Well! That came out much as I expected.
Donald Trump has done what I said could never be done. I was dead certain the American voter would not be stupid enough to fall for a bumbling charlatan and entrust him with the keys to the nation. It turns out they were exactly that stupid.
But, as President Obama said in closing yesterday, “The sun will rise in the morning.” Life will go on. There will be heartbreak. There will be cheering. But, dear readers, I fear some of the cheering will be premature.
Donald Trump won the hearts and minds of a segment of American society, a segment that flinched at shadows and saw what wasn’t there to be seen. It is a segment for which the truth is a sometime thing, and what is believed is driven by inner voices overriding crisp reality.
- The religious right saw a savior who would return piety to government institutions.
- The self-serving saw a politician who would rein in government meddling.
- Isolationists saw someone to protect them from a fearsome world just an ocean or a wall away.
- The paranoid saw a politician who respected their romance with deadly force.
- And some saw a white man who would restore privilege where it was rightly due.
Some or all of these are going to be disappointed.
The Constitution of the United States stands in the way of this becoming a Christian (or Muslim) nation. Twenty million people now have health insurance they were unable to obtain before, and it’s going to be a sorry politician who takes that away. American business’s thirst for cheap and exploitable labor is going to ensure illegal immigration will not be resolved soon. An American society will eventually cave under the weight of innocent lives quenched with no obvious gain and will call for sensible laws regarding ownership of deadly weapons. As with the Irish, the Italians, and the Jews before them the Asians and the Muslims are not going back to where they supposedly came from, and American society will continue to fold and to blend.
The Donald Trump on the campaign trail is likely not to be the same Donald Trump in the Oval Office. Until yesterday, he needed the vote of a certain social stratum. This is November 9. He is his own man now, to the extent he wants or needs to be. Where he is short on experience, there are those already in place with advice and guidance. The President of the United States is not going to look out over a sea of American citizens and shoot them the bird. Before, he was the candidate of his political base, and now he is the President of us all. No president before has ever defied this logic.
Expect President Trump to keep the Affordable Care Act until or unless a comparable replacement can be found. Raucous detractors of Obamacare will now face a unified Republican Party that will find affordable health care to be not so bad, now that they will be able to take credit for it.
Business leaders, with enormous political influence, will be demanding the new president’s ear, reminding him that thousand of jobs and billions in profits hang on these much-despised trade deals.
The new president is going to be sitting in the real situation room, facing a daunting cadre of rank and valor, all advising him he should not do such and such. These are people who have spent their careers sending Americans into danger, and they have an appreciation for human life that would surprise the chicken hawks wailing from the grandstands.
All this I foresee as based on history and reason. The sun will rise in the morning, and then it will go down again. And America will be right as always.
Of course, I have been wrong before.