I’ve been slagging Trump pretty heavily on the blog lately. It’s not like he doesn’t deserve it. But I don’t want to go all-in on hate like I’m a Democrat or something. So to lighten the mood, I’ll say five positive thing about Donald Trump. And I’m not being sarcastic. These are five things that are genuinely good about his candidacy.
- Trump doesn’t care about the Culture War. Trump has fumbled the abortion issue because it doesn’t matter to him. He’s been semi-pro-LGBT. He’s punted on issues of bathroom access and drugs. Maybe one good thing that could come out of this is that the Culture War goes back to being something in the culture, not something in politics.
- He would almost certainly defer to conservatives on SCOTUS appointments. The appointment of SCOTUS justices over the next four years is the issue for this campaign. Trump might appoint some lunatic but the Senate would have a thing or two to say about that. Most likely, he would do what he did earlier this year: grab a list from the Federalist Society and go down it, name by name. That would not be good for civil liberties, but it would be OK for restraining government power.
- I don’t think he’s a bigot. Trump has been accused of racism, anti-Muslimism and anti-semitism. I don’t think he’s any of those. He’s tone-deaf on issues or race and religion and is clearly blowing some dog whistles that the racists are responding to on social media. But I don’t think reflects what he thinks.
- I think he’s tapping into a very real and important backlash against elites. This is the big issues that is driving the Trump campaign and every time the elites work themselves into a fainting spell over the last Trumpism, it only strengthens this argument. I don’t believe in direct democracy. Our founders created a constitutional Republic because they distrusted mob rule. But I do think we’ve developed a huge disconnect between the ruling class and the people. And Trump is riding that wave.
- He may break the idea that money == political power. Trump is being massively outspent by Clinton and was outspent in the primary. We’ve had indications for many years that money has, at most, a small impact on elections. If Trump wins or even comes close, the narrative that elections are bought and sold by special interests takes another big blow. Not a decisive one, since Trump’s celebrity has made up some of the money gap. But a big one. That’s not to say that special interests wield no power, because they clearly wield a lot. But money isn’t the problem. Access to politicians is the problem. The size of government, which mandates that people give oblations to politicians, is the problem. Campaign donations and campaign finance reform are red herrings (which is precisely why politicians talk them up so much).
Like I said, not much. I still won’t vote for him. But the idea that Trump is America’s Hitler or the quintessence of evil is just ridiculous.