How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Donald

It is an article of faith among many that some of the most patriotic Americans are immigrants.  Leaving one's country and culture in search of a better life has a way of clarifying the reasons for making such a consequential choice.  The freedoms and opportunities we enjoy as native-born citizens, but can sometimes take for granted, are often even more deeply cherished by new Americans in their adopted homeland.  Trading up carries with it a reminder of what one has lived down – and can be all the more meaningful for it.

In a similar way, it may also be true that the most passionate adherents to political ideology, or a candidate embodying such views, are those who have cast off an opposing party or politician they found wanting.  Nothing brings into high relief the folly of one's voting choices like deep disillusionment with the elected officials or party in whom one has put one's trust.

Like the immigrant, then, for whom America matters even more when compared to the system they've fled, the lately anointed conservative may feel greater affinity for a core set of newly held beliefs, particularly in contrast to the liberal ideals he deserted.  Rejecting something is purposeful.  And not having a thing of value only makes the getting of it more valuable.

This is why the Cuban who fled Castro's fascist regime has great clarity – as does the Trump voter who abandoned Obama.

They both know full well what they escaped.

The silent minority of centrist, independent, or disenchanted liberal voters who threw over the Democratic Party in order to help put Trump over the top on election day may have been a crucial factor in Trump's win.  For this group of voters, who rejected the hope and change promised by Barack Obama as ultimately hollow and corrupted, Donald Trump represented a chance to sandblast the entrenched bureaucracy of Washington and return power to the people.

Think about it this way: the desire to reject the well heeled vampire the left has become was so great that America was willing to elect a coarse, unrefined reality TV star with zero political experience to run the country just because he seemed to have the courage of his convictions and wasn't Barack Obama, or some iteration thereof.

Obama voters – or at least the ones who paid attention – witnessed our 44th president's mendacity about the transparency of his administration, the ACA's freedom of choice, the responsibility for the terrorism in Benghazi, the ransom payments to Iran, the deadly overreach of Fast and Furious, and the targeting of conservatives by the IRS, to name but a few.  For those not still in thrall to Obama's impressive speech-making and statesman-like bearing, the cynicism of these shell games became corrosive to keeping faith in him.

Voters accurately determined that Obama was a Trojan horse –  a figure with a promise of change who went on to undercut his pledges with lies, and who bent the Constitution to his will via imperial fiat masquerading as executive privilege.  Obama's deceptions, along with the rightful resentment against the iron maiden that political correctness had become, won Trump the presidency.

Did these political migrants have misgivings about supporting a man like Donald Trump?  To a one – more than likely.  Trump's blunt candor and his inartful rhetoric are an acquired taste, at best.  Without a prepared speech, the president can inspire a kind of reflexive wincing in even his most avid defenders when he speaks.  He is boorish, vain, thin-skinned, and vengeful – hardly the boxes anyone checks when filling out the "Adjectives That Describe a President" form.

And yet something real emanates from him – something true.  For Americans habituated to the oiled pandering and doubletalk of many career politicians, Trump's flat, syntax-challenged style is a strange balm.  He is an antidote to politics as usual – one that goes down with a spoonful of salt rather than sugar.

Whether this long-shot bet will pay off is still in question.  The roulette wheel is presently spinning, and sometimes, it threatens to career off the table.  But the fact that millions of Americans decided to ignore the odds and bet anyway tells you something about what kind of intuitive desperation about the state of the union occasioned such risk-taking.

The dirty little secret of what was a lurid, divisive election cycle is that Trump won on the issues.  People were paying attention.

Seen by daylight, the odds that a handsome, gifted, whip-smart orator with charisma to burn and two terms of the American presidency under his belt would be succeeded by a brazen, awkward, rhetorically challenged vulgarian, a force of nature with an outer-borough attitude and bad hair, are vanishingly slim.  But it happened – and, in part, because a clutch of reasonable Americans who crossed their fingers and hoped for the best with Obama, instead saw the entrenched power, bureaucratic sprawl, and deep-seated corruption of government expand beyond reckoning – and the middle and lower classes thrown under the globalist bus.  These folks voted with their feet and walked away from the left.

The story is likely apocryphal, or speculative at least, but it resonates either way.  It goes something like this: Donald Trump decided to run for president of the United States the night of the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner at which he was mocked without mercy by both Seth Meyers and Barack Obama.  This smug, elite takedown of Trump was weaponized by the rapier invective of the left's canon of comedy writers, and its message to Trump was simple: you are a classless embarrassment, and your persona justifies any cruelty leveled against you.

It took a few years, but Trump's chickens came home to roost – along the ivory walls of the White House.  Lesson learned: don't poke the bear just because it's fun to be cruel, for one day the bear may eat you – or at least make you cry pathetically on air, as Meyers did on election night.  

Is there a quiet sea change at play in the heartland – one that involves re-assessing one's self-assumptions about party, ideology, and core beliefs?  Just ask former Democrat and liberal talk show host Dave Rubin, who "left the left" because he sees the progressive movement devolving into authoritarianism.  Or read the sobering story of gay journalist Chadwick Moore, who was ostracized by his community for the crime of writing neutrally about provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, then came out again – as a conservative.  Or consider that Democratic governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice, who switched to the Republican Party because, as he stated to his constituents at a rally attended by Trump, "I can't help you anymore being a Democrat."

What might these startling horses changing midstream portend about the future of the Democrats?  Are these defections a Cassandra's vision of a party in decay?  

I could conjecture, but I can really speak with authority only about myself, however anecdotally.  I voted for Barack Obama twice.  I wasn't happy about it.  And then, eyes wide open – I voted for Donald Trump.

I did this in spite of his flaws and his effrontery.  I did it because of his vision of America as a place where the state bends the knee to its people, instead of the reverse – a place where silenced Americans get their voices back.

I have no regrets about my decision – only hope.  I believe that with any luck, a change in the weather, and the wind at his back, Trump could be the transformational president I thought Obama might be.

Just maybe.

Godspeed, 45.

It is an article of faith among many that some of the most patriotic Americans are immigrants.  Leaving one's country and culture in search of a better life has a way of clarifying the reasons for making such a consequential choice.  The freedoms and opportunities we enjoy as native-born citizens, but can sometimes take for granted, are often even more deeply cherished by new Americans in their adopted homeland.  Trading up carries with it a reminder of what one has lived down – and can be all the more meaningful for it.

In a similar way, it may also be true that the most passionate adherents to political ideology, or a candidate embodying such views, are those who have cast off an opposing party or politician they found wanting.  Nothing brings into high relief the folly of one's voting choices like deep disillusionment with the elected officials or party in whom one has put one's trust.

Like the immigrant, then, for whom America matters even more when compared to the system they've fled, the lately anointed conservative may feel greater affinity for a core set of newly held beliefs, particularly in contrast to the liberal ideals he deserted.  Rejecting something is purposeful.  And not having a thing of value only makes the getting of it more valuable.

This is why the Cuban who fled Castro's fascist regime has great clarity – as does the Trump voter who abandoned Obama.

They both know full well what they escaped.

The silent minority of centrist, independent, or disenchanted liberal voters who threw over the Democratic Party in order to help put Trump over the top on election day may have been a crucial factor in Trump's win.  For this group of voters, who rejected the hope and change promised by Barack Obama as ultimately hollow and corrupted, Donald Trump represented a chance to sandblast the entrenched bureaucracy of Washington and return power to the people.

Think about it this way: the desire to reject the well heeled vampire the left has become was so great that America was willing to elect a coarse, unrefined reality TV star with zero political experience to run the country just because he seemed to have the courage of his convictions and wasn't Barack Obama, or some iteration thereof.

Obama voters – or at least the ones who paid attention – witnessed our 44th president's mendacity about the transparency of his administration, the ACA's freedom of choice, the responsibility for the terrorism in Benghazi, the ransom payments to Iran, the deadly overreach of Fast and Furious, and the targeting of conservatives by the IRS, to name but a few.  For those not still in thrall to Obama's impressive speech-making and statesman-like bearing, the cynicism of these shell games became corrosive to keeping faith in him.

Voters accurately determined that Obama was a Trojan horse –  a figure with a promise of change who went on to undercut his pledges with lies, and who bent the Constitution to his will via imperial fiat masquerading as executive privilege.  Obama's deceptions, along with the rightful resentment against the iron maiden that political correctness had become, won Trump the presidency.

Did these political migrants have misgivings about supporting a man like Donald Trump?  To a one – more than likely.  Trump's blunt candor and his inartful rhetoric are an acquired taste, at best.  Without a prepared speech, the president can inspire a kind of reflexive wincing in even his most avid defenders when he speaks.  He is boorish, vain, thin-skinned, and vengeful – hardly the boxes anyone checks when filling out the "Adjectives That Describe a President" form.

And yet something real emanates from him – something true.  For Americans habituated to the oiled pandering and doubletalk of many career politicians, Trump's flat, syntax-challenged style is a strange balm.  He is an antidote to politics as usual – one that goes down with a spoonful of salt rather than sugar.

Whether this long-shot bet will pay off is still in question.  The roulette wheel is presently spinning, and sometimes, it threatens to career off the table.  But the fact that millions of Americans decided to ignore the odds and bet anyway tells you something about what kind of intuitive desperation about the state of the union occasioned such risk-taking.

The dirty little secret of what was a lurid, divisive election cycle is that Trump won on the issues.  People were paying attention.

Seen by daylight, the odds that a handsome, gifted, whip-smart orator with charisma to burn and two terms of the American presidency under his belt would be succeeded by a brazen, awkward, rhetorically challenged vulgarian, a force of nature with an outer-borough attitude and bad hair, are vanishingly slim.  But it happened – and, in part, because a clutch of reasonable Americans who crossed their fingers and hoped for the best with Obama, instead saw the entrenched power, bureaucratic sprawl, and deep-seated corruption of government expand beyond reckoning – and the middle and lower classes thrown under the globalist bus.  These folks voted with their feet and walked away from the left.

The story is likely apocryphal, or speculative at least, but it resonates either way.  It goes something like this: Donald Trump decided to run for president of the United States the night of the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner at which he was mocked without mercy by both Seth Meyers and Barack Obama.  This smug, elite takedown of Trump was weaponized by the rapier invective of the left's canon of comedy writers, and its message to Trump was simple: you are a classless embarrassment, and your persona justifies any cruelty leveled against you.

It took a few years, but Trump's chickens came home to roost – along the ivory walls of the White House.  Lesson learned: don't poke the bear just because it's fun to be cruel, for one day the bear may eat you – or at least make you cry pathetically on air, as Meyers did on election night.  

Is there a quiet sea change at play in the heartland – one that involves re-assessing one's self-assumptions about party, ideology, and core beliefs?  Just ask former Democrat and liberal talk show host Dave Rubin, who "left the left" because he sees the progressive movement devolving into authoritarianism.  Or read the sobering story of gay journalist Chadwick Moore, who was ostracized by his community for the crime of writing neutrally about provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, then came out again – as a conservative.  Or consider that Democratic governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice, who switched to the Republican Party because, as he stated to his constituents at a rally attended by Trump, "I can't help you anymore being a Democrat."

What might these startling horses changing midstream portend about the future of the Democrats?  Are these defections a Cassandra's vision of a party in decay?  

I could conjecture, but I can really speak with authority only about myself, however anecdotally.  I voted for Barack Obama twice.  I wasn't happy about it.  And then, eyes wide open – I voted for Donald Trump.

I did this in spite of his flaws and his effrontery.  I did it because of his vision of America as a place where the state bends the knee to its people, instead of the reverse – a place where silenced Americans get their voices back.

I have no regrets about my decision – only hope.  I believe that with any luck, a change in the weather, and the wind at his back, Trump could be the transformational president I thought Obama might be.

Just maybe.

Godspeed, 45.