On August 8, 2015, we published our endorsement of Donald Trump for president. Later we called Trump a genius. Then, two weeks before the election, we said “because of him, we will see progress on issues in the coming years that we have not seen progress on in decades.” Yet these later articles were written under the assumption that Trump would lose the election.
Even though we called him a genius—something almost no one else did—we did not see this ultimate result coming. We knew from the beginning Trump’s primary goal was to break apart a petrified American political process that had made progress on a host of important issues impossible and that seemed to settle into a new normal we should all just get used to. Trump stuffed this beached whale with dynamite and happily pushed the plunger, scattering chunks of blubber all over everyone within a mile.
But we thought conventional politics would ultimately prove too powerful and Hillary Clinton, the political insider, would prevail in the end. Trump would end up exposing and breaking up the various factions of the Republican party while putting Democrats and other career politicians on notice. Today, Democrats are not just on notice, they have no one but themselves to blame for what has happened.
For years, Democrats have been compromised and ineffectual. They’ve never seriously challenged Republican proposals, which kept getting more ridiculous and unrealistic than the last because there was no one around to effectively oppose them. The Democratic party was always more concerned with not losing than with winning and more satisfied with self congratulation than with the hard work of real progress. So Trump has now set off the same internal explosion within the Democratic party that he did within the Republican.
Though Republicans are very pleased right now, let’s not forget Trump is not a loyal party man. Quite the opposite. His enemies list still contains a bunch of Republicans. And when he goes into a room to negotiate deals with members of Congress, he’s going to be looking to get what HE wants, not necessarily what Republicans want. Hopefully, over the next 4, 8, 12, and more years, the American people will get more of what THEY want, because of the calcification blown off the machinery of government by Donald Trump.
As a postscript, in case anyone thinks we’re just some Republican/conservative dyed-in-the-wool Trump supporters, our publisher voted for Bernie Sanders in the New York primary as a registered Democrat. We, like Bernie, also think the U.S. would be better off more like Denmark. But it hasn’t been happening. Just more Band-Aids, half measures, and hugely inefficient compromises. The political process has proved itself over and over full of sound and fury, but signifying nothing. Donald J. Trump, Super Genius, figured out exactly what he had to do to get elected. Now that he is, he has an opportunity to finally move some of these things forward. But if he can’t or won’t do it himself, he has at least shaken up politics to the point where people have the feeling for the first time since Barack Obama’s first few months in office that anything is possible and great improvements can happen. Obama, unfortunately, lost that energy after his first year in office. Trump is a maniac now, and something tells us he’ll still be a maniac his last day in office. Let’s hope he uses this power for good and not evil.