As anyone who has read much of anything I’ve written over the course of the past 15 months is aware, I took my stand early–long before there was a hashtag/slogan–that I would under no circumstances vote for Donald Trump (and it should go without saying that I’d never have voted for Hillary Clinton). I kept that promise. That said, Donald Trump is the president-elect of the United States, and much as I said that Barack Obama was my president after his election, I say the same of Mr. Trump: my extreme skepticism aside, he will be my president come late January, and I will support him as such. He proved me wrong time and again as to his electability; when I awakened on Wednesday morning after an election-returns-free evening of sleep, I was surprised–not utterly shocked after some poll movement of the previous couple days, but plenty surprised–to find out that he had been elected.
There is certainly some good that has come of this already, chiefly in the fact that America will be spared from ever having a Clinton occupy the Oval Office again. When I say that neither of the two major candidates was remotely qualified to serve as president, my reasoning between the two was a bit different. While I pointed to important qualifications in the areas of character, temperament, experience, and political philosophy as rendering neither candidate acceptable, the issues of character and philosophy rose to the fore with Ms. Clinton. It has long been remarked that the Clintons share the trait of an inability to feel shame at their actions, and Hillary has proven herself the equal of her husband in this regard. Beyond this, of course, her political philosophy would continue the destructive path forged by Barack Obama. That she will never (dis)grace the presidency is a fact for which we ought all to be grateful.
Beyond this, let me say that while I was so regularly and completely wrong about Donald Trump’s electability, I very much hope I will be proven wrong with regard to the effects of his presidency. There is no need to belabor the point that I consider him dramatically unqualified to serve, nor the reasons why I expect his presidency to be a failure; I have said plenty about that and no point is served in rehashing those points. Some delicate snowflakes have taken to protesting his election in cities across the country, and the spectacle is humorous given that protests are generally undertaken to accomplish something; what are they protesting, reality? So with me: there is simply no point in making arguments as to why I think as I do. Rather, I offer to the president-elect my fervent hope that he will deliver on the best of his promises, that he will truly grow into this monumental task of governing, that he will gain some needed self-discipline, that he will (as so many have promised) surround himself with good people of competence, character, and conviction. As he does these things, he will find in me a supportive American citizen; as he fails in these, he will find in me a critic. I sincerely hope that my fear that he will be a disastrous president is mitigated by sound governing, and nobody will be happier to say “I was wrong” than I. Nobody.
That said, I didn’t buy this president: those who supported him in the primaries, over other tremendous choices, did. I was #nevertrump, and that is a vote I will never, ever regret, even if Trump amazingly proves to be a good president. Given all the evidence, a third-party vote was for me a no-brainer, and contrary to the inexcusable silliness of the cretin Newt Gingrich (I was #nevernewt in 2012, by the way), who calls people like me “whiny, sniveling, negative cowards” (and then utterly and completely misunderstands our complaints against Trump, as evidence by his further blathering), I believe I held true to the principles that Gingrich, Hannity, et al, ostensibly once supported, but now openly mock. If, though, Donald Trump experiences a tangible, true conversion to conservatism (for which there is currently scant evidence, but I’ll give him a chance to grow), and proves to be a more able president than my pretty fertile imagination can even begin to consider, it’s not out of the question that I could vote for him four years from now.
In the meantime, though, I had nothing to do with this man’s election, and so to my many friends who voted for Trump with gusto, I say, “you bought him; you own him.” If I’m right and he’s a horrid president, my hands are clean. If you guys are right and he isn’t, then I will be very, very happy to be wrong–and you can invite me to eat crow, which would at that point taste pretty good.
Either way, this should be an interesting ride…