Trump is the president-elect.
Regardless of how you feel about him, this is an undeniable fact. The people who are yelling “NOT MY PRESIDENT” are full of themselves. There’s nothing you can do about it. Hillary failed to attract rural voters in even the bluest of states. With that out of the way, let me share my thoughts on Trump.
Here’s a disclaimer. I voted for Ted Cruz in the primary and Evan McMullin, who wasn’t even on my state’s ballot, in the general. That alone should make it pretty obvious that I’m not really a fan of Trump.
Right from the beginning, it was abundantly clear that Trump was going to be a different breed of presidential candidate. What set him apart from most of the Republican candidates was the fact that he, along with Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, was not a politician. He was a businessman. And not just a businessman. He was a billionaire who dabbled into a little bit of everything.
The way he spoke at debates set him apart from the others. He spoke in a much simpler tone. He didn’t go deep into statistics or policy. He stated the problem and said he would fix those problems. This sort of politics is called populism, which is made to appeal to the common man.
Populism is definitely not something new. It’s quite popular in European countries like the UK. Nigel Farage, who successfully convinced the UK to leave the EU, was a populist. Populists are generally successful there. Over here, it’s quite a different story. While there have certainly been successful populists before, like FDR and Reagan, it’s generally not a very successful tactic. It requires the country to be in some sort of “savior” to fix a massive problem. Go back in history and look at America’s successful populist leaders. Even if they made matters worse, there’s something they did right to get elected in the first place.
Huey Long appealed to most of Louisiana because of the fact that it was in a state of disrepair. FDR appealed to most of America because of the fact that the economy was in the greatest depression yet. Reagan appealed to most of America because of the fact that the federal government was getting too large.
Trump has appealed to the middle and lower class in rural areas, which Democrats have nearly abandoned. His promise to fix Washington certainly boosted his approval. And his blunt speeches and mediocre vocabulary made it easy for low info voters to understand anything he said.
This is exactly the problem I have with him. He’s trying too hard to appeal to low info voters. Instead of giving people the facts and presenting viable solutions, he just throws in an opinion that was probably stolen from 5 other people. Imagine if your grandfather voted Democrat all his life, switched to Republican at the last minute, and started watching Bill O’Reilly on Fox News. This is literally what Donald Trump is. Somebody who probably hasn’t even looked into the base of conservatism at all. He’s the Democrat’s stereotype of a Republican.
This man will say one thing and then change his mind 15 minutes later. I remember him saying he was going to build a wall on the Mexican border and have Mexico pay for it. Then he said a few months later that he’d consider it, but it wasn’t going to be a mandatory. And then after that he said he might not even do it at all. It’s not that he’s purposely lying to the American people. He just doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I feel bad for the people who voted for him because he “speaks the truth”.
Let’s not forget his threats to violate the first and tenth amendments. He’s said many times that he’s going to threaten any newspaper that talks bad about him. He’s also threatened to prevent people from entering the country strictly on religion. And that’s only the beginning. He honestly seems to know little about the constitution. That explains why he rarely speaks of it.
So what about his economic policies? Surely a businessman knows what’s best for the economy, right? Well, that’s only partly true. While he certainly wants to reduce the tax burden on most Americans and domestic businesses, he definitely seems to want to tax any foreign company or any domestic company that outsources their manufacturing to other countries. He’s also mentioned a stimulus package similar to Obama’s. Truly, he is not a friend of free market capitalism.
It seems like everything Trump says or does, he constantly contradicts immediately after. Many people pointed this out and criticized Trump heavily for. Towards the end, he definitely did buckle down on policies, but many were far different than what he said originally.
Many conservative leaders never took him seriously. They’ve warned many others that he’s no friend to conservatism or libertarians. By the time Cruz dropped out, a lot of Never Trump conservatives abandoned ship and went third party. Others joined Trump, but still criticized him heavily.
Sadly, some conservatives joined the Trump Train quite early. They turned a blind eye when he went against conservatives while still claiming he’s for conservatives. The biggest examples of this are from Sean Hannity, Matt Drudge, and Rush Limbaugh. Breitbart News also stumped for Trump. I feel as if all of these people were bought out by Trump to speak positively about him.
Will the GOP abandon conservatives after a Trump presidency? Depends. If Trump goes the most likely route of being mediocre, then definitely not. If Trump tirns out to be an average Joe, they might. I can’t imagine them abandoning their largest voter base. But they might consider more populists like Trump afterwards. A shame that populists and the alt-right are taking over the GOP. The principled party of progression and civil liberties is being slowly overrun by SJWs on the right. Maybe things will be okay in 2020.
At this point, there’s little we can do but keep an open mind. The best thing to do, regardless of who’s in office, is to keep an open mind. He might do a million bad things, but he might do three very good and important things. You never know. Just be sure to criticize him when he messes up something. Even if your favorite person in the world were in office, you should still hold them accountable for their actions.