Trump

You may have noticed that my posting dropped off precipitously last Fall. We had a death in the family and, at virtually the same time, I went through a major career change, and seemed to have lost my muse. A lot of it, I think, was being forced to focus on temporal matters. Previously I had been in the same job for a long time, and perhaps was on auto-pilot in regard to making a living. But my employer went out of business, and I had to change jobs and could no longer take things for granted.

In the meantime, the great earthquake known as the presidential election took place. It was so upsetting to me that I stopped watching the news months beforehand. Trump was the very last of the Republican candidates that I wanted to be nominated, and the one who I thought had the least chance of beating the Democrats. I simply resigned myself to eight more years and beyond of Democratic rule, and wished to hear no more about it. It was like knowing with certainty that a train was about to crash with catastrophic results. Some would call that a thing that you can’t help watching, but I tend to turn my eyes away from such things (assuming there’s nothing I can do to prevent it). Knowing the tragic outcome is enough for me, I don’t need to see pictures.

I believed Hillary would win, but could foresee no happiness either way. It was time to check out, prepare for martyrdom. I don’t mean that literally. I didn’t think physical martyrdom was imminent. But I must resign myself to living as a Christian in a regime hostile to Christianity.

When Trump won, I was surprised at how happy I was. It was as though a great weight had been lifted. It wasn’t that I loved Trump, but that the political trajectory which I thought was unstoppable, suddenly altered course. Primarily I exulted in the fact that the Democrats would not get to name the replacement for Scalia (peace be upon him). But also, that a huge chunk of the electorate voiced an emphatic “NO!” to political correctness.

I consider Trump a great big boor, a vindictive teenager in an adult body, crude and rude and annoying. Nevertheless, I am a conservative (according to my lights) and a Christian. How can I not be happy when he appoints pro-life Christians like Ben Carson and Betsy DeVos to his cabinet? What an amazing turnaround, when I had resigned myself to the likes of John Kerry and Kathleen Sebelius for the foreseeable future.

I must admit also that I found the inauguration speech encouraging. What struck me most, not as a Christian but as an American, was the slogan “America First”: “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.” A simple idea, one that you would think would be taken for granted, not needing to be said. And again, “We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world — but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.” Of course it is. We expect other countries to do so, and we should do so ourselves. The job of our government is to look out for our interests, not to “make the world a better place”.

Again I’m not a Trump admirer, and did not vote for him, in the primary or in the general election. But when I hear the anti-Trump rhetoric, I can’t help feeling all the gladder that he won instead of them. If the rhetoric focused on him being an immature jerk, I would have no quarrel with it. I’m embarrassed that someone who conducts himself as he does in public, represents us before the world. But I’m convinced that him being the equivalent of Hitler or the KKK is sheer fantasy. I’m far, far more disturbed by the rhetoric and behavior of the anti-Trump factions, than I am by Trump or his followers. I find them far more divisive, indeed I believe they are deliberately so, as a matter of political strategy, whereas Trump’s divisiveness is accidental, following upon his clumsy and brutish manner of expressing himself.

I have no illusions that the next four years will be wonderful or that Trump’s administration will be beyond reproach and devoid of scandal. He’ll do some things right and some things wrong, like any other president. But he’ll do some good things that the Democrats would never have done, and will avoid some bad things that the Democrats would have done, and I can’t help feeling glad about that.

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10 thoughts on “Trump

  1. Hope your new job is going well. Pretty much a bingo on trump. I find him appalling, yet I am thrilled Hillary is not our president. So far, better than I hoped. He makes all the right heads explode.

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  2. Thank you, I really enjoyed this post. I too am torn and I think you got the situation spot on. I don’t know if I could bring myself to vote for Trump – thankfully I’m Canadian so I didn’t have to make a decision on that one – but I am a little cynical of the “Trump hate” that I see, especially from fellow Christians. While Obama and Hillary are clearly a far more sophisticated and intelligent individuals, they are not friends to Christians when it comes to many key social issues. Many of the forces arrayed against Trump are upset for more than just his appalling rhetoric; they’re upset because he represents a dissenting point of view that has hitherto been effectively squashed. While some undetermined portion of his plans (since realistically, no one has a clear idea of what he’s actually going to do) may be bad, I kinda like the upset press and potential for a new direction. The Hitler comparisons have always blown me away… Trump has given many reason to suspect he’ll be an awful president, but he’s given no indication of being genocidal or starting a World War. Such comparisons are designed to squash discussion in the manner that “progressives” have become accustomed to doing while in power. Interesting times. Thanks again.

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    • Thanks, Scott, and I think you too hit the nail on the head. The biggest reason for the hatred is the one the left won’t admit to: That he represents dissent from political correctness, and not merely dissent, but dissent in which he is supported by millions; indeed that he won *because* of his outright dissent. Winning despite breaking the rules is one thing, but winning because of it, is unforgivable, because it threatens the rules themselves. Without doubt the left has become the establishment, and they’re scared to death of losing that position. Which is why it makes me happy to watch their heads explode: If they’re scared then maybe there’s hope.

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  3. I’m like you; I did not vote for Trump in either the primary or general election. I also seriously expected Hillary to win. But part of me laughed when Hillary lost. She couldn’t even win against Trump! Haha! Maybe—just maybe!—she will finally give up dreams of the White House.

    On the other hand, Trump could be more dangerous to conservatism in the long run. We may have gotten 4 years of getting some good done (assuming Trump actually will, of which I’m doubtful) but since Trump will likely do many things that even conservatives hate, the leftist vitriol against conservatism will increase exponentially. I thought it was bad during the Bush years; it will likely be unbearable under Trump and not even for the right reasons.

    Part of me wishes that once Trump won the nomination, instead of supporting him, the GOP had pulled back and made a tactical retreat for 4 years to re-evaluate what they are doing. Sure, Hillary would have won but she would have been a horrible president, more scandals would have emerged, and in 2020 the GOP could have brought forth a Paul Ryan type that can articulate first principles. But I trust a GOP filled Congress to block the worst of Hillary than to block anything Trump does. They feel a loyalty to supporting President Trump that they would not have had with a President Hillary and therefore they will likely crash and burn with him.

    Anyway, these are the thoughts of an unqualified commentator. My “what-ifs” are pointless because we will never know what could have been. I hope I am wrong. I hope Trump is a good president. I hope he helps the country. I hope conservatism does not die out. I hope the moral anarchists do not win. I hope people begin thinking again about what morals even are and where they come from.

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  4. I hope that Trump does not do the worst of what people think he will do. In the same way you commented that you thought it was good for the left to be scared so “maybe there would be hope,” I feel like Trump’s victory has sealed the Republican party to fearlessly go down a path off darkness. I mean, apart from all the standard stuff that conservatives and liberals disagree with (and for which I agree there will never be compromise between the two sides), I think that conservatism under Trump will be ugly, mean, cruel, crude, and selfish. It will delight in being offensive and cruel not merely or not even primarily because of any principled disagreement with liberal causes, but just because it can get away with it without backlash. There will be no check on whether this is appropriate because people will know that you can win elections even when doing this.

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    • Andrew:

      Welcome to our world.

      In my opinion Trump’s election is backlash, pure and simple. Backlash against what? Against the left’s “delight in being offensive and cruel not merely or not even primarily because of any principled disagreement with [conservative] causes, but just because it can get away with it without backlash”.

      I’m guessing you haven’t noticed how offensive and cruel the left has been for the past couple of decades, because you were not the target of it and the media didn’t cover it (since it wasn’t news). For you it’s just normal. Whereas the right being offensive and cruel is always and everywhere considered outrageous (and therefore newsworthy) and intolerable.

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  5. I am not a fan of Trump, despite his Scottish roots, and am really worried that he may take away affordable health care. However, I have recently felt that rather than fearing, mocking or hating him, it is better to pray for him.
    I wish you all the best with the new job. A new job does requires a lot of energy as I’m finding at the moment.

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  6. I voted for Trump and was happy when he won. He is a flawed character, but he seems genuinely flawed – or even his “acting” seems obvious, whereas the acting of the Obama and Hillary set is such that mockery is not allowed – they can’t laugh at themselves, we can’t laugh at them, etc.

    I have, of course, some doubts. I don’t think he will be completely good, or ideal. I worry that I took too much joy in seeing the utter disbelief and shock in the media over “the systems” loss. In his brief time as President though it has been delightfully surprising. I pray everyday for our politicians and leadership, that God’s will may be done, despite Trump’s serious character flaws, pridefulness, and perhaps even a great need for repentance.

    Most conservatives I spoke to recognized Trump’s flaws. Everyone knew, and voted for him despite. The Hillary voters however were in utter disbelief. Obama and Hillary are like little idols to progressive modernism, and to laugh or doubt is heresy. Despite Hillary being the most obviously evil candidate ever put forth by the Democrats, while Obama was obviously a puppet.

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