Congratulations to the Republican Party for pulling off a truly incredible feat. After watching the party repeatedly snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, I was completely blown away by a win that defied all expectations — especially my own. At the beginning of the night, I even stated, on air, that the Democrats were going to walk away with another four years in the Oval Office.
So allow me to be the first to say it: I was wrong.
But while I may have been wrong about Republican nominee Donald Trump’s chances to win the White House, it doesn’t mean that I was wrong about the kind of man he is. Throughout his campaign — and through several decades of public life preceding his campaign — he’s demonstrated that he has no ideological center. When he does pick a direction, he often chooses a leftist one. As I’ve noted before before, Trump too often takes positions that his conservative supporters themselves reject, be it his uncomfortably soft views on Planned Parenthood, or his affinity for single payer healthcare.
Of course, for every liberal position Trump has taken, he’s also taken the conservative position on the exact same issue. Candidate Trump’s constant flip-flopping shouldn’t give anyone confidence that President Trump will hold any position worth having for too long. He once changed up his stance on abortion five different times within 72 hours. A leader that malleable can be dangerous, especially to a republic trying to stabilize itself after eight years of economic, social, and foreign policy lunacy.
Let me be clear: I don’t trust Donald Trump. It’s why I didn’t vote for him. It’s why I left the Republican Party. And the constant assurances by his supporters that good times are a comin’, and he’s going to usher in a new era of conservative policies, and booming business, are of no comfort. If his voters are willing to excuse his indefensible behavior, and unstable positions on the issues, then what does the word “conservative” even mean? Is it just any action with an “R” next to it, no matter how leftist it is?
I was wrong about Trump’s chances, and I want to be wrong again. This time, I want to be wrong about the kind of President he’s going to be.
Unlike some conservatives who said from the beginning that they hoped President Obama would fail, I don’t want Trump to fail. I hope that during these four years that Trump is such a great president that I can’t wait to pull the lever for him come the next election. Nothing would make me happier than to become one of the people standing in the crowd at the next Republican National Convention and cheering, “Four more years!”
And there’s no better time for me to be proven wrong than now. Right now, both the executive and legislative branches are redder than a Tarantino movie set post fight scene, and Trump can politically do almost everything he wants. A Supreme Court justice more Scalia than Scalia? He need only wave his hand. Cut taxes and regulations that hold businesses back? Go crazy. It is virtually inevitable that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is going to nuke the filibuster at some point during the first two years; might as well get it over with.
At this point, has the political equivalent of a genie’s lamp. There’s almost no wish he can’t be granted, and if his wishes follow the principles of liberty, and egalitarianism, then let the lamp rubbing commence. I wish him all success.
But with the kind of power that Trump now possesses, combined with his nebulous ideology, Trump could easily use his magical genie to do more damage to the nation than any president before him, including Barack Obama.
The task of keeping his feet held to the fire, and of preventing this from happening, does not fall on the Democrats in Congress. It falls on those who voted him into the executive office.
Rest assured, Trump voters: this is your victory, and thus it is your responsibility to hold his feet to the fire. It’s your job to make sure every assurance you gave skeptical conservatives comes true. That should he stray from the path you brought him into office to follow, you will be the first to stand athwart him, and make sure he sticks to the plan.
It’s your duty to do this, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s prudent.
We’ve seen time and again how the left unites to form a mob in order to bend businessmen in particular to their will. Like some sort of authoritarian Voltron, they unite to make themselves seem like a more powerful majority — a majority willing to use the power of the marketplace to wreck anything that does not fall in line with their agenda. This is an illusion, but it looks real enough to anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of their ire. The consistent pressure is typically relentless, and no matter how strong you are, it generates an insecurity that slowly ebbs away at the will. Even Chick Fil-a CEO Dan Cathy was moved by the mob to say he wouldn’t involve himself in social controversies anymore.
This is why it’s important for you — Trump’s heretofore loyal supporters — to stay hot on Trump’s heels, and make sure that when he jumps out of line, you snap him back into place. The left will pull out all the stops to have their way, and being okay with everything Trump does is a wide open door for the policies you love to hate. If Trump faces constant opposition from one side, and pliant subservience from the other, it’s no mystery which direction he will find himself pushed in. Trump’s conservative supporters owe it to the country to make sure that liberals aren’t the only ones giving Trump grief over the next four years.
What nobody wants to see is another complicit swing by the right to left, like we saw when Republicans aggressively participated in helping to pass then-President George W. Bush’s Medicare Part D program, which was the largest entitlement program in two generations. To say nothing of the Patriot Act or No Child Left Behind, If Trump’s history of leaning left on issues like single payer are any indication, then this is a valid concern for all of us.
That is my worry going into four years of a Republican majority. After seeing how some Republicans defended Trump through thick and thin — and how virtually all Republicans defended everything George W. Bush did during his first term, I am leery that anyone will serve as a meaningful check on Trump’s worst impulses — be they liberal or authoritarian. The last thing this country needs is more government expansion, even if it’s painted with a red hue and has a capital “R” stamped on it.
So please, Donald Trump. Prove me wrong again.