It’s now apparent that Donald Trump will become the Republican nominee for President. For most Americans with IQs above 70 – conservative or liberal – this is a disconcerting and even terrifying prospect. The angst is appropriate enough. Trump is a crass, impulsive demagogue who clearly lacks anything resembling a coherent political platform or first principles. Moreover, his sophomoric antics and history of liberalism raise serious questions about which team he’ll even be playing for if elected. A growing number of Republicans have gone so far as to propose a scorched-earth policy: the options being vote Hillary and intentionally hand the election over to the Democrats, or to engineer a brokered convention and oust Trump against the will of the majority. Any means necessary, the #NeverTrump thinking goes. (One is reminded of the American soldier in Vietnam who delivered the Orwellian line, “we had to destroy the village in order to save it.” ) Such conservatives need to take a deep breath, pour a glass of Oban 18 Year Scotch, and man up. As awkward as it would be, a Trump presidency is not the end of the world. No, Trump is not another Hitler. A Berlusconi, for sure, but certainly no Mussolini. Such comparisons are inevitable (Godwin’s Law) but ultimately unfounded. In fact, our Republic may even be strengthened by Mr. Spray-Tan’s entertaining reign of error. So let us take a therapeutic moment, reluctant though we may be, to remember the redemptive elements of the Trump phenomenon:
The Mainstream Media: They’ve never been sympathetic to our side. And they’ve always relished the power to marginalize anyone they didn’t approve of by lobbing boilerplate accusations of racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, islamophobia, etc. Trump has single-handedly destroyed this power. The more he’s attacked, the more popular he becomes. The press and punditry who’ve long prided themselves on being opinion-makers are completely incapable of stopping him. This is a marvelous breakthrough. If future conservative candidates can claim the same imperviousness to MSM shenanigans, our political future has already been improved.
Political Correctness: Nothing is more culturally destructive and self-defeating than the cult of political correctness. The Left has discovered that it can suppress unwanted opinions, destroy careers and (in some countries) even put people in prison by merely classifying ideas as “hate speech.” In liberalism’s brave new religion of perpetual victimhood, doing yoga, celebrating halloween and serving Mexican food are “microaggressions” that harm the delicate psyches of American college students. Even statues of great men like Washington, Jefferson and Lee have become “acts of violence” that remind traumatized millennials of the existence of slavery. It seems ISIS and liberals have come to an agreement – history that doesn’t fully conform to current ideology must be annihilated. With such a powerful PC apparatus evolving, no politician would dream of calling for a massive border wall, mass deportations or a temporary ban on Muslim visas. That would be career suicide. Then along came the Donald, turning the rejection of PC into a selling-point.
The GOP: Open borders, disastrous military interventions, out of control spending, trade deals that facilitated the mass-outsourcing of American jobs….can anyone name a single way the GOP has improved the lives of middle class Americans post-Ronald Reagan? I can’t think of much, which is exactly why the Trump monster arose in the first place. Evangelicals are fed up with pro-family, secure borders lip service and being given nothing in the way of policy once RINOs are in power. This is why they don’t particularly care about Trump’s lack of Christian bonafides. He promises action – something we’ve never had before. To the horror of the GOP gatekeepers, Trump will either become the next president or secure an easy victory for Hillary Clinton. Either outcome represents a serious wakeup call to the establishment. They can no longer get away with superficial pandering for the Red State vote. They will have to change for the better or disintegrate. Long term, this is a win for conservatives.
Money: In an age of unchecked lobbyists and Super PACs, Americans take for granted that their politicians are bought and paid for by corporate interests. As Trump loves to point out, his wealth allows him to predominantly self-fund, and (theoretically) be unbeholden to special interests. This is a refreshing change and an unprecedented experiment, even if it’s in the form of a clownish entertainer.
Foreign Policy: Ironically, the biggest fear Americans seem to have of Trump is that he’s going to get us into another World War or casually abuse his access to the nuclear arsenal. I say “ironically” because his foreign policy is actually the one area in which he seems far more rational than his competitors. Trump emphatically denounces the Iraq war. More impressively, he proposes a sane policy for handling the Syrian Civil War. While Rubio, Cruz and Hillary call for a baffling strategy of battling ISIS and Assad at the same time, Trump has stated the obvious. You can’t enter a foreign Civil War, simultaneously fight against both sides (waging a proxy war with Russia in the process), all the while having no plan for rebuilding the nation afterwards. Have the Neocons learned nothing from Libya and Iraq? Assad is a tyrant, no question. But he’s a secular ruler who protects religious minorities, empowers women, and battles the Islamic State and Al-Nusra. I wish I could say the same for our tolerance-loving “allies” in Saudi Arabia. As Trump has indicated, the most pragmatic way of defeating ISIS would be to coordinate attacks with the Russians and Assad. Arming and training mythical “moderate” rebels who behead Christians and repeatedly defect en masse to ISIS is an absurd recipe for failure.
Ultimately we have to remember that the Founding Fathers presumed we’d have a few terrible presidents. Hence our elaborate system of checks and balances. Trump can’t accomplish much of anything without Congress – a body that will no doubt be hostile to just about anything he proposes. Executive orders are reversible if he chooses to use them and the Supreme Court can likewise nullify anything unconstitutional he manages to sign into law. His presidency may be a circus for SNL and Comedy Central, but it won’t sink the American Dream. So keep calm, carry on and pray that anyone but Hillary becomes the next President.