Donald J. Trump began his run for the White House by vowing to Make America Great Again. The pithiness of the slogan drove his opponents mad, but it worked. It communicated in just four words the reasons for his presidential campaign. When given the choice between Hillary’s self-centered “I’m With Her” and Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogans, voters went with Trump.
Whether Trump will succeed in enacting policies that increase the standards of living for Americans is obviously yet to be seen. But judging by the response to his election victory, we know for a fact that he’s going to make a whole bunch of stuff cool again — stuff that hasn’t been cool since 2008.
Here are ten things that were really awesome between 2001 and 2008, and then became racist and/or treasonous in 2009, that instantly became cool again on November 8, 2016.
1) Making Jokes about the President
If you love to laugh, then Donald Trump’s election should be great news for you. Why? Because it just became okay again for comedians to make fun of the president. If you think I’m joking, take a look at how the New York Times declared a complete lack of comedic potential surrounding Barack Obama:
What’s so funny about Barack Obama? Apparently not very much, at least not yet.
Why? The reason cited by most of those involved in the shows is that a fundamental factor is so far missing in Obama: There is no comedic ‘take’ on him, nothing easy to turn to for an easy laugh, like allegations of Bill Clinton’s womanizing, or President George W. Bush’s goofy bumbling or Al Gore’s robotic persona.
‘The thing is, he’s not buffoonish in any way,’ said Mike Barry, who started writing political jokes for Johnny Carson’s monologues in the waning days of the Johnson administration and has lambasted every presidential candidate since, most recently for Letterman. ‘He’s not a comical figure,’ Barry said.
I doubt comedians will be so gun shy about mocking Trump. The only question is whether their jokes will be funny, rather than just bitter and angry.
2) Gridlock and Obstruction
During Obama’s presidency, few things outraged Democrats the way “unprecedented obstruction” did. The outrage reached a fever pitch when Senate Republicans refused to confirm Obama’s pick to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.
— All On The Line (@allontheline) July 13, 2016
Reid is also right that the exec branch nom obstruction is unprecedented.
— Jonathan Bernstein (@jbview) July 11, 2013
WH Counsel Ruemmler says American people deserve better than this "unprecedented partisan obstruction" of president's nominations.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) July 30, 2012
When George W. Bush was president — stop me if you can already see where this is heading — Democrats loved obstruction. They absolutely loved it. In 2005, the New York Times wrote how essential it was to preserve the filibuster in order to safeguard democracy. Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said at the time that the Senate had zero obligation to consider any of the president’s judicial nominations. Obama changed all that. And Trump is going to change it right back again.
Good luck finding many elected Democrats in Washington who will be rushing to confirm any of Trump’s Supreme Court nominations. Good luck finding Democrats who won’t put up a fight when Republicans move to repeal Obamacare, or to undo the Iranian nuclear deal. Thanks to Trump, the filibuster’s about to be back, baby!
3) Limits on Executive Power
Under the presidency of Barack Obama, progressives came to love executive power. Congress doesn’t want to pass a law you like? No biggie: just make it happen with an executive order. Congress won’t change a law that you promised would be amazing? Easy: just tell a federal agency to promulgate a rule to “re-interpret” the law into something you prefer. Want to start a bunch of new wars without congressional authorization? Congress, shmongress. Just use a pen and a phone to order the invasion of another country.
Obama used executive power for progressive ends — and Hillary Clinton will follow his lead https://t.co/wFReWZdAQC
— Salon (@Salon) November 5, 2016
The thing about executive power, though, is that even executives you don’t like have the same power. That’s one reason why conservatives were so consistently warning progressives about executive overreach: Anything President Obama can do, President Trump can do, too.
A Trump presidency will do wonders in restoring beliefs in limits on executive power. The unitary executive is old and busted. The new hotness is bipartisan compromise across each branch of government.
4) War Protests
When George W. Bush was president, war protests were all the rage. “War is not my voice.” “Not my name.” “Regime change begins at home.” From 2003 through 2008, protesting the war in Iraq was practically a full-time job for many leftist activists. Then Obama was elected, and protesting endless wars in the Middle East was suddenly no longer fashionable.
Even when Obama launched brand new (and legally dubious) wars in Libya, and Syria, and Yemen, progressive anti-war activists stayed home. When Obama expanded the war in Iraq after basing his entire 2008 presidential campaign around a promise to end it, the activists’ protest signs and presidential effigies continued to collect dust in the closet. Suddenly, war was their voice, and those bombs most definitely were dropped in their name. Regime change begins somewhere else.
Trump, however, will change all that. Not only will he make America great again, he is definitely going to make war protests great again. Get your posterboard and markers ready, lefty activists: protesting wars is totally cool now.
At one time, dissent was considered “the highest form of patriotism.” That time was when George W. Bush was president. Dissent was so patriotic that Sen. John Kerry felt compelled to fabricate a quote from Thomas Jefferson in order to highlight dissent’s importance. When Obama took office, dissent immediately was no longer vital; overnight, dissent became racist.
Under a President Trump, though, dissent will go back to being rock solid evidence of one’s patriotism and commitment to racial equality. No longer will dissent make you dirty racist pining for slavery. Nearly overnight, Donald Trump made dissent cool again.
6) Investigative Journalism
Thanks to Donald Trump, investigative journalism just went from totally unnecessary to vital. During Obama’s presidency, there was no need to investigate anything, mainly because there was nothing whatsoever to investigate. The Obama administration, after all, was completely “scandal free”:
gov't watchdog group Public Citizen: "Obama has had one of the most scandal-free administrations we’ve ever seen.” ”https://t.co/xMc391aZhb
— E. Schultz -Archived (@Schultz44) October 19, 2016
— Slate (@Slate) April 17, 2015
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) July 29, 2016
The illegal arms trafficking to violent Mexican drug cartels conceived and executed by the Obama administration? Not a scandal. Illegally using the Internal Revenue Service to target and prosecute the administration’s political enemies for the capital crime of opposing Obama’s agenda? Not a scandal. Ignoring repeated requests for beefed-up security at the American mission in Libya, then blaming the orchestrated and coordinated terrorist attack in Benghazi on September 11 on a random filmmaker? Not a scandal.
Multiple cabinet secretaries using secret, private e-mail addresses and servers to avoid federal open records laws? Not a scandal. And when a presidential administration so obviously has no scandals and therefore nothing whatsoever to investigate, why would anybody need to waste any time investigating anything?
Then November 8 happened. President-elect Donald J. Trump happened. The result: Investigative journalism just became “more important than ever.” Democrats may be nearing despair due to the crushing losses they experienced on Tuesday, but party activists with bylines at investigative news outlets have something to cheer: unlike the last eight years in which investigative journalism was an anachronism, they’ll finally be allowed to do their jobs in 2017 and beyond.
7) Denying the President’s Legitimacy
Just weeks ago, the media and the entire Democratic political establishment (but I repeat myself) were rending their garments over Donald Trump’s refusal to concede an election that hadn’t even been decided yet. They made that refusal the centerpiece of their coverage of that particular presidential debate. They told us that Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the election (which, by the way, is not actually what he said, but that’s a digression for another day) would tear the fabric of America apart. His refusal to accept the legitimacy of Hillary Clinton’s presidency was tantamount to taking a hammer to the foundations of American democracy.
That was then. That was when they were all convinced that Hillary Clinton was going to be the 45th president. Refusing to accept the legitimacy of the next president is suddenly back en vogue now. If you want to know how cool it is to deny the legitimacy of a duly elected president, peruse the #NotMyPresident hashtag on Twitter:
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) November 10, 2016
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) November 10, 2016
— Soapbox (@soapbox_soapbox) November 10, 2016
Thanks to Donald Trump, questioning the president’s legitimacy is once again very, very cool.
8) The Constitution
If you wanted to characterize the Obama presidency in terms of the Constitution, you could sum up all eight years without ever venturing outside of Article II, which defines the powers of the presidency. Sure, there are a bunch of limits in there, too, but Obama partisans never really paid much attention to those. This is, after all, a president who came into office abhorring signing statements and who will leave office as one of their biggest fans. He slammed Bush for his use of executive orders, only to imitate and expand on Bush’s practice of using them to get things done.
Under Trump, though, the whole Constitution is about to gain a bunch of strange and newfound respect:
The *real* test of American institutions starts now.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) November 9, 2016
Oh, it starts now? American precedents and institutions didn’t need to be honored for the last eight years, but for some reason we should really start depending on them to save us in light of November 8, 2016? Well, isn’t that convenient. Congratulations, Donald Trump, you just made checks and balances cool again.
When a majority of voters of California — a state that delivered a 24-point Obama victory in 2008 — voted to amend their state’s constitution to preserve traditional marriage, the Left erupted in outrage. Progressive activists sought to overturn the will of the people in court. Democratic officials in the state refused to defend the law. And when the U.S. Supreme Court eventually said the will of California voters was irrelevant because those voters had no rational basis to vote the way they did, progressives cheered. Democracy, they said, was too important to be left to the rubes and their prejudices.
Flash forward to 2016. Donald Trump will be the country’s 45th president due entirely to the Electoral College. Even though it appears that Trump did not receive the most votes nationwide, he will be the next president because of how our Constitution structures presidential elections. Because of this, progressives are livid.
— Kelly McCreary (@KellyMcCreary) November 10, 2016
How on earth can we live in a country where the person who received the most votes isn’t declared the winner? What happened to respecting the will of the people and honoring the popular vote? When direct democracy in an ultra-liberal state like California was used to do things progressives didn’t like, they tossed it to the curb. After Trump, though, supporting direct democracy isn’t just cool, it’s a moral imperative.
It used to be that threatening to secede was something only crazy racists who wanted to own people threatened to do. Educated, cultured, and tolerant coastal elites would never do such a thing. It is vitally important that the losers of an election unite behind and express support for their president. Setting aside discord to support our government is a duty we all have.
Haha. Just kidding. Unity is only a fundamental American value when a progressive Democrat is in charge. That all changed on Tuesday. Talk of secession is so hot right now.
— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) November 10, 2016
Seriously. What are the steps to make this possible??? We must secede!! #Calexit
— Perez (@ThePerezHilton) November 9, 2016
— Elite Daily (@EliteDaily) November 10, 2016
What was once the province of racists and rubes is now a major topic of discussion among elite thought leaders who think very serious elite thoughts. Thank you, President-elect Trump, for making secession threats cool again!