The case that Donald Trump will be good for liberals.
So now that we need to get used to saying President Trump, its probably best to look at the impacts he will have on the country, and how he’ll effect the world as a whole. If you squint just right, you might be able to see how, even at his worse, he will benefit us.
First the bad news. While Trump won’t be able to enact the worst of his plans, there’s lot of damage he can do. He can appoint judges that will roll back civil rights for gay people and women. He can cut funding for science research, which will damage our technological future. He will blow up the debt and deficit even further through his ridiculous tax plans.
Now the good news. War might be less likely with him in charge. Putin seems to like him. Granted, that means Russia will probably get more belligerent with its immediate neighbors, but stability, even with a borderline dictatorship, is preferable to outright war. President Dutuerte of the Philippines seems to like him, so we’ll be able to keep our bases there, giving us an important foothold in any potential war against China. There’s the Middle East, of course. He’ll continue bombing and may even send more soldiers to fight ISIS, but I tend to believe he’ll just declare victory and move on. The wall probably won’t be built. A mass deportation isn’t really possible. Banning a religion won’t pass even the most conservative judge.
So the worst of what he said probably won’t happen. But will he do any good things? Maybe indirectly. Already we’re seeing huge donations to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. There are protests in the street about him, and he hasn’t even been sworn in yet. Granted, the protests aren’t doing much more than shouting into the void, but it shows there’s a great deal of energy opposing him. If we can harness even a tiny bit of that energy towards positive change it will have lasting effects. There will be a real movement to abolish the electoral college. It may not pass now, but it gives us a real chance of changing it within our lifetimes. The rest of the world will have to pick up our slack to fight climate change, and they will. Scientific research will suffer, but then private citizens will fight that much harder to provide it themselves. College will get more expensive, but then people may try and get more practical skills, and help provide real change from the ground up.
The longer lasting positive change is one that’s more subtle. One thing the US has sorely missed in recent years has been a republican party with ideas. The last new idea that the republicans have put forward was to privatize social security. That was years ago, and it’s a terrible idea, but it is unique. The whole point of electing Trump is that he will be an agent of change. He might force the republicans to come up with new and original ideas. Some will be good, some bad, but all of them will force a discussion. We will have to figure out how we want our country to be moving forward, then figure out how to get there. That’s a lot harder when one party’s whole raison d’etre is to oppose the other, as we’ve had for all of Obama’s term.