A few weeks ago, Democrats and liberals ridiculed Donald Trump for saying he might not accept the results of the Presidential election, and hinting of protests and riots if it was rigged against him.
Clinical psychologists in New York City and elsewhere are flooded with calls from people who need help coping with their fear of Donald Trump. Little Hispanic and Muslim children are terrified that Trump supporters are going to come after them.
They literally believe that the election of Donald Trump is equivalent to the election of Adolf Hitler.
I don’t want to make light of these fears. I think people really are afraid.
Trump’s election was a bad thing. A lot of people are going to be hurt because of the Trump administration (for that matter, many would have suffered under a Hillary Clinton administration).
American democracy survived Dick Cheney, Richard Nixon and Joe McCarthy. I am confident it will survive Donald Trump. I highly recommend watching the 12-minute Ian Welsh video above and reading the links below for perspective.
Trying to negate the Electoral College vote is a terrible idea. The effort is bound to fail, and will discredit future demands by liberals and Democrats to respect the rule of law. Even if it succeeded, it would set a bad precedent of setting aside election results by fair means or foul.
The Electoral College has existed for more than 200 years. It is what it is because of a compromise that was necessary to create a United States in the first place. Progressive and liberal presidents have been elected in the past through the Electoral College system and have just as much chance of being elected in the future.
I don’t think Donald Trump will be a good President. His lack of self-discipline and his record as a dishonest businessman lead me to expect an administration that is reactionary, corrupt and erratic.
But, in terms of policy, I don’t see him as all that different from a generic Republican such as Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. They are all for deregulation, privatization, tax cuts for rich people, more spending on the military and less spending on everything else. In a few ways, a Trump administration might be less bad than the others would have been.
My expectation for the election was that Hillary Clinton would win, and that her administration would be pro-war and pro-Wall Street, setting the stage for a right-wing populist victory in 2020. This could have happened if she had won a few thousand more votes in certain states.
As it was, the right-wing populist won sooner than I thought. Now it is up to Trump to cope with the coming recession and with the rise of anti-American sentiment worldwide. If he fails—and a better man than him might well fail—the other side will get another chance.
Republicans dominate the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the federal government, as well as many state governments. But they all, except for justices and judges, want to be re-elected. They are subject to pressure from voters and at risk in the next elections. Politics hasn’t come to an end.
You Are Still Crying Wolf by Scott Alexander for Slate Star Codex.
When the Shouting Stops by John Michael Greer for The Archdruid Report.
Afterthought. Notice that Ian Welsh said something different in his video than Scott Alexander and John Michael Greer said in their essays. Alexander and Greer said the threat of a Trump presidency was exaggerated. Welsh said you needn’t let the thought of a Trump presidency make you miserable and afraid, especially when you don’t know what it will bring. Two different things.