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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Trump Supporters: We've won, now let's make sure we own it.

So, Donald Trump has won the presidency.  First off, a YUGE sigh of relief.  This victory restores my faith in this country's people to reject the corruption so blatantly on display by the Democrats this election and stand up to their bullying fearmongering tactics.  And yes, I could spend all day gloating, but I'd rather get down to next steps.  Because this isn't like winning the world series.  Instead, it's more like winning your division to make the playoffs.  It's great that you're division champs, but now the real work begins.  Like the Cubs pulling off a dramatic game 7 to win it all, can the Donald pull off all the things he says he's going to do?  That remains to be seen.  And it's up to us Trump supporters to be watching carefully.

I don't necessarily think we'll have much trouble with that.  See, because the media probably will not own up to its own dishonesty, it'll be looking for anything to go "SEE?! WE TOLD YOU HE'S DANGEROUS!!!".  He could shake a woman's hand on camera and someone in the media would inevitably go "Did you see that woman who stopped Trump from groping her?!".  This is expected.  And I'm fine with that.  Ironically, their dishonesty and bias will keep a Trump administration honest.  And I'm OK with that.  They hated Reagan and yet he managed to pull off the biggest lopsided re-election victory in history.

However, we have to do our parts.  Regardless what you think about Trump, he was a controversial candidate and will most likely be a controversial president.  I mean, you kind of have to be if you intend to build a wall and drain the swamp.  And because of those promises, we need to make sure we're paying attention these next 4 years.  We need to pay attention to not only what Trump does, but also what Congress does and says.

Remember, politics doesn't go dormant in between elections.  In fact, while elections have a lot of drama in campaigning, it's actually not nearly as dramatic as the political persuasion theater that happens in between.  Many political figures will say outlandish things during election time in order to persuade voters of varying information levels.  An example of this is Harry Reid in the 2012 election claiming that Mitt Romney hasn't paid taxes for 10 years.  About as bald faced false as it gets, but it was meant to build on the "evil out of touch rich guy" narrative the Obama campaign was pushing.  But these things are ephemeral and simplistic in intent.  However, the political persuasion theater when there isn't an election going is far more sophisticated.  An example of this would the political grandstanding about government shut downs or Rand Paul filibustering John Brennan's CIA Director Senate confirmation hearing to talk about the droning of American citizens.  The filibuster eventually forced then Attorney General Eric Holder to firmly state that the US government did not have a right to drone kill its own citizens.  Prior to the filibuster, Holder gave a very ambiguous and politically weaselly response to the question.  Rand's filibuster was able to put the Obama administration, and John Brennan, on record regarding this issue.

So, paying attention while an election isn't going on is the biggest way to stay informed.  Trump should have less obstacles than Reagan had to get his legislation through.  The key will be to watch what happens in the Senate.  Assuming that pro Trump legislature passes the House with no problem, the thinner majority in the Senate will require some Democrats to cross the aisle.  This is where Trump's negotiating and persuasion can really come in handy.  Things to pay attention to will be how the Senate votes go, which bills that the Speaker and Senate majority leaders bring to the floor, and what political stunts will be pulled when confirmation hearings begin.

It's important for supporters to keep track of which promises he upholds, which he deviates, and which he ignores.  He's made promises to the inner cities to help out the black community in our country; a very bold move and something many conservatives have wanted a leader to say for years.  Now, will he follow through?  Will he build that wall? Drain the swamp?  Effectively replace Obamacare?

And lastly, there's lots of fear about a Trump presidency.  I find most of it ridiculous and irrational.  However, it seems to be real.  Part of our role will be to remain vigilant.  We held our own establishment party members accountable when we nominated Trump despite party bosses scolding us not to do so (though full disclosure:  I voted for Cruz in the primaries).  We rejected their elitism by electing Trump when they turned their back on him.  There was a lot of "if you elect him, bad things will happen".  Part of our honesty must be to remain vigilant and own these problems should they manifest.

I think Trump will be a great president, but as Trump said last night, "It's only just begun".  And I look forward to seeing how things unfold with a real leader that prizes being on time and under budget.