“Reasons To be Happy About The Election Of Donald Trump”?

half-full-glass

Ann Althouse published a link to this article linked by Instapundit, and Prof Reynolds distilled his own seven reasons “to be happy” about the election upset. Four of the seven reasons are dubious or premature—“he could still blow it,” writes Reynolds. Ya think? He hasn’t been inaugurated yet!—but three, at least, have validity:

1.  Killed off dynastic politics, at least for now. If Hillary had won, 4 of the last 5 presidents would have come from two families. That’s not healthy.

2. Kept Hillary out of the White House. She’s amazingly crooked even by DC standards, and amazingly inept even by DC standards as well. Debacles galore have been prevented by keeping her out. Plus, a Clinton presidency would have allowed the completion of the Obama Administration’s weaponization of the federal government and possibly ensured one-party rule for decades. And at the very least, it would have allowed the sorry gang that Obama and Clinton brought in (go read the Podesta emails!) to bore in for four to eight more years….

5. Crushing the media’s sense of self-importance: They thought they were going to hand this election to Hillary. Now they’re realizing just how few people like or trust them, while Trump bypasses them using Twitter and YouTube. As I’ve said before, in the post-World War II era, the press has enjoyed certain institutional privileges based on two assumptions: (1) That it’s very powerful; and (2) That it will exercise that power responsibly, for the most part. Both assumptions have been proven false in this election cycle. Like many of the postwar institutional accommodations, this one will be renegotiated under Trump. It’s past time. After getting spanked in 2004 over RatherGate, the press realized with Katrina that if they all converged on the same lies they could still move the needle. Now they can’t.

None of these should be enough to pronounce oneself “happy” that we have elected a President who prior to his election displayed no fitness for office whatsoever, and an absence of such basic requirements of competent leadership as self-control, judgment, decorum, the ability to speak clearly, and knowledge of the Constitution. However, since Reynolds got a start on a list of silver linings to the Trump election cloud, let me complete one. I’ll call the Instapundit’s #5 the Ethics Alarm #3 and take it from there. I reiterate that even the whole list doesn’t turn this sow’s ear into a silk purse, but Trump’s election still has  up-sides that we can identify immediately.

4. His election, and Clinton’s defeat, pushes back against group identification politics, and all the intimidation, bigotry and bullying that came with them. Good. The fact that so many Democrats misinterpret the resentment so many Americans have to being told that they must praise a black President or be called racists, must back a female candidate for President or be tarred as sexists, must support illegal immigrants or be attacked as xenophobes, or must abandon their life-long religious beliefs or be spat on as homophobes, shows just how important this backlash was.

5. It demolishes the propaganda that Barack Obama was a successful President. His is not what successful Presidencies look and feel like, and it’s not healthy for a nation to be in the throes of delusion. Nor is it wise to reward incompetence.

6. It might spur more citizens to vote next time. It might cause the Democrats to try not rigging their nomination process. It might teach future candidates not to write off whole sections of the nation as too primitive, unsophisticated and “deplorable” to bother with.

7. Trump’s victory showed that cheating to win, and behaving as if the ends justify the means, still don’t go down well with a lot of the public.

8. The entire Clinton saga has been predicated on their belief that you can fool enough of the people enough of the time, along with a well-practiced regimen of deny-deny-deny. lie, obfuscate, stonewall, accuse and delay, to get away withe all manner of unethical conduct while achieving wealth and power. Finally, it didn’t work. Hooray.

9. Trump’s election exposed, and is exposing, the hypocritical, anti-democratic, bitter, ugly, hateful side of progressives and Democrats. Good to know.

10.  It is the kick in the teeth of political correctness that this restrictive, arrogant, smug and stifling cultural trend had been begging for.

I have not changed my analysis that the price we will pay for these boons is likely to be exorbitant and painful at best. Nonetheless, they are still things to be grateful for, and not insubstantial.

30 Comments

Filed under Citizenship, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, U.S. Society

30 responses to ““Reasons To be Happy About The Election Of Donald Trump”?

  1. Wayne

    Could I hope that the Democrats might throw some of the bums out and move a little closer to center?

  2. Joe Fowler

    I regard #1 on the list as so critical to America, that a randomly chosen citizen would have been my choice over Hilary, or Jeb.

  3. Al Veerhoff

    Like the dartboard “theory” on picking stocks?

    • Joe Fowler

      Somewhat. More importantly, the idea of ‘political dynasties’ or ‘noble families’, as they’re called historically, is antithetical to the American experiment. Ruling is not a birthright or a family business in our republic. Such families ruling inexorably leads to corruption, oppression of the non-elite, and decline of individual rights. I believe that part of Hilary’s gratifying defeat was due to citizens simply having had enough of the Clintons, and voting them off the island, or at least off of our televisions. Our founders said NO to the divine-right-of-kings when it was the accepted form of government worldwide, risking everything in doing so. I was pleased to see that voters reiterated a part of that by rejecting the inevitable, political dynasty candidate.

  4. zoebrain

    His election, and Clinton’s defeat, pushes back against group identification politics, and all the intimidation, bigotry and bullying that came with them. Good.

    Meanwhile….
    http://www.themarysue.com/trans-in-america-2016/

    It’s not a fake problem, nor exaggerated. The article misses out one very important step, that of getting social security data consistent, though that’s the same procedure as for passports, no additional costs.

    A few years ago, when the Real ID act came in, there was a period where mismatch letters were sent to all employers of Trans people who hadn’t gone through the process of getting identification regularised. Those born in 4 states can’t get this done, the state laws don’t allow it. So federal regulations were changed, without need of congressional approval. About 60% of Trans people in the US were affected, but the situation was rectified with some urgency, as otherwise it would be illegal to employ them.

    A Trump administration is very very likely indeed to reverse course here.

    So tell me again about this push back against group identification politics, and the intimidation, bigotry and bullying etc. When the intent is to prevent an identified group from being legally employed. Please explain how this group is engaged in bullying and intimidation by asking that it not be made illegal to employ them.

    • You are confounding the general with the particular, group identification as a political and societal theme, with the particular problem of a group finally coming out of the high grass. Trans individuals have to make their group a unit in order to enter the public consciousness. That’s miles away from “If you don’t vote for this woman for President, you hate women.”

      I see no reason to assume that Trump sees reversing that advance on data on his radar at all. Yes, Pence is a worry. One hopes that there are cool heads somewhere that can make the case that with all the really pressing issues to address, opening up a fight on trans rights is just dumb.

      • zoebrain

        I see no reason to assume that Trump sees reversing that advance on data on his radar at all.

        The only evidence is that every single one of his cabinet picks are transphobes. No exceptions. There’s no evidence that he was involved in any meaningful way in picking them though. He lets Pence handle all that domestic and foreign policy stuff. So I doubt if Trump either knows or cares about this.

        Yes, Pence is a worry. One hopes that there are cool heads somewhere

        Now you’re being silly. Or engaging in magical thinking. To those involved in the FRC, there are no more pressing issues than sticking it to LGBTIs. It’s a hate group.

        There are no “cool heads”, the picks range from hot to fanatical, it’s not the usual spread.

        On the other hand, we have bigger fish to fry. Larger problems, affecting more people.

        • Zoe, most people over the age of 45 are transphobes.That doesn’t mean that making life miserable for trans people is high on their list of priorities. It isn’t. For 99.99% of the time, they don’t think about this at all. I know that’s the hardest thing to accept sometimes. In this case, however, its cause for comfort, not panic.

          • Steve-O-in-NJ

            …or most of us think that insisting you are someone or something you aren’t is an illness to be treated, not a characteristic to be protected. If I said I was Napoleon, you’d say I was nuts. If I said I was really Stephanie, now suddenly I’m brave? Ha! In school the biggest INSULT was to call a boy by the feminine form of his name, indicating he was insufficiently masculine or strong, sometimes used by coaches, even. “Clarence, until you can give me ten pull ups, you answer to Nancy.”

            • zoebrain

              So supposing everyone around you insisted that you were female.
              How would you react? How would you argue against that?

              Maybe point out obvious biological facts. Go to medics who would confirm your claim. Quote scientific and medical papers. Obviously see a mental health professional yourself, to make sure it’s not you who are iff beam.

              But it’s against their religion, we live in a post-factual world, so your objections get ignored. You get accused of everything from psychosis to demonic possession, “cultural marxism” to “cultural antinomianism”. Verdict first, trial (if any) afterwards, in religious and political journals only peer-reviewed by Theologians, if at all.

              The difference beteeen:
              Male–to–female transsexuals have female neuron numbers in a limbic nucleus. Kruiver et al J Clin Endocrinol Metab (2000) 85:2034–2041
              The present findings of somatostatin neuronal sex differences in the BSTc and its sex reversal in the transsexual brain clearly support the paradigm that in transsexuals sexual differentiation of the brain and genitals may go into opposite directions

              Vs
              Psychiatric Misadventures, P.McHugh, American Scholar (1992)
              This interrelationship of cultural antinomianism and a psychiatric misplaced emphasis is seen at its grimmest in the practice known as sex-reassignment surgery. I happen to know about this because Johns Hopkins was one of the places in the United States where this practice was given its start. It was part of my intention, when I arrived in Baltimore in 1975, to help end it.

              • Steve-O-in-NJ

                Anyone who said I was female isn’t looking that closely – male voice, Adam’s apple, facial hair, male genitalia, plus I’ve got plenty of medical records that confirm me as being male. I’ve always identified as male, although more the professorial type than the Chuck Norris athlete type. Maybe I innocently played dress-up as a pre-schooler, attracted by shiny stuff, but that’s about it, and I grew out of that kind of play quickly. I never wanted a Barbie instead of a bike, and I never shrank from throwing the ball with family, fishing, shooting, or hard labor when needed, although I wasn’t very good at any of them.

                I don’t even pretend to be much of a scientist, which is why I’m not Dr. Steve, but it appears that what you cite indicates that transgenderism may be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. That doesn’t surprise me at all, depression and a host of other issues are caused by the same kind of broad issue, and I am all too familiar with what happens when your brain is wired atypically. There are also some few poor souls who have physical characteristics of both genders.

                The difference here is that all these other issues: depression, being on the spectrum, etc., we usually treat, rather than embrace. Just as you give a type 1 diabetic insulin or someone who’s missing a thyroid synthroid, you give a depressive or other disordered person medicine. Someone on the spectrum you teach ways to fit in. You don’t embrace depression rendering someone useless or autism rendering them hopeless or bizarre.

                Why embrace this type of problem and not the others? Could it be…gender politics?

                • zoebrain

                  Not a “chemical imbalance”. The hormones in the womb cause the brain to physically develop along certain lines.

                  It’s a bit more complex than that, some parts of the brain are neuroplastic, they do change due to hormones in the blood after birth, but the bits we’re talking about have their structure and future development path set in concrete before birth.

                  We know the extent of the neuroplasticity. You’ll find it in
                  Changing your sex changes your brain: influences of testosterone and estrogen on adult human brain structure by Pol et al, Europ Jnl Endocrinology, Vol 155, suppl_1, S107-S114 2006

                  Objective: Sex hormones are not only involved in the formation of reproductive organs, but also induce sexually-dimorphic brain development and organization. Cross-sex hormone administration to transsexuals provides a unique possibility to study the effects of sex steroids on brain morphology in young adulthood.

                  Methods: Magnetic resonance brain images were made prior to, and during, cross-sex hormone treatment to study the influence of anti-androgen + estrogen treatment on brain morphology in eight young adult male-to-female transsexual human subjects and of androgen treatment in six female-to-male transsexuals.

                  Results: Compared with controls, anti-androgen + estrogen treatment decreased brain volumes of male-to-female subjects towards female proportions, while androgen treatment in female-to-male subjects increased total brain and hypothalamus volumes towards male proportions.

                  Conclusions: The findings suggest that, throughout life, gonadal hormones remain essential for maintaining aspects of sex-specific differences in the human brain.

                  Note: it affects the *volumes* of certain parts of the brain – not others. It does not affect the internal structure, quantity of each cell type, proportion of grey vs white matter etc. Those are set during foetal development.

                  White matter microstructure in female to male transsexuals before cross-sex hormonal treatment. A diffusion tensor imaging study. – Rametti et al, J Psychiatr Res. 2010 Jun 8.

                  CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that the white matter microstructure pattern in untreated FtM transsexuals is closer to the pattern of subjects who share their gender identity (males) than those who share their biological sex (females). Our results provide evidence for an inherent difference in the brain structure of FtM transsexuals
                  —-

                  Brain anatomy in the areas we’re talking about is as different between boys and girls as is the genitalia. And it’s even less susceptible to change in configuration after birth.

                  You wrote:

                  There are also some few poor souls who have physical characteristics of both genders.

                  Applause! Correct. When the anomaly doesn’t just affect the brain anatomy, we call that “Intersex”. When it does just affect the brain, so there’s a somewhat masculinised brain but a somewhat feminised appearance, we call that “Transsexuality”.

                  It’s a bit more complex than that, I didn’t mention the tiny percentage of Intersex people who are dichogamous, that is, they naturally reverse apparent sex late in life, but close enough.

                  That you even know that Intersex people exist puts you way ahead of the game. Most people don’t.

                  • zoebrain

                    Just as you give a type 1 diabetic insulin or someone who’s missing a thyroid synthroid, you give a depressive or other disordered person medicine.

                    Correct.

                    You give Transsexual people cross-sexed hormones. This has two effects. First it makes the brain more consistently male or female, thereby reducing many of the mental problems. Second, it reduces psychological problems caused in some cases (not all) where the brain’s body map is strongly cross-sexed. In other words, it changes the body to match the brain.

                    In severe cases, where the SPL (superior parietal lobule) is strongly cross-sexed, as is often the case, surgery to change genitalia and secondary sex characteristics is also needed. There is unfortunately severe social and legal pressure to have surgery so external appearance matches gender, so many have surgery who don’t need it for medical reasons. In many states, such surgery is legally required to get documentation changed. In a few, documentation can’t be changed under any circumstances.

                    • Steve-O-in-NJ

                      It’s a lot easier to accept this issue when it’s treated as a medical condition as opposed to a political issue. I don’t know about being ahead of the game, but I did know one individual who experienced dichogamy, and, I have to say, it sounded like that person both experienced a very difficult life and was very frightening to others. I can’t even grasp what someone might feel as their body actually transformed as this person’s did. It’s not comfortable to talk about, it isn’t comfortable to think about, and it’s something most of us who are blessed NOT to experience would flee from, thinking the person, sorry to use the term, a freak, like an armless wonder, a lobster boy, or the truly unfortunate Elephant Man, Joseph Merrick.

                      That said, if we’re going to “mainstream” these sufferers the same as other sufferers of other conditions, we have to take the politics out of it, the same as other aspects of medicine. I’m not sure that’s possible, though, since change of gender is extremely visible and easily dismissed by those who don’t grasp it or refuse to grasp it.

                      I am a man of faith, but I am also a practical man who believes in science. (science is about how, faith is about why, the two shouldn’t be mutually exclusive). The scientific fact is a lot of these folks have legitimate problems, and those problems should be treated, same as any other medical condition. However, just as politics and faith are a bad combination, so politics and science are a bad combination. Patients are just that, patients, to be treated, not pawns in the greater political game of money and power.

                    • zoebrain

                      . I don’t know about being ahead of the game, but I did know one individual who experienced dichogamy, and, I have to say, it sounded like that person both experienced a very difficult life and was very frightening to others.

                      Actually, you know two.

                      Did this person tell you what their syndrome was?
                      5ARD? (5alpha reductase syndrome) 17BHSD? (17beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase deficiency) Or one of the rarer ones, 3BHSD (3beta etc etc), 45X/46XY MGD etc?
                      Sorry, I have a professional interest.

                      I can’t even grasp what someone might feel as their body actually transformed as this person’s did.

                      Disoriented. Trust me. Psychological assessment necessitated, if only to convince the patient that they are not hallucinating, this really is happening. A program of biological education to show that this has happened to other people too is very helpful.

                      It’s not comfortable to talk about, it isn’t comfortable to think about,

                      No argument there! Not that the patient in question has a choice…

                      …and it’s something most of us who are blessed NOT to experience would flee from, thinking the person, sorry to use the term, a freak, like an armless wonder, a lobster boy, or the truly unfortunate Elephant Man, Joseph Merrick.

                      Yes, I get a lot of that. Unlike the above, as I was intensely gender dysphoric before the change, it was something of a miracle cure. Too good to be true, I thought, I took a lot of convincing by my medical team that I wasn’t completely nuts.

                      “Freak” is fair enough, the variety of 3BHSD that causes dichogamy after birth is maybe 1 in 10 million, as near as I’ve been able to gather. As I said, professional interest. 5ARD and 17BHSD both about 1 in 150,000 in the US population, but as high as 1 in 50 in some parts of the planet.

                      The rest – well, you have treated me with the same kind of respect and courtesy you treat everyone else with. I hope I don’t scare, disgust or revolt you, but if I do, I’m not really sure what I can do about that. About all I can do is not mention my personal circumstances unless there’s an educational objective. As here. Even when I do, people tend to forget, I don’t look like their conception of what such a person looks like.

                      When I get called in by professors of medicine to give lectures to third year med and postgrad psych students on the issue of Intersex, I don’t reveal my personal medical history till the last 30 seconds. I look like any other frumpy middle aged academic geek girl, so the photos taken of the transformation hit them pretty hard. It’s a lecture they remember.

                      Merry Christmas.

          • Chris

            Zoe, most people over the age of 45 are transphobes.That doesn’t mean that making life miserable for trans people is high on their list of priorities. It isn’t.

            She’s speaking specifically of Trump’s cabinet picks, who in many cases have made this a priority.

  5. Cynthia Rayne

    I think #6 might be almost worth the price of admission on this crazy ride. One of my professors used to rail against the apathy of the younger generation when it came to politics. Of course, he was talking about Gen X (which I’m on the very tail end of) but I think it applies to younger voters across the board. If anything, this might’ve snapped them out of complacency. I know there was a lot of furor on college campuses due to the election and it was a case of too little, too late, but I’m glad to see it upset them.

  6. Here is an image from Occupy Democrats.

    They will have the President that they deserve.

  7. Other Bill

    Great points all.

    I voted for HRC because I thought Trump was just too far outside edges of the bumper car ride. But I had to laugh as I watched the faces of the network newscasters collapse as the returns came in election night and laughed even harder when I woke up the next day to find that HRC had been vanquished.

    In retrospect, I come back to the “basket of deplorables” comment. I don’t think we need to look any further than that. What marginally competent politician would say something that arrogant to the electorate? Sure, Obama got away with his comment about people clinging to their guns and their religion, which he shouldn’t have. But for a professional politician with a supporting cast of thousands to say something that egregiously stupid and offensive (and after the phrase had doubtless been tested) is all anyone needs to know about why she lost. Absolutely mind-boggling.

    I can’t imagine how furious the people who provided her huge amounts of money must be. HRC may even be worried about being sued by them for some sort of political malpractice. I bet there’s at least one trial lawyer out there who’s given it a thought. Hah!

  8. luckyesteeyoreman

    My favorites in this list: 2, 8, and 10. Refinement suggestion to Jack: in #8, don’t leave “deflect” off the list of deplorable Cnton playbook move-types. The Cntons’ deflections are at once too slick and too naked to allow them to be diluted into subsets within “lie, obfuscate, stonewall, accuse and delay.”

  9. Mike_SMO

    Yeah, but (saith Costello)…

    Trump may have no experience in high office, but they are all amateurs when they move into the Oval Office. Trump may have no political experience, but he could see that both of the political parties (worth mentioning) had united on immigration (illegal and H-1B assisted), exporting jobs, trade deals that advantaged corporations and foreign nations at the expense of the U.S. economy, etc. He could identify a significant political “market” that none of the experienced, professionals even knew existed. That was a big market and a big deal.

    Then, again, that experience thing. I read that at one point in history, these United States had a haberdasher (men’s suit saleman) as a President. All in all, I don’t think that Harry S. Truman did such a bad job. Not perfect, but he paid attention and made it clear where the buck stopped. The only experience he had was several years watching the Senate Follies. He got re-elected on his own hook, too.

    So it appears that we have the failed members of two profoundly inept and corrupt political parties, and their “running dogs”, whining because Trump walked in and picked up the prize that was sitting there out in the open for all to see with virtually no support from the experienced “professionals” (sic).

    Trump may not prove to be another Harry S. Truman, but he has already saved the country from destruction by the idiocracy. The election results bring laughter to my old bones.

    • Chris

      Huh? Truman was a senator and VP before he became president. How can you possibly compare that amount of political experience to Trump’s nothing?

      • That was a jump-ball, and you get to dribble up-court.

        I’ve written about what constitutes experience for the White House often, a lot when Sarah Palin was being beat up for having more relevant experience than Obama. I agree in general that the job is sui generis, and that nothing really prepares one for it. Knowing politics and executive government leadership is a big help, but leadership and management skills, plus communication skills, are developed in many ways.

        Truman, with Arthur, stands for the proposition that Presidents can rise above slimy careers and doubtful character—that is relevant to Trump. There’s no reason a dearth of experience necessarily spells doom for a President: Three of the most prepared, Bush Sr, Nixon, and Buchanan, were in various ways, flops.

        But I’d agree that Trump is the least conventionally prepared President ever. Second: Obama.

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