For many political wonks, 2016 has been…quite the year. From those involved on a professional level to those involved as patriots and concerned conservatives, nothing about this cycle has been what we expected.
I’m reminded of an evening back in the spring when I was driving to dinner with a fellow conservative political commentator who’s about as polar opposite many RedState writers anyone can think of. (And it’s one of the miracles of 2016 that this friendship has survived!) We were wondering how in the hell the GOP ended up in this situation – we had an incumbent president whose poll numbers suggested the Dems couldn’t win, a Dem frontrunner who was being measured for her #WearOrange jumpsuit, and out of over a dozen qualified GOP candidates, it looked like we were ending up with the one candidate everyone said would never win.
We thought the GOP would, once again, snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
But they didn’t. And thank God we have been spared a continuation of the Clinton crime family.
Now the left is in disarray as they keep struggling to blame someone for this result and find new and unique ways to attempt to overturn it.
And on the right, some are having just as much of an issue accepting the election results. Some in the #NeverTrump crowd seem committed to not only seeing Trump fail, but to actively helping the process, even though that means the country suffers and a liberal comeback is ensured. As long as their prognostications about the evils of a Trump presidency come to pass and they are validated, it’s okay. They can smugly sit around and say, “I told you so” as the republic burns.
Why would they do that?
I was never heavily invested in the election on the GOP side. I detest the Clinton machine with every fiber of my being, but after my favorite candidate was out, I kind of ignored the presidential election as much as possible. As a conservative in California, I had the luxury of knowing my vote wouldn’t count anyway. And I assumed Hillary would find a way to win.
But when Trump won, I felt something I hadn’t felt in eight years – hope. Hope that with the stake through the heart of the Clinton vampire, we have the opportunity to do things like repeal Obamacare, effectively fight jihadis, address immigration, and reduce government intrusion into our lives. Hope that with the Dem machine heavily damaged, we have the opportunity to get the conservative/small government/classical liberal group of activists and candidates organized and positively affect the next generation of Americans.
What I’ve seen from some on the right is discouraging. Many of the #NeverTrump crowd are acting like the people they’ve vilified on the left for years. They scour each piece of news coming out of the transition for evidence to support their “rightness” and hammer the President-elect and his supporters.
I understand the concerns that many of my friends and my RedState colleagues had with Trump’s candidacy and with how he will govern.
But to those who were #NeverTrump I ask, do you want to be a part of the solution or do you want to sit on the sidelines assailing those who take a chance? What do you have to lose by putting your animosity aside?
I’m sure the answer from many will be, “My soul, my principles.” Oh, please. Grow up. You can’t score a touchdown from the top of the nosebleed section, and that’s where you’re choosing to be by continuing to publicly excoriate him and his administration.
No one is asking you to forego your principles. No one is asking you to become a racist or join the alt-right. No one is asking you to love Trump, say he’s correct, or ignore questionable moves on his part.
We have real enemies (ISIS, China, Russia). We have an enormous job to do (repeal Obamacare, get cabinet picks and a new Supreme Court justice confirmed, to start). As we’ve seen, the left’s still moving in lockstep, and we need to work in unison. Take the chip off your shoulder, put it on the top shelf of your closet, get dressed and come play with us (just to throw a few cliches out there). We’re finally where we wanted to be for the past eight years. In control of the White House and both houses of Congress. Let’s get something done.