partners, to understand their points of view and try to come up with a compromise they can live with. And he isn’t weak enough to back off the moment he is challenged, the moment someone calls his bluff. Trump will not give up.
And fifth, consider this.
The news media was in the tank for Hillary Clinton. She had everything on her side. Could it be possible, just barely, that the impression they crafted of Donald Trump was just a teeny bit exaggerated? That they made mountains out of molehills? That their hysteria came from a desperate desire to anoint Hillary as the first female president rather than perform objective reporting?
Not everyone will agree with this, of course. But it is food for thought.