Why I’m Not Freaking Out About Donald Trump — Yet

Why I’m Not Freaking Out About Donald Trump — Yet

You opposed Donald Trump, so why aren’t you freaking out?

Well, for starters, allowing liberals to determine my level of anxiety – which would be full–blown, round-the-clock histrionics – over what’s nothing more than another election would be foolish. Until it’s not. The Era of Trump hasn’t even started yet, and the entire establishment keeps using the term “Era of Trump” as if things have actually changed. They haven’t. If you’re genuinely interested in being an effective critic of the next president, acting like Hitler is pounding at your doorstep every time the man tweets something might not be the most effective plan in the long run.

Not to mention, the Left have been such astonishing hypocrites on so many issues related to Trump it’s a bit difficult to move forward without pointing it out. Joining activists who’ve spent years attacking the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Tenth Amendments – and now the Electoral College – in a newfound veneration of the Emoluments Clause is a bit much. Of course Trump should be held accountable for his potential conflicts of interest, and when tangible evidence emerges that they exist, one hopes conservatives who value good government will stand up. But the Left-critics aren’t serious about the Constitution, they’re serious about the Democratic Party.

Who can take journalists — who’ve never once uttered a word of concern over the Democratic Party’s crusade to empower government to ban political speech by overturning Citizens United — seriously when they lose it over a tweet about flag burning? If it were up to them over the past eight years, Trump would now be imbued with far more power to achieve the things they fear — unilaterally. There was more angst over the president-elect ditching a reporting pool to have a steak than there was over any of Obama’s numerous executive abuses. So when you hear someone say “now more than ever” democracy needs journalism, remember that they’re admitting they weren’t doing their job yesterday. We needed journalism then more than ever, also.

Those who kept telling us that Hillary Clinton’s corrupt foundation and blatant favor trading with the world’s most illiberal regimes was merely a conspiracy theory, now act as if the republic will crumble if Trump’s hotel hosts the same Bahraini princes that were buying access in the Obama administration. The same people who told us Hillary’s emails were a silly distraction and “bullshit” are now horrified that General Petraeus – who, like Hillary, shouldn’t be in any cabinet, but, unlike Hillary, actually paid a price for mishandling classified information – is under consideration for a position in the new administration.

Moreover, Trump hasn’t really done anything out of the ordinary – not yet.

What’s really upset Democrats, it seems to me, is that traditional conservative policy proposals, the sorts of things hat Republicans have campaigned on for years — the policies that have helped them win more than 1,000 local seats and governorships and two wave elections — will probably be moving forward. The overwrought rhetoric used to describe overturning Obamacare or reforming entitlements – “gutting” and “privatizing,” etc. — would be precisely the same if we had President-elect John Kasich.

Trump’s cabinet nominees are the kind of run-of-the-mill selections any Republican would pick. You’ll remember that last week America was supposed to freak out about the chaos and sluggishness of the transition process. Then we were supposed to freak out about the potential white-maleness of the cabinet. Well, Nikki Haley, Elaine Chao, Seema Verma, and Betsy DeVos are going to be just as extreme to the Left as an actual extremist.

I mean, Dr. Tom Price is going to be accused of plotting the death of the poor because he opposes Obamacare, no matter how many times the American Medical Association endorses him as secretary of Health and Human Services. This is because he’s a Republican, not because he’s being nominated by Trump.

That’s not to say there haven’t been things that should upset you. Thankfully, we have a Constitution to protect us from Trump’s attacks on flag burning and the liberal attacks on political speech in general. This probably wouldn’t be the case for long had Hillary prevailed. But Trump’s crony bailout of Carrier is disturbing because it sounds a lot like the “economic patriotism” agenda of the Left. It’s the standard cronyism we’ve seen one administration after the next indulge in. Cronyism. Bullying.

It’s a bad deal for American workers in the long run, but sadly “picking winners and losers” is not outside the norm of big-government politics. If Obama had pulled off the Carrier deal, the same people would be complaining on opposite sides of the issue. Moreover, Trump’s contention that giant infrastructure bills and government spending are economic drivers is also something conservatives should oppose. But that doesn’t make this the Era of Trump. It means we’re still in the Era of Washington. Freak out accordingly.

David Harsanyi is a Senior Editor at The Federalist. Follow him on Twitter.
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