The good thing about hating both candidates and not having a dog in the fight is you can still kind of enjoy your day today. An awful person was going to win either way. I’m just glad it’s over and I look forward to enjoying the holiday season. My Never Hillary self is deeply gratified. Good riddance to the Clintons. As you know, I would have preferred she win, because if we must have a Democrat as President I want it to be one Congress will oppose. But nonetheless, I’m ecstatic this will probably be the last we hear of these horrible people.
I’m unambiguously thrilled about the House and Senate. It was another Republican wave. All of the party’s bright young stars got re-elected (Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Mia Love, etc.) Lots of good stuff happened at the state level. Kentucky has a Republican statehouse for the first time in a century, which means it probably will become right-to-work, as will Missouri and New Hampshire (the latter which will also probably get constitutional carry now, woot!). Medical marijuana finally passed in Florida. Democrats lost their super majority in Illinois so Republicans can now sustain a Rauner veto. So, overall a good night.
As for my Never Trump self, for the sake of the country, I hope it’s very wrong. I’ve been wrong about everything else this election, hopefully I’ll be wrong about Trump too. I agree with Jonah Goldberg:
My views on Trump are well known and I stand by them all. Except, of course, for my skepticism about his chances of winning. I was clearly wrong about that. And, now that he will be the next president, I sincerely hope he continues to prove me wrong. We only have one president at a time and he deserves a shot, not because I think he’s worthy or deserving — but because the country is. As a conservative writer and as someone who has been very critical of Trump from Day 1, I feel like I have zero ownership of a Trump presidency — which is quite liberating, actually. But as an American I have every bit as much ownership of his presidency as anyone. And for that reason alone, I hope I’m proven wrong about all of my deep seated concerns and fears.
I believed, and still believe, that Donald Trump’s character is such that he will drive this country further into problems we may have been able to escape and that the Republican Party will do nothing to stop him, thus destroying the credibility of conservatism as a philosophical force in American politics. My prediction that Trump would lose and that we could usher in a new era of political productivity with acceptable bi-partisanship rooted in shared values and common cause, was wrong. I pray that I am also wrong about the character of the man the American people just elevated to the presidency.
On the bright side, Dems will suddenly again respect the institutions they spent the Obama years trying to destroy. I must say it’s fucking hilarious watching Dems who cheered on “I won” “It’s. The. Law.” “I have a pen and a phone” “If Congress won’t act, I will” now panicking. Enjoy that, Democrats. You built that. Sleep well. (Here’s some friendly advice Dems: If you’re worried about Trump’s use of executive power, ask McConnell to pass the REINS Act in the lame duck.)
As fun as it is to point and laugh at the GOP, Democrats should be doing some real soul-searching. This is the fourth election in which you’ve been crushed. You couldn’t beat the most unpopular candidate ever. Your party is a disaster, as Jim Newell notes in this excellent piece. And the Senate map for Dems in 2018 is atrocious. So that will probably be another lost election. And judging from the destructive protests last night and all the “white people are racists and misogynists” memes in my news feed today, I see the Left is going to fail to learn the lesson yet again. I can’t stand the Democrat Party (actually I can’t stand either party right now), but I think it’s important to the country to have two healthy political parties. So my advice to Dems, for what it’s worth, is to STOP with the identity politics.
I was initially amused by the reaction of complete hysteria from the Left. But as always, they took it too far. Stop with the protests-bordering-on-riots and the #NotMyPresident crap. I hate him too, but I’m not six. He won, fair and square. Grow up. Both Hillary and Obama were very gracious in concession yesterday. That cannot have been easy. (And I’m certain it wouldn’t have been reciprocated had the results turned out the other way). How about waiting until Trump does something worth objecting to as POTUS before you start burning flags and destroying shit. If Clinton and Obama can give him a chance, so can you. Calm down. Trump does not possess the requisite talent, vision, or charisma needed to destroy this country in a mere four years. As Kevin Williamson points out, “America is not a wreck. We have some real problems and challenges, but we also are incredibly rich, free, peaceful, prosperous, innovative, productive, and, in our better moments, sober, with a record of responsible self-government unrivaled anywhere in the world. Trumpkin rhetoric notwithstanding, we are not being overrun by Third World hordes and pillaged by wily Chinamen.” Democrats’ bed-wetting notwithstanding, Americans are not starving in the streets. We’ll be ok. We’ve survived worse.
I’m still extremely worried about a Trump presidency and I have hated everything about this election, but I won’t be one of those bitter zealots who refuse to accept the legitimacy of a duly elected president. Much as I dislike Obama, I’ve disliked the people who have spent eight years questioning his legitimacy more. Watching the inauguration of Trump will be grim. But when he takes the oath of office he will be my president too. And I pray that he, against all odds, will prove worthy of the office, and govern with wisdom and humility.