The fever pitch of this election has only started to abate. As people realize that Trump isn’t the second coming of Hitler, tempers and passions will cool. The pessimist in me thinks it will be, in the end, a return to business as usual. The optimist in me expects the economy to roar and the conservatives to lock down the Supreme Court for a generation. If we can avoid stupid wars, that would be nice too.
I’m not that old. This is the first presidential campaign I’ve really paid any attention to (the last one I was happily removed overseas). But that’s where reading books and talking to older people provides perspective.
There’s this couple I’m close to. They’re educated conservatives. They’re good people, and as long as I’ve known them, they’ve been peaceable folk. The last eight years of Obama, though, knocked the stuffing out of them. They didn’t like his policies or his condescending, arrogant tone. Hillary was as bad or worse. The last eight years plus the prospect of another four put them on edge like I’ve never seen.
It’s worth noting that the tired trope that such conservatives are racist misogynists doesn’t hold water here. This couple would have liked nothing more than to vote for Condoleezza Rice. Black. Woman. The longer Democrats insist on bigotry being the cause of Trump’s victory, the longer they will continue to lose
Needless to say, this couple voted Trump and were elated at his victory.
I called them up after the election and we talked long into the night. One thing in particular stood out to me: they both compared the days after the election to 1987 when they landed in Greece. A strange connection, but an emotional one. After getting married, they had lived on a kibbutz in Israel for six months right as the First Intifada had broken out. One day they were sitting on a bus when someone pointed out to the driver an unattended bag. The driver promptly grabbed the bag and yelled for someone to claim it. Time stood still for two seconds as everyone stared at that bag held aloft by a driver who, for all they knew, would disappear in a flash along with the rest of their existence.
An old woman sheepishly raised her hand and came forward to claim it.
That was by far the most dramatic moment the couple experienced, and on the whole they felt safe, but life in Israel was life on the edge.
When they got off the plane in Greece, they let out a sigh of relief. They hadn’t even realized how stressed they’d been. But that day they breathed easy. There was no chance they’d die in an explosion.
That sense of relief was the Trump victory. The knowledge that pending doom (whether it be a terrible economy, violations of religious liberty, the loss of the Supreme Court, the aggressive perpetuation of pro-choice, the overweening arrogance of progressives in politics and the media) had been averted in the most spectacular and emotionally satisfying way possible. They could laugh and smile again and enjoy as they never had before the writhing of the Left and the Reaganesque hope that it might once again be Morning in America Again.
Thankful for not being blown up in Israel, they are now reveling in the Trumpian explosion.
That doesn’t mean they naively believe Trump will make all well. But they believe they dodged an epic bullet with Hillary and arrested the expanding tyranny of progressivism.
Of course, the Left, always empathetic to the plight of the down and out Palestinian, raves against the terrorist in their midst.
The cognitive dissonance this election has created is something to behold.