Well, that was a surprise, wasn’t it? It seems that the polling for the 2016 Presidential election was a tiny bit off, with many news outlets giving Hillary Clinton a near 100% chance of winning! I’ll admit, I was surprised as anyone. I assumed that the information, which had been until this point had been largely accurate, was correct… It wasn’t. Whether the reason for this was faulty or deceptive polling methods or the emergence of the mythic “hidden Trump voter,” ALMOST EVERYBODY WAS WRONG! And to the horror of many, Donald Trump is the President Elect of the United States of America.
Those that follow my blog know that I considered myself a part of #NeverTrump, and the reasons for this are easily understood: Trump is a pathological liar (even for a politician) and he doesn’t seem to have any apparant moral scruples or transcendent philosophy that guides him. I’ve called him a “paleofascist” because he has an almost total ignorance when it comes to the Constitution or limited government, and his governing philosophy can be best summed up in “I want things done! You, go do them!” I believed that because of Trump’s lack of moral character and less-sophisticated take on government he would turn off enough conservatives and conservative leaning independents. This would (I suspected) depress the GOP turnout enough that Hillary, who is also morally bankrupt and a fascist ideologue (different from Trump’s an instinctual fascism), would be a shoo-in by Democrats, who aren’t as concerned about personal moral issues and limited government. This turned out to be incorrect. Trump ended up defeating Hillary in a historic upset that was probably caused by some combination of depressed voter turnout for the Democrats, Bernie supporters rejecting Clinton and instead voting for Johnson or Stein in key areas, Hillary’s criminality in government outweighing Trump’s own foibles among Republicans, and white voters sending a message that they are so sick of central casting in the media and the White House making them perpetually the villain of History, culpable and punishable. To many voters, Trump was tool, a conveyance for then to give the whole politically correct establishment the finger for telling them they must be eternally deferential because of the color of their skin and religion.
People all over the world, as well as in the U.S. reacted in many ways to the news that Trump would become the 45th President. In Russia, there was a sigh of relief as the prospect of war with the U.S. seemed small under a President vocal about wanting to avoid antagonizing them. Countries, like the Philippines, who have had their issues with the current administration, were congratulatory towards Trump. In the American media, there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. I reacted to the news of a new Mr. President pretty much as I predicted I would: Shock and disbelief… but then something else. It didn’t take me long for me to savor the fact that Hillary Clinton, perhaps the most corrupt woman of my lifetime, on the eve of her realizing her life’s ambition, would have all her dreams of avarice snatched from her grasping wrinkled digits and crushed, and in the most dramatic and humiliating or ways: bested by a two-bit con man. This was supposed to be her moment! All the laws she broke, all the corruption, they were all necessary and justified sacrifices leading to the end-goal of power! And she who holds the brass-ring has all her sins washed clean! However, she failed. She does not go directly to heaven! Instead, she must wonder (with the rest of us) will President Trump make good on his promise to go after her, Elliot Ness like, with all the powers of the Justice Department? This has all the makings of a great tragedy! If she wasn’t so thoroughly wicked (not to mention unlikely to pay for her crimes under a likely magnanimous Trump), I might just feel sorry for her! Yet, after all this schadenfreude, one must return to the reality that now Donald Trump will be the President, and that proposition is not nearly as enjoyable.
Now, I’ve said a lot of mean things about Trump, and I want to be clear… I take none of them back. What I’ve said about Trump was true before the election and still is. Trump’s character does not improve for having won. Donald does not magically become a moral person or devoté of conservatism for having slain the dragon. I wish it were so, and I would love to be shown that Trump is that rare historical exception. One could hope that Trump could be so awe-struck by the reality that he will now sit among such august peers as George Washington that he would be changed for the better, but how realistic is that? As Ben Shapiro observed, power tends not to make an awful person good. If Trump wants to reform himself, that’s on him to show us. What’s undeniable is that Trump now has power. Setting aside the debate on how much credit Trump personally deserves for his own victory, the reality is that he is the recipient of the spoils of his circumstance. He has beaten the odds, survived his own party’s attempts to abandon and remove him, and Trump probably feels empowered to any application of authority that he wishes. The monster sparked to life through a perfect storm of progressive overreach, congressional inaction, and media corruption is now loose. Trumpenstein is unbound!
If you’ve seen the old Universal Frankenstein films, you know that there always attempts to control the monster. However, those attempt always end badly. Those that believe that they will likewise be able to harness Trump toward conservative action may be just a bit naive! In the coming months, you will find various groups trying to control Trump, for better or worse, but I would submit to you that Trump will only let himself be led into areas that he wants to go. Conservative voters and evangelicals that largely gave Trump his victory will be disappointed as Trump breaks promise after promise to them. Trump’s not a conservative, and you should have known better. Your reward is not being under Hillary, but that maybe it. Obama will try to control him, to get Trump to salvage Obamacare. This Trump will do, but only because his instincts tend towards big government. He may not keep it all, but he’s already indicating he will break his campaign promise of a complete repeal of the ACA. Congressional leaders will try to control him, but I think they’ll find very quickly it is they that will be controlled by him. Trump became President with only wavering support from Congress, and so Trump holds the cards. Hillary Clinton will try to control him, to avoid prosecution. If she’s nice to him, Trump will most likely break his promise to appoint a special prosecutor to look into Hillary’s illegal activity, just as I predicted he would. Trump’s only dilemma seems to be how to make his voters accept that he will not give them what he promised, such as his signature policy idea: the wall. This will not be difficult with his hard-core supporters (as evidenced by his campaign pivots). They will go where they’re led, but it will be more difficult with those that only reluctantly voted for him and still hope for conservative ends. Other than that issue, Trump will feel free to do as he pleases. He has no equals and will be controlled by nobody unless they have leverage over him or are willing to stroke his ego. No chains will hold him. No means of dispatching him has yet been devised. The media, lock-step detractors of Trump, has been largely rendered impotent. For months, they’ve railed against him while mostly ignoring Clinton’s obvious felonious actions. The result was that they’re ignored by the public, and this scathing rebuke has even led some media outlets to cry, “Mea culpa,” on their bias. The villagers, horrified that democracy can result in their ideas being rejected, have emerged from their parent’s basements with pitchfork and torch, marching in a futile attempt to bring down the monster! But even they, in their whinny and violent indignation, can do nothing to stop him. Trumpenstein stands atop a burning windmill, inviolate and invincible.
Anyway, as we go into this new age of Trump, let me end this piece with a kindly word of warning to our President-to-be and perhaps just a shred of hope for those of us who had hoped for a principled reformer as our President. Trump’s win had much less to do with the people’s love of him than it did with the people’s frustration at an intractable and corrupt political system that continually operates outside of its legal mandate, steals the freedom of its citizens, and continually lives outside its means. I realize that it is not humanly possible for Trump to keep all his often-contradictory promises, but he does have a chance here to do something great and prove to the country that he is not merely the lesser evil. First, he should Recognize that he has few friends to be made on the left. The riots and the safety pin campaign should have convinced him of that. However, he has yet possible allies on the right, and If he has the guts to restore the constitutional balance of limited powers, deal with the existential threat of U.S. debt and deficit spending, and resuscitate the idea of personal Liberty and responsibility, then he could not only eliminate any future conservative primary opponents but possibly go down in the annals of Americana as the President who gave the U.S. back her true self. Instead of being vindictive, using the powers usurped by Obama, perverting conservatism, and making palatable the idea of tyranny he could recognize the wisdom of our founding fathers and preserve it for future generations. If not, then Trump will be (as I suspect) essentially the same as the many more mundane Presidents and politicians that proceeded him: just a new pair of hands on the infernal machine. I hold a slim hope that Trump can show us and the world that he can be more than is, but even slim hope is better than none. He may be a monster, but who’s to say that a monster can’t be good? In fact, to reform this government, it may take a monster and their monstrous determination to see it through. So, on behalf of all Americans of good-will and on behalf of justice and Liberty, Mr. Trump, please, be our monster.
– Ryan Thorson