I’m online right now trying to calm the fears of the most sensitive of all internet dwellers, the Tumblr bloggers.
If you don’t yet to know about this wonderful corner of the interwebs, it’s where all the sensitive, emotional types go to post their fan art, talk about Steven Universe, social justice and sexuality and their emotions and stuff. If you ever see a comic about anxiety, it almost certainly originated there.
They’re really sweet and they’re really scared right now because Trump won. All they know about Trump is that he hates gays and wants to build a wall and he’ll start World War Three any minute now.
Tumblr people are the emotional canaries of the human mind shaft, and if they need a big hug right now, I’m betting so do you.
I want to give you that hug but I also want to show you how none of those things are true either. There really is nothing to worry about.
Listen to this — what you’ve got to understand about Trump is that he’s first and foremost a showman. He’s made a study of pro wrestling and he’s in the WWE Hall of Fame, so he is really really good at playing a crowd by playing the bad guy.
When Trump started the campaign, there were a lot of very angry working class people who were sick to death of the corruption in government. And they have every right to be. They are losing out big to the one percent in every conceivable way. The very reasons us progressives wanted Bernie Sanders so bad was to help people like Trump supporters. People barely scraping by in the Walmart/welfare trap, with no healthcare, no education, and no way out. These guys are the hardest-dealt victims of neoliberal trade policies.
Trump did what he does best. He played the crowd. He knew what they were thinking and he used all their lines back on them. Build a wall, throw out the Muslims, make America great again. They lapped it up.
And they immediately trusted him because they were speaking his language. This guy was voicing their worries and concerns and he was offering to fix them.
He came right down to their level and he looked them in the eye and said “I get it. You’re hurting. I get it. I’ll fix it.”
Zoom forward a year and Trump appears to be the same guy, and he’s still talking to the same people, but here’s the thing: he’s not saying the same words. Pay attention — his immigration policy is a far cry from his original shocking one that talked about deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants, as reported here by the Atlantic. Now, he’s talking about only deporting undocumented immigrants who commit crimes. That’s a significant move to the middle. You can imagine even Hillary supporting that platform.
In fact, ABC News reports that the Obama administration has deported more illegal immigrants than any other president in American history, Democrat or Republican. So it’s possible that Obama has been tougher on undocumented immigrants than Trump will be.
Now you might protest, “But he’s just saying that!”
Yes. He’s saying that, and this is important — they’re listening and they’re fine with it. He brought them along with him. They’re agreeing with him. They’re happy with that solution.
If you pay attention, he’s done that with every single contentious issue. He’s even had his deplorables cheering loudly for him being “the biggest supporter” of the LGBTQ community.
Again, you might say “Oh but he’s just saying that.” Yes. He’s saying it and they’re cheering. These mobs of people that you’ve been scared will take to the streets and hurt gay people, are, in fact, cheering for them.
Same on the Muslim immigration. International Business Times reports he’s wound it back from “ban all Muslims” to just simply vetting certain countries, which I think they probably do anyway, truth be told. Do his supporters care? No, because they trust him. They know he has their back.
At his acceptance speech tonight he spoke only of unity. It was a statesman-like speech about the importance of diplomacy among nations, and coming together as a nation, all groups, factions, races, people, to make America great again.
So, he gathered up all these legitimately angry people (and by God, their anger is legitimate; they are living like third world people in the richest country in the world), and he listened to them, got them on board, and brought them to here.
So, what’s he going to be like as a president? Well, if I was to place a bet, I think he’ll be a maker/doer president. He loves making stuff, big stuff, and he really lit up in his acceptance speech when he talked about building infrastructure. That’s his game, that’s what he loves, and that’s what he’s looking forward to. His eyes sparkled at the thought of bringing the bling to America again.
He’s made it clear he’s not interested in trade agreements taking away jobs from everyday Americans, so I think he’ll stand strong on the TPP. He’s made it clear that he’s a lover, not a fighter, and he has no interest in taking on Russia for example. He wants to do deals. That’s what he’s good at, and that’s what he knows. War games aren’t his bag.
So I think we can look forward to some big pimpin’ bridges in our future, Trump roads studded with Swarovski crystals, and a garish makeover for the White house.
In making all that stuff, he really is going to create jobs for people, real jobs doing real things, and that can only be good. It’s not anywhere near as exciting as the Green New Deal that Dr. Jill Stein proposed, but it’s better than nothing.
Internally, in the Republican party, they’re going to find it tough going indeed. Chris Hayes predicted that a Trump presidency would be the end of the Republicans as we know it. And the Republicans present agreed with him! Trump is very much an outsider, and worse, he’s an outsider who leads. There was a reason why all the establishment Republicans were voting for Hillary, and why Washington DC itself voted 93 percent for Hillary. They knew with her that it would be business as usual. Trump is an unknown quantity, a guy who had to pretend he’d read the Bible just to fit in, someone who has his own ideas on how things should be run. He’s not an insider, and he’s not a puppet either. He’s really their worst nightmare. They admit that.
Look at it this way. In one fell swoop we’ve taken out the establishment Democrats, and the establishment Republicans, in one hit. Yes, it’s a brave new world and we don’t know what it looks like yet, but I do know that what it was like was very sick. It was a very sick system that had become corrupted beyond repair. We know because we tried very hard to fix it.
Trump will be the clean sweep we need to start again. In four years time, either a very-humbled Democratic party or a new progressive party altogether will be ready to offer a real alternative of our choosing. How good will that be? An actual candidate that we want!
So we have an interesting few years ahead but we will have a clean house, a sense of purpose and a will of our own that isn’t being sabotaged relentlessly from within.
It’s a new dawn, progressives. We can work with this.
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]