It happened. Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States of America.
Donald. Trump. The President.
Everything you know about him remains true. The lying. The conspiracy theories. The erratic behavior, capriciousness, disrespect, lack of policy specifics, lack of commitment to Republican planks and conservative values and the constitution. That’s all still true. It doesn’t go away. You can be mad. It’s allowed. I hereby validate your feelings.
So yes, you may consider this election a disaster, and you would be right. But you are wrong if you consider the disaster a surprise. We told you that both options were terrible. We told you that no matter who won, it would suck.
One of them won. It sucks. Nailed it.
Of course, which one of them won may be a total surprise. Of our front page contributors (past and present) who offered predictions on the outcome of the race yesterday, only one person picked a Trump win: Dan Spencer. Everyone else picked Hillary. (Well, except for me, I picked Putin.)
All the polling data was wrong as well. Yes, pollsters are out and pundits are out saying they weren’t wrong per se, but folks: they were wrong. The models were wrong, the predictions were wrong, the electoral maps were wrong. Even the RNC’s internal projection was wrong.
It’s tempting to say “against anyone other than Hillary …” but don’t.
Everybody was wrong except for Donald Trump, who guaranteed a win and delivered. Trump said he would dominate the primaries. He did. He said he would sweep the general election. He did. He said he would expand the map. He did. He said he would bring GOP wins along with him across the country. He did.
Donald Trump said he would do better among black and Hispanic voters than Mitt Romney. HE. DID.
Donald Trump didn’t just win. He crushed the Democrats. Democrats across the country lost their races. The GOP controls the House, the Senate, the White House (Gold House?), the governor’s offices. State races were won. Kentucky’s state House of Representatives, the last blue holdout in the south and Dem dominated since the 1920s, went GOP.
And not just the Democrats. He defeated the media, just as he said he would. He defeated the establishment pretty universally. Just like he said.
Ladies and gentlemen, there is no two ways about this. Trump delivered exactly what he promised. Total, absolute, unmitigated victory.
We here at RedState scoffed at these Trump promises. We were wrong. He did exactly, exactly, what he said he would.
Usually, the winning party doesn’t need to figure out what they did wrong. That should be the Democrats this time. And don’t worry, it will be. They got their butts handed to them and they are in disbelief. But the Republican party needs to figure out where it went wrong, too.
Most of us know most of what they did wrong, starting with “Too Big to Fail.” But the party, both the leadership and much of the rank and file, never really believed Trump had a mandate. Never believed America would choose him. But they, too, were totally wrong. And they need to figure out why.
Here at RedState we have a few ideas about that, and we’ll share them, in time.
You and I know that we have a very big share of the #NeverTrump voters in our readership, and those readers are rightly stunned at last night’s result. We must address it.
From the time of my #NeverHillary post through my endorsement of Gary Johnson (oy), and up through the last few weeks both here and on social media, I have said over and over that there was no good option and no good outcome, because that is what I believed to be the case. The people who hate #NeverTrump and non-Trump conservatives disregarded that or didn’t believe that I and others meant it. Today, I know there are some conservatives who opposed Trump who likewise did not believe or were just not fully committed to the idea that a Hillary win was equally as terrible. Not all of them, just some. They among Republicans have been hit hardest, because last night they were invested in his loss and not hers. That is twice as much of a loss. It is twice as hard to swallow. To you, my friends, I can only tell you that your frustration and anger are every bit as valid and politically relevant as the frustration and anger of those who voted for him. If the GOP wants to win again in the future, they should learn the lesson of 2016 and not ignore or dismiss your objections and dissent.
We who chose to oppose Donald Trump, or who chose to oppose both major party candidates, must also do rather than just say. The GOP, still nominally the political home for conservatives, now has the power to actually effect change. The ability to reverse Obamacare, for one. To address immigration. Don’t let them do it without you.
So yes, it’s okay to be mad and frustrated and even heartbroken. But don’t be lazy or sullen or a quitter. Take the lumps. I was wrong. You were wrong. Trump said he could do it, we didn’t believe him, and he did it.
He did it. Do you see? He said he could, and he did. The new question is: what else can he do?
In closing, let me address one other item. The ugly, gross, newly empowered group known as the alt-right are going to see this as a validation of their vile worldview. They will see this as a successful conquest and takeover of the Republican party. If you leave, and leave it to them, then they have what they wish. A party, a platform, and the reins of power. Do you want racist xenophobes to have that kind of power in the United States? No?
Then don’t hand it to them. In January, begin holding President Trump (which he will be) accountable. Hold your representatives and senators accountable. Do what political activists are supposed to do, especially conservative activists. Fight the bad, encourage the good. Fight the power, and also use it.
We’re going to have to rebuild the conservative movement. Maybe one day, maybe even soon, that might mean a different party. But right now and for the foreseeable future, you should have one goal in mind. To put it in the parlance of the social media armies: don’t let the haters win.
And if none of that makes you feel any better, think about one other thing: the most incorrect people of all are the conservative writers, pundits, celebrities, radio hosts, and social media mavens who dedicated the vast majority of the last year to berating and belittling every conservative who refused to board the Trump train. What a waste of time. For all their histrionics and whining, we were right when we said that #NeverTrump wouldn’t turn the tide of the election, and they were wrong. Wronger than you. The wrongest. Their divisiveness did not save the election, Trump won handily, but it certainly brought destruction to the ranks of the Republican party. The party they now need to come together in support of their guy. What a dumb move on their part. Just like you told them.
There, better right?