I said after the election, that I couldn’t quite get my feelings about it figured out. I did not expect a Trump victory. Not even a little bit. But the part I was having trouble with wasn’t Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton. We could have run one of my old pairs of smelly soccer cleats and beat Hillary Clinton. My fears started much earlier than the general election. They started when he beat 16 other republicans for the nomination.
But that’s party politics for you.
So why did I have so much trouble on election night? I guess I figured that if Trump lost in the general, he wouldn’t impact the party as heftily as he would if he won. Even if he ends up being the “best President this side of Reagan,” which I hope he is, how will he change the reception of the Republican Party and inspire the future candidates?
I hope and pray that President Trump will be the best thing for this country. I hope and pray that he does great things for our country. I hope and pray that his first term is so awesome, that I will go out and vote for him in four years. I hope I do. I hope I want to vote for President Trump’s second term. I just might. But I will never, ever cast a vote for candidate Trump. That guy was appalling. He was the worst.
Candidate Donald Trump was like the perfect liberal caricature of a republican. He said things that I’ve only heard conservatives “say” via a liberal talking head and a creative video editor. I don’t want it to become okay for Republicans – or anyone else, for that matter – to talk and act the way that Candidate Trump did, just because he won.
I have thought for a long time that conservatives needed to change their approach. I thought we should become better story tellers, better listeners; that we should be better at explaining our plans and why it is good for the American people. I thought that some more compassion and thoughtful articulation would simultaneously shut down the liberals go-to attacks and appeal to a broader base. Donald Trump did not do this. In fact, he pretty much did everything exactly the opposite.
Now, some will say that I am just upset because “he didn’t do it my way.” I am here to tell you; politicians rarely do. I am upset because now I’m not sure any will ever be able to. My fears on election night weren’t that Trump would take office and the whole nation would tremble. No, I know that we are stronger than that. My fears were that Donald Trump will have set a precedent within the party and we will eventually just become caricatures of ourselves.
I’m afraid that the Republican Party has gone too far, and will lose a strong and passionate base forever. What do you do when your party has left you? I suggest doing something you should have been doing all along: vote your conscious, make your voice heard, and never give up.