I was not a Donald Trump supporter. For the first time since I started voting I not only voted third party, but wrote in a name Michael A. Maturen of the American Solidarity Party. A totally Don Quixote gesture tilting at a ballot box. Still I wasn’t railing over people who were supporting Trump. I have a hard enough time following my own conscience without dictating other people’s consciences.
Still I did feel much relief that Hillary Clinton did not win. That was certainly an upside. My disdain for her and her policies had developed over a much longer time. Still this does not wipe out the reasons I had for opposing now President-Elect Trump.
Still I am giving myself a Trump Reset.
“I didn’t vote for him, but he’s my President, and I hope he does a good job.” — John Wayne
So I am going to attempt to not let what has gone before color everything about a President Trump. To let events unfold and judge them on their merits. To support the good and the true and to call out error (not that my opinions have any consequence). No doubt I will have temptations towards I told you so!. It is not as if people are transformed as they step into being president.
The reality is that like everything we take the hand dealt and make the best of it. I have seen many cries of this being a pro-life win. No doubt Trump’s policies will be more generally pro-life than Hillary’s would be. Not exactly a high bar to exceed, but not something to ignore. I will let events unfold to see if there is actually merit in this. At a minimum the Hyde Amendment will continue. I doubt his priorities regarding pro-life causes will match what pro-lifers want. But like most elections I really want to be wrong.
The biggest thing people have talked about is his possible Supreme Court nominations. I hold this as very important for the most part. But I won’t be fooled again as so many disastrous appointments have come at the hands of Republican presidents. Democrats have the knack to pick justices that if they change at all it is in a more liberal direction. So only time will tell if even a well thought of pick actually stays that way. The Supreme Court like everything in the Federal government has grown more powerful than ever intended. Still I think supporting 40 Days for Life, And Then There Were None, and other direct pro-life groups will bear more fruit than any vote for President because of Supreme Court nominations. We have done this time and time again, yet these groups are helping to convert people and to actually close down clinics. As a both/and kind of guy both avenues are important.
I will be greatly interested in how he directs Religious Freedom issues. It has been quite an awful eight years in this regard on multiple fronts from the government. Trying to transform Religious Freedom into Freedom of Worship as a diminishment. So we will see how quickly he overturns the Obamacare Mandate that is affecting religious institutions right now. This mandate was not required by the law, but was a shameful edict that can be quickly removed.
There were certainly things that candidate Trump found the pulse on regarding his supporters. He tapped into some general problems that do need to be addressed. The economic climate is nowhere near what it should be and the media has maintained a rose-colored glasses filter on it. No doubt the media will find lots of problems in the country after he takes office.
“The Reformer is always right about what’s wrong. However, he’s often wrong about what is right.” G.K. Chesterton
So will he provide actual solutions to what he criticized? Time will tell. I would restate Chesterton’s quip in that also “The Reformer is always right about what’s wrong. Yet rarely right on how to fix it.”
I am certainly not optimistic regarding foreign policy. We have been blundering along for decades, if not more. We have been the literary Bull in the China shop when it comes to the Middle East. Making decisions from our cultural perspective as if you could rubber stamp the same assumptions on other cultures. So much arrogance there and failing to understand the differences and the forces at work along with all the nuances. Give them Democracy and everything is fixed. Still just perhaps Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn has at least some grasp of this and the extent of our blunders.
I will also not be fooled again regarding for example a removal of a government program such as so-called “Obamacare”. Exactly what government programs or parts of government promised to be removed that were. I score zero. Could Obamacare be reduced back to the reforms that were actually needed? I’ll believe it when I see it.
“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.” – Illustrated London News (1924) G.K. Chesterton
I see Chesterton quip as pretty much an iron law verified by everything. Still I want to be wrong, very wrong.
So yeah I remain highly skeptical, but I hope not a pig-headed skepticism where evidence to the contrary is rejected out of hand. The Trump Reset I am attempting is to evaluate events as they occur and not to prejudge everything. So I certainly hope him and Mike Pence well and will pray for them as I try to do for any President.
Still I am also reminded how unhealthy the power of the Presidency has become and how much we invest in it emotionally. Instead of acting in our communities we try to put our hope in a person who is going to fix things and get things done. We always want to take the Federal government shortcut to fix everything everywhere.
I found this spelled out very well in Amy Welborn’s post today #NotMyCityCommissioner. Just exceptional writing and not just because I fully agree with it.