For the president-elect, “winning” is all that matters – and to “win” may mean aligning with progressive policy
Donald Trump ran a presidential campaign on a platform of hate and fear, with was an improbable race for the White House cloaked in populism and staggeringly devoid of substance and policy. It was a campaign that any American with a shred of common decency and a shared sense of humanity would describe as morally bankrupt, sadistically toxic – and our nation will undoubtedly be doing much soul-searching on how the politics of hatred and division could propel any person to our highest office.
I, along with many others, have mobilized in protest and demonstration, uniting with my fellow Americans against the paranoia his candidacy has stoked – and I will continue to stand in solidarity against racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia. I will fiercely battle alongside our brothers and sisters and fight like hell to ensure the preservation of our nation and our ideals.
Though the numbers are still being tallied, we now have definitive proof that many more Americans soundly rejected candidate Trump – instead, with millions more voting for our shared values of inclusion and tolerance.
And now let’s think for a moment on the one defining value for which Trump stands, and for which he has only ever stood: validating his own twisted, self-serving perception of success.
When asked by The Wall Street Journal if he had any regrets about the way his campaign was conducted, Trump’s simple answer was, “No. I won.” He won. Trump sought not to govern, but, rather, to win. And now that he will become president, he seeks only to “win” at the presidency.
In his first interview with “60 Minutes,” an uncharacteristically calm and restrained Trump stated he will not be building the wall as he had previously described, will not be denying healthcare access to those with preexisting conditions, will not be appointing Supreme Court justices with the intention of overturning Roe v. Wade. He spoke in centrist terms, conjuring a vision of a united and reasoned America. Sound familiar? Well, it should. Because he sounded remarkably like Hillary Clinton.
Mr. Trump is a conman who thoroughly duped the United States electorate, both his supporters and opponents alike. He swindled those facing economic displacement into believing he was an ally in their strife, a partner in their struggle, when he had no intention of aligning himself with failure. The coal industry? Loser. Mass deportation? Loser. Building a wall? A loser’s bet. Slashing healthcare? A loser’s game. Because Trump doesn’t give a damn about any person, whether it be to marginalize or empower them – he cares only about himself, and the perception of “winning.”
In comparing Clinton to Trump, we see in the former a woman who has devoted a lifetime to public service versus the latter whose only life’s devotion has been to feed his ego. And, while the chasm between good intentions and deranged autocratic grandeur is irreconcilable, Hillary Clinton’s career as a popular U.S. Senator and respected stateswoman has been that of measured, steady accomplishment. Or, to put it in terms Trump can understand, outward success.
So, if Donald Trump were to assume office and govern as Clinton would have? Well, it would be of no comfort to her supporters – it would be a gut-punch to see a man exact the very same platform Ms. Clinton had worked her entire life studying and championing, a stunning realization of the sick roosting of gender math that dictates a woman earn 80 cents to a man’s dollar, that 30 women speaking the truth requires one man to make it true. But, adopting the policies of a would-be Clinton administration would maintain a prosperous, successful America.
Let me be absolutely clear: I am in no way espousing a “just give him a chance” mentality. He is a proven liar, and must be met with unprecedented surveillance and resistance from the American people. His hateful rhetoric has created literal human targets in the form of our Muslim citizens, our immigrant friends, our LGBTQ community, our mothers and our sisters – and we must stand vigilant and prepared to meet any action of a Trump presidency with an immediate, proportional response.
Donald Trump doesn’t care about our nation’s people. He does not care about your family. He does not care about governance. Trump cares only about Trump. So, perhaps in his frenetic thirst for depraved acclaim and validation, he will continue to copy off of Hillary Clinton’s decades-long homework in pragmatic progressivism – or, to use a clear, non-partisan word, “progress.”
Or, to use a nihilistic, emotionally-stunted word: “win.”