Thoughts on Trump

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore

I’m honestly still in shock that “President Trump” is not a punchline to a crappy joke, but is reality as of a week ago. After the initial disbelief faded, I had to sit down and really look at Trump and his campaign, something I’ve ignored for a while.

I’m optimistic about the future. While he may not turn out to be that good of a president, his election is exactly what this country needed. It’s a hell of a wakeup call for a lot of people. We all joked about what would happen if Trump won, but now we have the next four or eight years with the guy.

Part of the problem is Trump is a centrist that portrayed himself as an extremist. Cutting through all the bad reporting and calls that Trump is literally Hitler, he has a plan for the nation and it’s nothing close to what people think it is. Sadly, all the propaganda that the media and Hillary’s campaign were happy to put out have now convinced people that Trump’s taking power is an extinction-level event. Granted, all I know about the guy is what I’ve read and saw, I don’t have any special insight into the future and I know politicians by definition lie.

However, I’m still thinking that Trump may not turn out to be as bad as most think he will. Given what he’s said and how he’s acted, I anticipate a very centrist presidency. Trump is in fact one of the most liberal Republicans ever to get elected. Given that the last time he pursued presidential nomination it was with the Reform Party, I’m not surprised he’s taking a centrist stance while stating his intentions to overhaul aspects of the government. That may clash with the way he ran his campaign, but it may have been exactly what he had been intending. I’ve seen some interesting analyses looking at his campaign in the context of Sun-Tzu’s “Art of War,” and as much as I hate to say it, Trump is probably far smarter than the public has given him credit for.

While Trump has not been very consistent throughout his campaign, I’m encouraged by Trump’s public and very consistent disapproval of the Federal Reserve’s policy of low interest rates and easy money. Fixing the economy is hard but it starts with first getting the dollar under control. I’ve even read about Trump looking into returning to the gold standard, an unprecedented move that would have a colossal impact with a ripple effect through the economy that would stabilize everything under the sun.

It’s hard to say though, politicians lie almost by definition. If Trump was predictable he wouldn’t have won the presidency, the Democrats would have been able to mount an effective defense against him past name-calling and the most underhanded, corrupt perversion of the democratic process I’ve seen in this country.

Optimism for the future aside, I’m excited at the future of politics. Both parties are in shambles and struggling to comprehend what happened in the last four years. They have gotten the message loud and clear that Americans are fed up with business as usual, we see through the corporatist sponsoring of politicians and regulation and we will go so far as to elect Donald Trump rather than continue with things as they are.

I’m no fan of government, in fact I’m a staunch libertarian. That’s why I love watching the machine burn and seeing people start worrying about the government again. A powerful president using executive orders left and right to bypass a reticent Congress is welcomed when the right team is in control, but now checks and balances sound like a pretty good idea. Seeing those on the political left start talking about gun ownership, secession, limiting government power and focusing on the local community really tickles me.

The media has also taken a huge blow and is being taken to task with the way the election has been reported. Instead of nominally unbiased and balanced reporting, the media completely abandoned things as they were and launched tirades against Trump. Portraying Trump as a disorganized nutjob with no chance for election was a mistake and media outlets are feeling the consequences. The New York Times even issued an apology and announced their intention to return to unbiased, objective reporting in the face of cancelled subscriptions.

The media is starting to lose its hold on the people and people are holding it accountable. No more a liberal mouthpiece that colludes with the left, I eagerly await the return of honest and honorable journalism that give people what need to hear, not what they want to hear.

Most appealing to me personally is the reaction from the left. Intelligent leftists are starting to rethink the strategy of screaming insults, branding anybody who doesn’t agree as misogynist, transphobic, stupid or whatever label best fits the brand of thoughtcrime being committed at the time. British liberals are the best, I’ve seen incredible reactions from people urging their fellow liberals to engage in discussion, to understand the stance of their opponents, to not live in an isolated echo chambers and to get out in the real world, to stop banning people from speaking at colleges and to start being open to understanding the other side’s argument.

The number of articles being shared that blame the left and the pervasive culture of political correctness, the culture of safe spaces and trigger warnings is satisfying to no end. I can’t say why Trump won, it was at the very least the combination of a lot of factors. I’d go so far as to say that it wasn’t a reaction to the far left that got Trump elected. One way or another, the fact that the left is starting to reevaluate itself is encouraging.

Not only are the intelligent leftists taking a long hard look at themselves, but the unintelligent leftists are making the whole crowd look even worse. Lea DeLaria of “Orange Is the New Black” stated she wanted to take out Trump supporters with a baseball bat. Columnist Monisha Rajesh who has written for the Telegraph and the Guardian tweeted a call for assassination. Rajesh’s Twitter account has since been deleted. Calls for violence have been widespread and the mobs are happy to give it. Every liberal overreacting only makes the entire ideology look bad.

While I understand the frustration and the need to march, I can’t abide by any violence or destruction. A truly peaceful demonstration would have been a bright symbol of hope to Democrats everywhere and to all those afraid of a future under Trump. Instead, those that warned of the destructive consequences of a Trump presidency went out and destroyed a bunch of property just to prove their point. The irony is not lost on a lot of people who are starting to view the whole based on the actions of a very childish few.

Personally, I’m pretty jazzed. It’s an exciting time. Old power structures are being shaken up, the status quo has been interrupted, and the liberal left is either imploding or focused on improving themselves. I know there’s a huge amount of fear out there. It’s absolutely understandable. Don’t worry too much, though, Trump will be one of the most criticized and scrutinized presidents in recent history. If things start really declining, Americans are going to have to learn to rely on each other and not our government. Like teens leaving home, we are starting to realize that we are in control and what happens in our life is a byproduct of our actions. No government can control who we love or worship or what we believe.

Things could go well or things could not. One way or another we’ll be stronger for it.