When life hands me lemons, I really want to find a way to make margaritas out of them.
From the desk of the Soul Stealing Ginger
November 9, 2016
Optimism is healthy and good, I’m a fan.
So looking at all the hate and vitriol flying around amongst the interwebs today, I thought I would try to find some things to be optimistic about for the next four years.
To my Clinton loving friends, yes, you did this to yourselves. You nominated the tied-for-most-repulsive candidate in modern American politics. Whine all you want, it really is your fault. Had you nominated any slightly less repugnant person, and there are many, you would have walked away with this election. It really is your fault. You put forward someone with the morals and ethics of Richard Nixon, and the charm of Lyndon Johnson. Or is it the charm of Richard Nixon and the morals and ethics of Lyndon Johnson? Either way, you totally screwed the pooch, and stop trying to blame other people, you did this to yourselves.
To my Trump loving friends, I’m flummoxed, truly flummoxed, as my friends, you don’t seem like hateful, bigoted, xenophobic misogynists, but you voted for, and elected, exactly that. In some ways, I can’t blame you, as president-elect Trump was running against the other most repulsive candidate in modern American politics.
There are a number of good things that will come from this election cycle and a Trump presidency.
The imperial presidency has been encroaching on the powers of congress for most of the last century. The presidency has become entirely too powerful, to the point that the executive has completely usurped the war powers of congress. Perhaps having an unpopular president Trump, who lacks support from the #nevertrump republicans in congress and disaffected democrats, will inspire congress to reclaim some of their constitutional powers and roll back the encroachment of the executive into their domain.
The Democrat party has been balkanizing large cities from the rest of “flyover country” for the last half century. To the point where they fail to connect with pretty much anyone living outside of a large metro area. The way the electoral college is structured, a cities-only strategy is only going to get progressively worse for them, and the electoral college is not going anywhere anytime soon. Perhaps a Trump presidency will inspire them to be more inclusive, to reach out to people outside of large metro areas, to not nominate the absolute worst fucking candidate in the history of the republic in 2020.
The Republican party has spent the last quarter century doing its best to alienate women and demographic minorities, to the point where they can reasonably be called the party of straight white males. They have allowed their regulatory and fiscally responsible, low tax and small government roots be eclipsed by evangelical christians that want to impose their version of Sharia upon the American people. In this primary cycle, they purged all of their reasonable candidates from the pack early for failing to be properly fanatical enough about that christian Sharia platform, and they alienated half the electorate immediately. Any one of those candidates would have mopped the electoral floor with Clinton and walked away from it, but they failed the all-important christian litmus tests and were shoved out. In the end, the GOP was left with a self-financed narcissistic blowhard that barely squeaked out a win against the absolute worst fucking candidate in the history of the republic, mostly because he was also the absolute worst fucking candidate in the history of the republic. (It may be that the SSG needs to look up “absolute” in a dictionary — eds.) Perhaps, the Republicans will learn some lessons from this and give us better options in 2024, now that they see what their Sharia strategy has given them. Sadly, we can already assume that incumbent President Trump will be their nominee in 2020.
I am usually a fan of divided government, as we see from history, when one party controls the House, the Senate and the Presidency, massive spending ensues. Well, President Trump had some coattails, and he will have a GOP-controlled House and Senate. At least the Republicans pretend to be responsible adults with the nation's collective checkbook, and we might, for the first time in forever, see a rollback of some expensive and wasteful programs that help none and hurt lots. I’m looking at you Obamacare. They might even do something about the 20 Trillion in debt that we are sticking our children and grandchildren with. Perhaps that is foolishly optimistic of me, they might waste their time implementing national bladder control for transgender people instead, but I can hope that there is still a shadow of fiscal responsibility left in the GOP and they use the next two years wisely to prove it.
Third parties were largely excluded from the discussion in 2016, as they always are when the Democrat and Republican parties control things like the Commission on Presidential Debates, yet somehow, it didn’t quite work as the major parties planned. Every 20th voter cast a “pox on both your houses” vote, historically, that has been every 100th voter. Unless the major parties do some serious rethinking, that number will only continue to grow. As they grow, fewer and fewer sympathetic voters will fall for the canard that they are a “wasted” vote. It isn’t likely that we will see a Libertarian or Green being a serious contender in 2020, but it is likely that their numbers will be enough to change the electoral map. More discussion, more debate, more ideas and more choice is always a good thing.
But the thing I am most optimistic about, the thing that makes me feel warm and fuzzy, is that we have yet again successfully had an election and will have a peaceful transition of power. We are 55-and-1 on this score, and we should all be happy about living in a country that has managed that more often and longer than any other. The next four years were guaranteed to suck in spectacularly bad ways regardless of whether giant douche or the turd sandwich candidate won, but we have survived worse, and we will survive this.