Well, that magnificent Scottish bastard did it: Donald Trump is our 45th President.
I tempered my potential excitement through most of the campaign, starting around Halloween 2015. I sincerely hoped he’d pull it off. He was doing and saying things that no candidate have ever done before, casting the largest of mirrors on our media, political parties, government, justice system, and culture. Our system was becoming corrupt, myopic, desperate.
Many of you, including people I respect on both sides, are despondent. To be quite honest, outside of historical novelty, I see no reason why you should’ve been thrilled had Hillary won. You’d have an actual first: a President-elect staring down the barrel of FBI investigation, who had flagrantly accepted foreign funds as Secretary of State in a pay-for-play scheme, illegally exposed and later destroyed classified materials, and that’s all just from the past couple years alone.
On the bright side, if Hillary was elected there’s the possibility she’d return all the White House furnishings she stole last time.
Dry up those tears, folks! As much as they liven up my dirty martinis, there’s no need to weep about a Trump presidency – in fact, here’s why you should be over the moon right now.
- Anti-corruption: Trump will be the first President since Teddy Roosevelt to make anti-corruption a core part of his administration. Already Trump has advocated term limits for congressmen and strict anti-lobbying measures. He’s promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington that both sides currently inhabit – and who couldn’t get behind that?
- Minority rights: One of the real turning points for me during this campaign was Trump’s speech in the immediate wake of the Orlando shooting. You probably didn’t see it, or heard some crappy headline about it (“Trump promotes himself in wake of tragedy” or similar). Read it in full. Or better yet, watch it in full. This is the most earnest, steadfast defense of rights and protections for minorities delivered by a presidential candidate in recent memory. This marked the turning point from his speeches being mostly stand-up comedy-style delivery to serious, presidential-quality policy speeches (of course without losing his tone, cadence, or humor). His full-throated support of the LGBT community – which he didn’t have to support, by the way – singlehandedly pivoted the entire Republican party towards welcoming and embracing this marginalized group. Then, he backed that up with a call for limiting immigration from countries where people execute gays, and supporting lower taxes and safer neighborhoods – all good things for every community but especially the LGBT community. During the campaign, he also directly called out the extraordinary crime, poverty, and lack of jobs in inner cities, and the minority groups most affected, while providing plans to shore up resources to restore order and bring jobs back to these stricken areas. This is what actually helping people looks like – not hiring “outreach directors” and issuing tired cliches to minority communities like she-who-will-not-concede.
- Foreign policy: congratulations America, you just elected the anti-war candidate. You thought you did with Obama, but we’re on more battlefields than ever before – and a vote for Hillary was for that plan on steroids. We’d be enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria, antagonizing Russia and China, and intervening in god-knows-what African country during Hillary’s first year for no clearly-stated goal, reason, or American interest. Trump has vociferously denounced the use of American force unless absolutely necessary, and his “everything’s up for discussion, as long as we negotiate in our interest” approach to foreign policy while focusing our efforts specifically against those who would do us harm is a refreshing change that everyone can support.
- Moneytaxesjobsimmigrationbuildthewalletc: This is what actually sold most people on a Trump presidency, and given our current situation of confusing regulations, a stacked-against-success tax code, unchecked illegal immigration, and an economy in the toilet – how can you blame them? His proposals are simple and straightforward, from cutting our tax brackets from 7 down to 3, cutting corporate taxes and incentivizing they stay in America (and pay taxes in America), and incentivizing the hiring of American workers who desperately need jobs. These are no-brainers. Not everyone is a computer programmer, but we have a huge swath of people that are quite literally killing themselves, from mental illness, alcoholism, stress, drug addiction – simply because there aren’t jobs available. That’s the great tragedy of our decade, that so many of our Americans (especially veterans, who Trump has released a specific plan to help as well) have left us so violently and so soon. The fact that we’ll have a leader in office who’s created thousands of jobs (not hired a few government assistants) and has an acute sense of how the economy, taxes, property, regulations, and negotiations work is a welcome and positive change.
- The Anti-Politician: this is where history was truly made – we finally elected a President who has never held government office. We’ve had three Presidents who have been military leaders, two who were cabinet members, but we’ve never had someone enter the presidency who was from outside the political or government system. That’s momentous. We have a broken and damaged system – why would we even think of promoting from within at this stage? Worse yet, we’d have promoted a figurehead of that failed and broken system, who, due to her own carelessness with information, we now know would have used our government to enrich her and her acolytes for personal gain, sell out our national security to the highest bidder, collude with multinational corporations and bankers, all for what? Not our country’s interest, of course.
Instead America elected one of her former donors who was in the position of being able to “buy” her influence and saw how the system worked, who had the guts to stand up and either continue his gilded life into old age or go through the most difficult, public, grating, harsh trial to help his fellow Americans and be elected President of the United States – not during peacetime, or economic prosperity, but in an especially dark and despondent hour of our history.
We’ve elected a centrist, populist, non-ideological, non-politician American President who has one position: he loves the hell out of this country. It’s about time.
A dear friend of mine read the above and responded with the following, then suggested I post the response as well:
Do you really think the economy is in the toilet? Our unemployment is less than 5%; we’ve shown unprecedented resilience
…and mass deportations?
The Supreme Court pick? Roe v. Wade? Nuclear?
He also gave the “Pulse” speech before he committed himself to “Christian values”
1) economy, yes, because of the underemployment rate, the people who have passed the 18-month job mark, and the number of people who have multiple jobs
2) mass deportations won’t happen in larger quantities than current for non-criminal illegals
3) out of the list of 20 proposed Supreme Court picks there were some very moderate choices, best being Don Willett of Texas, he’s even suggested a pro-choice Supreme Court option (even though abortion will never, ever be overturned)
4) nuclear issue was way overblown, if anything there will likely be the equivalent of a SALT III treaty with improved relations with Russia
5) the “Christian values” was to get the appropriate support, same as picking Mike Pence. he’s been fairly socially liberal since the 80s and hasn’t wavered significantly
*cue the James Brown again*