• Victor C. Bolles

Be Thankful for Donald Trump

As you sit down with your family and friends for your Thanksgiving dinner and everyone in turn relates the things they are thankful for, you should also say that your are thankful for Donald Trump. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t vote for him. It doesn’t matter that you may disagree with many of his proposed policies. But America has gone through its quadrennial democratic exercise and emerged ready for another fresh start (our 45th).

To those out there who are protesting that Donald Trump is “not our president”, I am sorry. He is your president (at least he is if you are an American citizen). You may not agree with his policies or his demeanor, but he won the election according to the rules established by the founders (as later amended). It is true that Mrs. Clinton won a plurality of the popular vote but she lost the vote in the Electoral College. As Derek T. Muller explains in detail on his Excess of Democracy blog, Mrs. Clinton won the two (very liberal) states of New York and California by 4,979,545 votes (at the time the article was written) but Mr. Trump won the other 48 states by 3,301,604 votes. The Electoral College is functioning exactly as the Founders intended by preventing two large states from dominating the entire country.

Besides, its not as if we haven’t dirty, filthy campaigns before. The 1796 election between two of our Founders, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, was one of the nastiest, dirtiest presidential elections in our history. Both major candidates used surrogates, straw men and slander as part of the political bag of tricks. Fake news was not invented on the Internet or by Joseph Goebbels in WWII but was routinely reported in the National Gazette (Democratic-Republicans) and the Gazette of the United States (Federalists) during Washington's administration. Most opinion pieces of the time (such as Alexander Hamilton’s Defence series of essays in support of the Jay Treaty under the pseudonym of Camillus) were written anonymously allowing a lack of courtesy and a level of rudeness equivalent to today’s Internet based op-ed columns.

Mr. Trump has only been President (elect) for two weeks. So far he has handled his new circumstances professionally and efficiently. He is in the process of filling over 4,000 positions. He has a very small staff and only a rudimentary political network from which to choose all these positions. So far he has made picks from the right edge of the political spectrum as is to be expected but most of the names are of competent, experienced professionals that only the most rigidly ideological opponents can object to.

It would be too much to expect the Democrats and their tame media to give Mr. Trump much of a “honeymoon” as he establishes his new administration. But let’s wait until he makes a real “boner” before we all jump down his throat. I am sure we all will have plenty of opportunity after he is actually inaugurated. In the meantime, enjoy your turkey and be thankful.

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