— From the Wizard of Oz
A super moon coming this month!
The Dallas cowboys are 7-1!!
The Chicago Cubs won the World Series!!!
Donald Trump elected President!!!!
It is rarely productive for one to get their exercise by jumping to conclusions or flying off the handle. Given the paroxysms of those highly offended by the election of Donald Trump, such exercise appears rather popular among the leftists. Those who have their knickers twisted (panties in a wad, drawers drawn up, choose your metaphor) are simply losers — sore losers. Unfortunately there are some people who will be hurt and have their property destroyed or damaged by disappointed moochers (who come in all hues, by the way).
I have waited until the dust settled somewhat before commenting on the election. I did not campaign or publicly support any of the candidates nor comment on the events of the campaign season wherein the parties nominated and the nation elected a new President. Now, here are some observations.
Obviously, Donald Trump tapped into a widespread discontent amongst the electorate. Many pundits are focusing on the “white male working-class” in the upper Midwest. It’s really more than that. But collectivist explanations (sigh) will never die.
The defining issue for many was who would get to nominate and appoint justices to the Supreme Court. Trump released a list of possible appointees, all of whom appear to be right leaning constitutionalists who believe in the values of federalism and will not be willing to acquiesce in an almighty federal government. There’s no question that Clinton would seek to appoint leftists. The Supreme Court for many decades has been more or less in the center of the political spectrum, every now and then leaning one way or the other depending upon the issue. That is a good thing.
Speaking of the Supreme Court, the Citizens United case, which has been the whipping boy for progressives from the current President on down, hardly mattered in this election. The money spent by the Democrat party and Clinton campaign was exponentially greater than what Trump spent, and did not work, either in the Presidential race or down ballot. They might as well have thrown the cash in a dumpster and burned it. Speaking of down ballot races, Republicans now control nearly two-thirds of the governorships and state legislatures.
Despite what so many have said and feared, Donald Trump is not a racist, misogynist, or xenophobe. As far as the racist label goes, it has become an all-purpose epithet, like “jerk,” “creep,” or perhaps more vulgar terms. It has been useful as a discussion ender for those who have run out of rational argument, or to paint an opponent with a terrible flaw that is impossible to refute, as it requires proving a negative. “Racist” is fast becoming, if it is not already there, overbroad and meaningless. It is nearly always an overstatement, even when there is a kernel of accuracy. In any event, I challenge anyone to give an example of anything Trump has said that shows he’s a racist, properly defined. As far as his being a misogynist, Trump hired women as project managers for his building projects back when doing so wasn’t cool. His campaign manager is the first woman to run a successful Presidential campaign. That fraternity house banter may be rude and offensive, But it is just talk which we all know is cheap. Xenophobe? Trump never said that he wants to ban or deport all immigrants, only here illegally, or for whom there is a reasonable suspicion they intend to harm people in this country.
So far as his lack of experience is a problem, he certainly has more executive experience than the current occupant of the White House had, though that might be damning with faint praise. Trump has been successful in business, doubtless because he hired the right functionaries. No chief executive does the line work.
As far as the media reports about members of minority groups (defined by leftists) fearful of harm in the wake of Trump election, the leftists and the Democrat party have done their propaganda job well. Perhaps illegal aliens have something to fear in that they might be deported. But what rational citizen has a problem with that? On the other hand, there have been no reports of Trump supporters harming Clinton supporters, or burning and looting. Except for a few counter-demonstrators, they have pretty much stayed off the street. At least one particularly horrific scene of a Trump supporter being beaten by thugs has splashed across the television and computer screens.
One of the favorite metaphors of the left appears to have been “tone deaf.” That has been applied in numerous Republican politicians, and others on the right. Well, turnabout is fair play. Enough said.
I said at the outset that the system is rigged. I mean that as descriptive, not pejorative. Sailing boats and ships are rigged, and that has a positive meaning. There are some indications that Donald Trump may not receive a majority of the nationwide popular vote, but will nevertheless win because he will get a majority in the Electoral College, the makeup of which is decided by each state. Other Presidents have received less than a majority of the nationwide popular vote, yet were elected. They include George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The founders who wrote the Constitution understood that an unfettered democracy can be just as oppressive to the minority as an absolute monarch. The states in our union are just that — they are not provinces. They are sovereign in their spheres, which is really everything other than the powers granted to the national government. Read the 10th Amendment, even though most politicians and many judges don’t. The Constitution recognizes that, except for the limited powers delegated to Congress, the President, and the judiciary, those residing in one state are not required to have the same public policies as those in another. The people of Texas generally don’t have to conduct their public business the same way as those in Massachusetts. The Electoral College system of choosing the President is one of the ways federalism is maintained. And if nothing else, it forces Presidential candidates to pay attention to states they otherwise wouldn’t. See Tara Ross, Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College (2004) for an in-depth analysis of the points in this paragraph.
Everything said in the foregoing paragraph is academic. The Electoral College system will never be changed absent a cataclysm. This is so because the winners in any given election cycle would be the ones that who would have to start the process of amending the Constitution. A beneficiary is not likely to change what works for him. Furthermore, there is no way that three-fourths of the states would ratify such an amendment. It would hardly be in most of the states’ interest to change it.
In conclusion, I have to say, of the candidates who vied for the nomination during the primary season, Donald Trump was my last choice, or less. After he astonished everyone by winning the Republican nomination, I resigned myself to having to, if not actively support him, at least acquiesce. I really only had two reasons to do so, and those were the fate of the Supreme Court, and he was not Hillary Clinton. I wrote this essay in part to allay any substantial fears of the forthcoming Trump Presidency. If he turns out to be a terrible President, we will survive. Our country has survived worse. Anyway, even if it turns out to be a train wreck, well, train wrecks are certainly exciting.
One reply on “Sea-change?”
Hello Mr. Reagan,
This blog post was forwarded to me from an old friend I served in the Army with. I'm also one of the “…leftists…with their panties in a wad” of which you wrote.
I must tell you that you are entirely wrong in your analysis of why people like me are upset. It's not because “we lost”. On the contrary everybody won because this election cycle was like a biopsy that uncovered a cancer in America that is not too late to treat. There is a rotten, hate-filled part of our society that Mr. Trump played like a virtuoso to become president. Had he not done so it would have continued to lie growing until it truly may have been too late to treat. Now it's out in the open.
Sadly, intolerance and hate are now the order of the day in America and Mr. Trump's words are the reason why! His incendiary rhetoric during stump speeches lit this fire and emboldened haters. He let them know that it's OK to spray paint debasing epithets on a black woman's car or call her a bitch, cunt, or nigger when she passes you on the street. We’re now Just a wink and a nod away from it being OK to force yourself on a woman or to demean her by calling her names, or to use ones authority for leverage in order to gain sexual favor with her. Mr. Trump may have misspoken but he did not retract and as a result he tacitly approved hating everyone of Hispanic origin without good cause. Anyone who denies he did these things with his words has been asleep for the last year.
This is not the America whose constitution I swore an oath to defend against all enemies, foreign AND domestic. This is not the America my grandfather fought for with Patton. This is fucking scary.
Mr. Trump needs to own his portion of the responsibility for what is currently tearing us apart and he needs to do it quickly. He needs to simply say, “My fellow Americans, this is not who we are. We are not anarchists, we are Americans. We are the shining city on the hill that is governed by laws, not ruled by tyrants. We are black. We are white. We are male and female. We are Christian, Jew, Muslim, and Hindu. We are all colors, creeds and religions in between, all living together with common cause with equal protection under the law. We are an inclusive society that has welcomed well intentioned immigrants from all over the world since the inception of this great nation and we will continue to do so. The hateful people who commit acts such as these are terrorists. Those who condone them, either openly or tacitly through their silence, abet these criminals and are by extension abetting terrorism. Violence, bigotry, and misogyny have no place in our society and anyone participating in hate crimes will be arrested and prosecuted, like any other terrorist, to the full extent of the law.”
That's what a real leader would say. Exactly that way with the intent of placing America and American values above everything, even himself. I hope that he does but I doubt that he will.
Look, I can deal with having an entirely unprepared reality TV personality as president for four years. We survived eight with Dubya, albeit barely! (That was political humor.) Here's the thing though, people on both sides of the political fence must speak strongly with one voice against these wrongs…especially those who supported and enabled him. We could be the next group targeted for hate. Maybe we have passed the point of no return and we simply cannot agree on even this common cause. Maybe we have forgotten our history. I hope not.