By Dan Lucas
I was not a supporter of Donald Trump in the Republican primaries, and I had enough misgivings about him that I didn’t vote for him in the general election. I would have voted for him if I lived in a battleground state, but I don’t – I live in deep blue Oregon.
Despite that, when it began to look like he’d win on election night I was as excited as if my team was winning the Super Bowl! Now in fairness, I can only imagine what that feels like, since I’m a Minnesota Vikings fan.
I was also excited that Republicans held onto control of both chambers of Congress, and that they now control so many governorships and state legislatures.
CBS reported “Republicans have expanded their power in state capitols to their strongest levels in decades.” 33 of 50 governors are now Republican, “a 95-year high not seen since 1922”. Daily Kos notes that Republicans control both legislative chambers in 32 states, and Democrats only control the legislature in 13 states. One of those 13 is Oregon.
As a Republican, what’s not to like?
I am grateful to have a president now who shows respect for law enforcement and the military. I am beyond grateful that someone besides Hillary Clinton will be appointing Supreme Court justices for the foreseeable future. I have been very pleased, and at times pleasantly surprised, by Trump’s cabinet picks and key appointments so far – notably Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, Gen. Mattis for Secretary of Defense, Sen. Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, Gov. Rick Perry for Secretary of Energy and Gov. Nikki Haley as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
There was one aspect of Trumps’ supporters that I completely missed. I was humbled and chagrined to see how we as a county had been letting down a large, unrepresented segment of our fellow Americans. The people living in the rust belt whose jobs had left, and all of the other Americans who were suffering silently with no spokesperson, no lobbyists and no one advocating on their behalf. A year ago Peggy Noonan called them “the unprotected.” They found an advocate in Donald Trump. For his supporters, Trump may be a flawed messenger, but at least he was carrying the message and he was the only who was.
I am cautiously optimistic. For me, the big victory was the Supreme Court nominees being selected by someone other than Hillary Clinton. The rest is gravy. I’m still concerned by some of the same things regarding Trump’s temperament and character, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with many of his conservative appointments and actions so far.
And speaking of Trump’s character, I’m amazed at the hypocrisy on the left in some of their most virulent criticism. A great deal of the outrage expressed in the recent women’s marches was about despicable comments Trump made in 2005. He also has a history of credible allegations of sexual assault and unwanted advances. He should be held accountable for all of that, but these same people marching are OK with what Bill Clinton has been reliably accused of doing? Rape and sexual assault. And they’re also OK with Hillary’s unrepentant suppression of any of the women who said they had been victimized by her husband? One of the women who says she was victimized by Bill Clinton tweeted that Hillary has called Bill’s victims “bimbos, sluts, trailer trash, whores, skanks.” Where were the protest marches against the Clintons?
Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it. I am more than OK with holding President Trump accountable for the things he does and says, but that accountability needs to be in proportion and it needs to be fairly and evenly applied.
In the meantime, it would be nice for everyone to take a step back from the overreaction to Trump’s victory and to actually give him a chance.
Dan Lucas is an independent researcher and policy advocate, and the past editor of Oregon Catalyst. Follow his work at www.dan-lucas.com or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.