My commitment as long as I have been writing on this 2016 Presidential election was that I was going to celebrate whoever lost on election night, and mourn whoever won, pretty much in that order, and then that my real primary care and concern was the preservation of the GOP Senate majority. I stayed up basically all night and brought in the wee hours of the morning elated, and I mean elated, that the Republican Party and some of its very best conservatives won their Senate seats last night, that the United States Congress in both chambers is red, and that Hillary Clinton is not going to be the President of the United States. I am utterly shocked that Trump has won, as is every honest person in the country, and I will share more below about my posture towards this shocking and historical Trump victory.
I am not celebrating the Trump victory, because I have huge concerns about what his election will mean for the country and the conservative movement at large. But before I go deeper there, let’s be very honest about what happened last night. The Democrats nominated a God-awful candidate, with abysmal baggage, non-existent trustworthiness, and someone who represented everything this election turned out to be against – cronyism, insiderism, establishmentism, and whatever else you want to call it. The left faces an internal crisis in the years ahead that I think will be brutal. In short, they are going to have come to terms with what they did – they nominated a totally corrupt and scandal-plagued person when almost any level of a normal, measured candidate could have won the race. And let’s be clear here – I do not mean that James Comey or Trey Gowdy or Donald Trump got to unfairly pin a corrupt label on her – I mean she is corrupt. The left decided to ignore the content of the WikiLeaks emails, and I really do not know why. They showed in clear English for anyone who cared to read that she and her husband were running a Clinton Inc. enterprise that was riddled with pay-to-play, quid pro quo, and nefarious, dirty, ugly activity. Did Comey ever produce emails from Hillary that represent a criminal indictment? No. But can we please put to bed once and for all why those emails are not forthcoming? Because she deleted them. 33,000 of them. And then took bleach and hammers to the whole residue apparatus. I am the furthest thing from an alt-righter and from a conspiratorialist, but these things are not up for debate: Hillary brought the email scandal on herself because she was hiding something, and you know it. If you are a liberal Democrat who hates Trump, you still know it. If you are a conservative Republican repulsed by Trump (like me), you know it. Hillary is the reason Donald Trump is the President elect. Period.
Let’s gladly go to where some of you want me to go with this piece. I thought Hillary would beat him anyways. Yep. And based on the fact that nearly every Republican race OUTPERFORMED Trump in the key states he won, I’d say the data backs up the major thesis I have always had: Trump was the least likely to beat Hillary (look at how much Rubio won by in Florida and Portman in Ohio, etc.), and that was empirically and demonstrably true. Now of course, where I and everyone else was wrong, was that him being the least likely candidate to defeat Hillary meant that he wouldn’t do it. He did do it. The rather remarkable string of catastrophic self-induced mistakes he made proved not to be enough to defeat him. So I celebrate Hillary’s loss, admit I predicted wrongly on Trump’s outcome, celebrate the GOP Senate victories, and then turn now to the future.
Here are the major takeaways I have had throughout the night:
(1) The concerns I have about Trump’s competence, temperament, and reliability are real and justified. That does not mean I will ROOT for him to be incompetent, unmeasured, and unreliable. I genuinely and prayerfully hope he will surround himself with wise and intelligent people, and that his worst instincts will lose out to his best instincts, and that his genuine love of his country (which I do not question) will enable him to realize that he lacks policy gravitas, and needs men and women of experience and wisdom and conviction to advise him. I won’t spend this article telling you what I predict is going to happen. I will just say that it is a given that I am rooting for him to defy conventional wisdom and outperform expectations.
(2) I have been an outspoken, unrepentant opponent of Trump’s from day one, and that is because I have been appalled by his vulgarity, immaturity, narcissism, and instability. I can’t think of one point I have made about his business biography or personal character that is untrue. And yet, even an anti-Trumper like me found myself almost rooting for him when held up against the disgusting arrogance and smugness and elitism and foolishness of the Hollywood culture opposing him. Beyoncé and that silly Fight Song video and all the pop culture elites threatening to leave our country repulsed voters, and made people want to vote for Trump. That is a fact. They are the big losers last night.
(3) I do not believe the polls were sinister, fixed, crooked, or evil – I believe they were just plain ole wrong. They were based on models that proved wrong. This ought to be a lesson to those who rely on flawed mathematical inputs to derive outputs of policy (I am talking to you, Keynesian central bankers). I truly do not believe the pollster class will ever recover from this. I chose to believe the polls because the vast testimony of history is that the polls are right. They were wrong here, and as Politico said this morning: