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.