First we said he would never run. Then we said he would never get the nomination. Then we said he would never win. Then we were proven wrong. Donald Trump is now the President-elect of the United States after pulling out a Harry Truman-esque style victory on Tuesday. The question now is what happens and what is the state of conservatism in the wake of the Republicans controlling the House, Senate, and the White House for the first time since 2006.
Even for those of us who did not vote for him, seeing the Clinton Empire go down in the biggest ball of fire since the Hindenburg was a welcome sight. Despite a premature coronation, Hillary Clinton has now run for President and lost to an unknown senator from Illinois and the least popular man to ever run for the office, after barely beating a crazy haired Vermont socialist. The left now has a strange new respect for the logic behind Rush Limbaugh’s “I hope he fails” sentiment. Heads are bound to begin rolling at the DNC and the Democrats will now have the same displeasure Republicans have had for each of the past two election cycles: figuring out what went wrong.
Expect Democrats and the news media to suddenly rediscover the Constitution’s separation of powers. Democrats can be expect to be suddenly against “getting things done.” Dissent will go from being racist and obstructionist to once again being the highest form of patriotism.
As amusing as it is to see the Clinton machine crash and burn, there is one sobering reality that conservatives need to face. Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. How should conservatives, especially those of us who did not vote for him, respond? Conservatives who did not vote for Trump should take Jonah Goldberg’s approach of “I hope I’m proven wrong about all of my deep-seated concerns and fears.”
What might those concerns be? The first being that the Republican Congress will do the same thing it did under George W. Bush, that being showing loyalty to the Republican President, not to conservative principles. The defeat of Hillary Clinton is a good thing, but some of Trump’s policies cannot be made into law. Trade wars, state-run health care, and the growing entitlement state need to be opposed regardless of what letter the President has next to their name. The question now is whether Trump reverts back to being the liberal Democrat he was for his entire life or whether he governs as a conservative mostly led by the congress or by Mike Pence, or as the populist-nationalist he campaigned as.
It would not be surprising in the first months of a Trump presidency for there to be a major foreign policy crisis in an attempt by the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, North Koreans, or whoever else to test the new President’s resolve. The Russians are not our friends, and hopefully he will come to see that when presented with the responsibilities that come with being the leader of the Free World. Seeing who he appoints as Secretary of Defense and as Secretary of State will be a good first test.
Donald Trump will now have the ability to name Antonin Scalia’s replacement to the Supreme Court. If he nominates a Scalia-like candidate, we should support it, if he does not, he should oppose. We finally have all the elected branches of government, meaning that now is the time to finally repeal Obamacare. It will not be easy, and the Republicans will have to fight to get it done, but if they do not, it makes every “We need the White House to repeal it” look like more empty rhetoric and more broken promises. It was passed using every trick in the book; Republicans need to be prepared to repeal it using the same way it was passed.
I fully expected this article to be about how the Republican Party and the conservative movement should respond to a Trump loss. I’ve been proven wrong by candidate Trump multiple times, and I hope to be proven wrong about President Trump, but I do not expect to be.