Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Editorial: Trump may disappoint his backers

The 2016 election was certainly one for the history books, and now the nation looks to see what Donald Trump will be like as president.

Most people were surprised by last Tuesday’s outcome. Hillary Clinton was leading all the polls, and Trump had offended almost everyone at some point during the campaign. But two things were key to Trump’s victory. First, perhaps even the man himself did not fully grasp the anger of the working class toward Washington, DC; and second, the Democrats possibly didn’t understand how much people absolutely hate Mrs. Clinton.

The campaign then set up the clash of a brash Washington outsider and a classic poster child for DC corruption. Or, depending on your point of view, a racist misogynistic bigot vs. a champion of women and the downtrodden.

Roger Estlack, Editor

Roger Estlack, Editor

For your humble editor, it was a case of an exceptionally unpalatable Republican who seemed to demean the very things that makes America truly great (i.e. a free press, freedom of religion, and the strength that has come from the melting pot of a nation of immigrants) and a lying, conniving, vindictive witch who sounded like nothing more than an angry white woman. Which is why I voted for Gary Johnson, and went to bed with a clean conscious.

The most amusing thing has been to see the people on Facebook who two weeks ago were posting memes touting the abolition of the Electoral College become last Wednesday the biggest fans of the Electoral College.

So what are we left with? A second Clinton administration would have been easy to predict – an extension of B.O.’s policy’s, more liberal judges on federal courts, an even larger role for the federal government, and a former president molesting interns in the East Wing of the White House.

But a Trump administration… now that’s a wild card!

Donald Trump is beholden to no one. He’s independently wealthy, and largely bankrolled his own election. Someone like Trump could make tremendous positive changes in Washington by taking on the established bureaucracy, finding compromise solutions to actually fix things like the tax code or Social Security, etc.

Someone like Trump could do that, but it remains to be seen if Trump is that person. And in fact, right now, it looks doubtful.

Diehard Republicans like to tell you that the party works for limited government, reduced taxes, reduced spending, and conservative judges on the courts. Unfortunately, their record is spotty at best, giving us the PATRIOT Act, No Child Left Behind, expanded federal programs, uncontrolled spending, and Chief Justice John Roberts – the traitor who single-handedly kept Obamacare as the law of the land. You do get generally lower taxes though.

Trump is not a typical Republican. Indeed, many of his positions aren’t very Republican at all. So it was quite curious that he became a hero for the Grand Old Party, and even more curious how evangelicals rushed to embrace the man who exhibited the least Christian attributes of any major candidate running. But he had one thing going for him… he wasn’t Hillary Clinton.

The president-elect may quickly become a disappointment for his backers. He has now come out and called the question of gay marriage “settled” (which should inflame many of his supporters), and he’s already softened his position somewhat on repealing Obamacare, indicating that he may decide to keep the provision that requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions (although, frankly that seems like the one thing that is driving insurance rates through the roof). You can’t really take those positions to the bank though. They will likely change a couple of times before he takes office in January.

Which is the problem with electing a man to office that doesn’t seem to have any core principals when it comes to political philosophy. That being said, Donald Trump is a smart man. You don’t build the empire he has without some high level of business acumen. But how well can he translate business smarts into running the government? And more importantly, will the divisive language he used to get elected actually reflects his true feelings and the way he will govern?

Trump realistically has one year to prove himself. If he can somehow watch his tongue – and tame his Twitter account – and act sensibly, there may be some hope for him as president. But if he can’t, then you can look for the divide in this country to get even wider and expect the Democrats to take control of Congress in two years.

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