Well, here we are, in this surreal position that feels like it could only have come out of an episode of the Simpsons. What now? If my social media feeds are any indication, it’s time to crawl into our bomb shelters, head for the hills, or make a beeline for the Canadian border.
Well, slow down. It’s not as bad as it seems. It’s bad, to be sure. Here’s what I’m afraid of:
- Losing my health insurance
- An activist conservative nominated to the Supreme Court
- The emboldening of bigots across the country.
- Mike Pence becoming President
Here’s what I’m NOT afraid of:
- The second coming of Hitler
- Nuclear war
- Rounding up of minority groups
Am I naïve? Maybe. I actively rooted for Trump to win the Republican primary because I didn’t think he had a ghost of a chance of winning the Presidency. But here’s what I know, that maybe you don’t.
Donald Trump Hires Good People
Not good as in morally good, but good as in people who are good at what they do. I know. The father of one of my best friends was one of them. One thing you can say of Donald Trump is he knows what he doesn’t know. The guy who’s spent the last two years making bold claims about what’s going on in this world and how to fix it is not going to be making decisions based on his own meager knowledge. He’ll have the final word, to be sure, but you can bet he will hire actual experts who will tell him what is really going on and what is a reasonable way to respond. He may not always take the best advice, and his advisors may not align with the interests of you and me either, but he will have expert advice at his disposal, and history shows that sometimes, he listens to it.
Donald Trump Defies Expectations
None of us expected him to win, right? We’re beyond shocked, right? It didn’t seem possible, did it? Maybe he’ll surprise us even more, put all the hateful rhetoric aside, and actually be a good president. Is it that much more far-fetched than the idea that he could actually win the job?
Donald Trump Wants to Be Admired
Donald Trump did not get into this race as part of a mad grab for power, although he doesn’t mind being powerful. Donald Trump got into this race for the attention, the adulation. Is that a good reason to be President? No. But it’s good for us. I believe that Donald Trump really wants people to say he was the greatest President of all time. He’s smart enough to know that rounding people up and throwing them into camps or plunging the country into nuclear winter will not achieve that goal. Donald Trump, unlike Hitler, is a family man, who loves his family and wants their respect, as he wants the respect of others. He’s not going to do anything that is wildly in conflict with that goal.
Donald Trump Is Not Really a Conservative
This is no secret. Conservative Republicans didn’t want him to win any more than the Democrats did. For most of his life, Trump has taken many liberal positions. Fiscally, he’s conservative of course, but so is Hillary. So are most high-level politicians, who have wealth to protect. But on the stuff a lot of us are worried about, Trump is centrist or left of center. Way left of the Bushes, for example. And now that he’s in office, do you think he’s going to let the Conservative wing tell him how to govern? Come on.
Does this mean a Trump Presidency will be all peaches and cream? Of course not. My greatest fear is that Trump will get bored in a year or two, resign and let Mike Pence, a reactionary bigot, take the reins. THEN we’ll have something to worry about. I’m also deeply disappointed regarding the Supreme Court. I thought we might actually have a fair court that emphasized human rights over political gain in my lifetime, and now that will never happen. On the plus side, Scalia set a high bar with respect to staunch, inflexible Conservatism, and he will be difficult to replace with someone as bad (knock wood). And finally, emboldening those white supremacists is no small thing. However, I’m likening this to a hard rain that brings all the snakes out of the grass. These people have always been around, at least know we’ll know where they are.
Should we be happy? No, especially when you consider the opportunity we had to break the glass ceiling and set a fantastic example for the younger generation. But we still have an opportunity to set a great example, by accepting the will of (half) the American people, coming together, moving on, and if Trump is as terrible as we all fear, putting together a coalition that will bounce him out in four years.
In the meantime, the sun is still gonna rise every morning.