Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Does Donald Trump Have a Mandate?

          Donald Trump beat some incredible odds last night.  He spent far less money on the campaign than his opponent.  He had opponents in the Democrats, the media, the never-Trumpers, and the Republican establishment.  He even shot himself in the foot numerous times, but in the end, he won.  His campaign manager says he has a mandate.  But what is the mandate for?
          It is not for an unaccountable presidency.  He was not elected to say whatever he wants or do whatever he pleases.  He was not elected because he is abusive or racist or angry.  If he assumes he may continue along that path with impunity, his success will be short-lived.
          His election was the last gasp of constituents who were pro-life and pro-traditional marriage.  They were desirous of smaller federal government and worried about the erosion of our human, not civil, rights.  They wanted rule-of-law judges on the Supreme court.  They wanted to free our economy from the malaise of regulation and wayward social experimentation.
          It is not as if anyone believed he would do anything constructive in that direction.  But, it was a surety that the policies of Hillary Clinton would be effective steps in the wrong direction.  In this election, lip-service to those values was considered a higher good.  Effective work in the wrong direction is a greater evil.
          Donald Trump must be careful to discern the reasons for his election.  It was not his character or his rhetoric.  Continued divisiveness, anger, and abuse will cause great evil in the coming years.  Donald Trump was elected to repair the ruin of a progressive predecessor.  If he can do that, history may think better of him.

What We Must Do Now

1.      Repair the discourse.  No more empty abstractions or abusive language.  We attempt to explain real positions in concrete terms.  We object to policy not people.  We explain how opposition without erecting straw men or resorting to ad hominem attacks.  We show respect for people while disagreeing with their ideas.
2    2.     End big government, not because of its cost but because of its influence.  Progressivism has been obstructed momentarily.  Power must return to the states in areas like education and social/moral issues.  Power becomes unaccountable the farther it gets from home.
3    3.      Repair the nation’s respect for the election system.  Rumors of a rigged vote, bad machines, and dead people voting don’t help with public confidence.
4    4.      Repair the nation’s respect for justice.  The case in point is Hillary Clinton, the FBI and Justice Department, and the wikileaks revelations.  This is not political revenge.  It is bringing forth real evidence to exonerate or implicate.  The nation must have confidence in its justice system.  It must be free of political strategy.  Justice must be blind again.
      5.    The media was respected as the fourth branch of government.  It must return to a place of independence and respect and show itself to be trustworthy again.  No more collusion.
6    6.     Restore a respect for objective morals.  We must win the argument on abortion, gay marriage, and governmental limitations on the basis of a common ethic.  Otherwise, we just yell at each other.  This necessitates a restored understanding of the role of religion and morality in government.

Donald Trump has shown a great ability to destroy and tear down.  Building up, however, is a different skill.  If we cannot accomplish these goals, our nation will return to its progressive, downward spiral.