Well, well, well…
Donald Trump is going to be the next President of the United States.
No, this isn’t some Twilight Zone or the latest edition of Back to the Future. This is real life. I, like other politicos, am at a loss for words. Trump has defied the odds, overcome scandal after scandal, and has seemingly put the polling industry out of business single-handedly. Trump was able to tap into the “silent majority” of disaffected voters who were tired of the establishment system; more specifically, those blue-collar workers in the Rust Belt.
I predicted a Hillary Clinton landslide at the onset. Then, as we got closer and closer to Election Day, I started believing that while the race might be tighter than originally thought, Clinton was still destined to win.
I was dead wrong.
I have been a vocal critic of Trump since the beginning. I wrote how I believed him to be the final nail in the coffin that is the Republican Party, the reasons I would never support him for President, and even listed off five Republicans who didn’t run for the presidency, but would beat Clinton handedly (under my belief that Trump was going to get destroyed).
But time and again, Trump has seemingly slapped norms in the face, much to my amazement.
No, I’m not enamored at the prospects of a “President Trump,” but I am willing to give him a chance.
Back at the conclusion of the GOP primaries, I, like the majority of Republicans who didn’t vote for him, were numb to the prospects of a Donald J. Trump presidency. In one particular interaction with a Trump supporter, I was told that I “wanted Trump to fail,” and that “I wouldn’t support him even if he did win, regardless if he did do all the truly conservative/libertarian things he was claiming he would do.”
And in response, I simply answered: “Not so.”
I went on in a follow-up response to elaborate on my position of a potential Trump presidency, stating:
If Trump wins, I will be the first in line to wish him well. I want him to prove me wrong. I want him to show that he actually believes in limited government, free-markets, and individualism. His past actions and positions leads me to question his sincerity, but if he wins, I want him to prove to me that I was wrong. After all, he will be my president, your president, our president.
Waking up this morning and witnessing the #NotMyPresident trend on Twitter hurt my heart. I am hardly a Trump fan nor am I at all excited at the prospects of the next four years under a Trump administration, but to quote my article from last week:
While I have taken a firm #NeverTrump/#NeverHillary position from the onset, I will not be naive in the reality that either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will, in all likelihood (barring some unforeseen circumstance), be our next president.
The key in that last sentence is that Trump or Clinton will be our president.
Barack Obama is our president. George W. Bush was our president. Ronald Reagan was our president.
I have had many well documented issues with our current president and presidents past. However, despite these issues, the reality remains that they represent much more than their respective parties, but our nation as a whole. I’ve made it quite clear that I believe both Clinton and Trump would be travesties for our nation. But my personal beliefs on their respective policies will not change the inevitable that one of them will soon hold the highest elected office in the land.
Had Clinton won, she would have been our president, and those currently promoting the #NotMyPresident position would be lambasting those Trump supporters who would likely be promoting a similar hashtag in relations to a Clinton presidency.
Digging our heels in to simply spite those who bested us proves nothing. And to those who were Clinton supporters, or possibly #NeverTrump, it’s time to give him a fair shot.
I’m not excusing nor ignoring the things Trump has said in the past nor the things he has done in the past. But had Clinton won, you would be the first to tell Trump supporters and #NeverHillary folks to, at the very least, give her a chance.
And we need to be honest with each other:
He is not as bad and Clinton was not as good as the one-sided rhetoric and demagoguery made them out to be. That’s the problem with demagoguery: the more they pander and run their mouths, the worse they make the morning after.
Hate didn’t “trump” love.
The sky isn’t falling.
You don’t need to move to Canada.
Friends can still be friends.
Whatever nonsense Trump spouted isn’t going to happen, much less overnight.
What happened last night was an orange demagogue beat a female demagogue in a “who do I hate less” contest.
So, let’s move forward, together. Let’s give our new President a chance to prove us wrong. And if he doesn’t, then in four years, vote him out. But until then, it’s time to humble ourselves and let the system work as it is designed.