Magazine | December 5, 2016, Issue

Standing athwart Hillary

All my right-leaning friends in Minnesota — both of them — went for Trump, and they haven’t held my disinclination to take a berth in the Trump Train against me. (By the way, can we call those who got on the Trump Train early enough to get a sleeping compartment “berthers”?) We’ve turned the Etch-A-Sketch upside down, given it a good shake, and decided to bond anew over the final repudiation of Hillary Clinton.

Whether you were a supporter or a doubter, your dark evil heart has enjoyed the sight of some liberals taking the election like an Ikea bookcase hit by a semi. The brutal repression of the Reagan years with the know-nothingness of Chimpy Bush combined into one thick smirking bolus of malignity! America is doomed? Our feeling about their panic is both cruel and refined, so naturally there’s a German word for it. But however much schadenfreude you felt toward the weeping Hillary hopefuls as they watched Donald Trump paint over the glass ceiling like the windows of Grand Central Terminal during World War II, the reversion of some college students to thumbsuckery of the literal sort was even more delightful.

You heard reports of events like this:

Self-Care Drop-In Healing Place

For those who have been psyche-wounded by the election of the Ochre Horror, the Susan B. Anthony Room in the Shirley Chisholm Wing of the Betty Friedan Building will be open for medication and reinforcement. There will be stuffed animals, Play-Doh, pacifiers, small beds with bars on the sides and mobiles suspended overhead, blankeys, and a bucket of stage blood should you wish to smear yourself and scream at the moon. (A small, gender-neutral picture of the moon will be provided.)

Or, reports like this:

Protesters, Protesting Imminent Violence, Are

Proactively Violent against Violence

Several dozen masked people, protesting the imposition of fascism on America, joined up with the Committee to Destroy Israel and smashed dozens of windows downtown. At first, police thought the riot was caused by Never Trumpers and dubbed it Billkristolnacht, but the presence of many hammer-and-sickle T-shirts led them to believe otherwise.

They have a name: bitterclingers. But what do we call them right now? “Never Trump” doesn’t work at this point, because it’s like jumping out a plane without a parachute and shouting “Never gravity!” Here are some suggested terms:

Optimisticons: “Hey, I wasn’t for Trump initially; I was for Scott Walker. In fact I actually am Scott Walker. Now we have to make the most of this, and maybe he will sign good bills. If he does join us for entitlement reform, a Mt. Rushmore addition would seem a fair trade.”

Skepticons: “I still think he is, when you get down to it . . . What’s the word? Trump. That’s what he is. He’s going to tweet ‘Sad!’ at someone at 3 a.m. and we’ll lose a military base on a Philippine island. I hope I’m wrong, but I wouldn’t mind being absolutely right.”

Lockerupicons: “I would rather see a tarantula in my baby’s crib than Hillary in the White House. If that tarantula bit my baby and then ran for the presidency, I would vote for that spider. And I hope that when it won the election because people were sick of elites and insiders and wanted to send not only a message but a disgusting hairy insect, that tarantula would bite Hillary when they met in the Oval Office, because then she’d know what our family has been through.”

Rubicons: “I think America needs a Caesar.”

Trusticons: “I was for Trump from the start because he was saying things no one else was. Marco Rubio is short. I mean c’mon. Political correctness, we’re just sick of it. Trump believes in us and we believe in him, and while I don’t believe everything he says, I believe he knows that we don’t believe everything he says he believes. What matters is that he’s on our side, and that’s why we trust him.”

This last category is the most interesting, because they’re going to have some disappointments. The press has been reporting walkbacks in the Trump platform — they might keep some parts of Obamacare, the wall might be a hologram, the swamp might not be drained, but the crocodiles are outfitted with doorman’s uniforms, so you can walk across the swamp by jumping from croc to croc. Also, Obama is a good man.

The press would love nothing more than leaks about walkbacks, so make of that what you wish. Keeping price controls on hospital aspirin but eliminating coercive mandates and nun-punishing abortion funding — no Trump supporter will complain about that. If there’s no wall but there is tougher criminal deportation, strict border enforcement, and an end to sanctuary cities, few Trumpers will pick the nits.

They might be trotted out as brainwashed minions who’ll buy anything if the Donald stamps his name on it, but consider this: They realized that a politician, even one who came to the role late in life, says things during the election and compromises afterward to accomplish what’s possible. Which would make the most faithful voters quite canny about the reality of politics.

What was Trump’s song in the rallies? The Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Don’t say he didn’t warn you, sure — but don’t say they didn’t know going in. And that was fine. Because it was like that great scene in the second Star Wars movie — Han Solo is about to meet his fate, and Princess Leia says, “I love you.” Han says: “I know.”

Of such emotion, great bonds are formed.

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