I said earlier that a headline in the form of a question can always be answered as “No.” Here, I directly contradict myself.
So let’s look at the world as it actually is. Not as how we wish it was. 8 years ago, when Barack Obama was president-elect, it seemed to be public knowledge that the republican party was going to oppose any and all initiatives that he would put forward. That idea only gained traction once he was re-elected. It didn’t matter how centrist his ideas were, or if they were flat out republican ideas. If he suggested them, then the republican party had to be against them. That sucked. That meant compromise was not possible, and in a divided nation compromise is the only way to govern. Would president Clinton have any easier a time? I believe that it would be worse.
A theoretical President Clinton would be coming into office with a massive amount of baggage. Despite being cleared of any wrongdoing, she would be plagued by scandals, real and imagined, and would be a constant target of congressional investigations. John McCain publicly stated that a republican congress would oppose any supreme court nominee whatsoever, even if other justices retired or died. If he was willing to let the supreme court go with only 5 justices, it’s hard to believe that republicans would compromise on anything else whatsoever. Now that Trump is putting together his cabinet, we are seeing how democrats are working with him, or at least, how they say they will.
So far, with the exception of Harry Reid, everyone has said they will work with Trump. There is an actual chance of compromise here. And Trump has a record of holding liberal positions, as well as changing his mind. There is an actual chance that our government will enact policies that are more than just a knee-jerk reaction to what the other side wants. Had Ted Cruz won, the most extreme right wing policies would get an automatic approval, regardless of what more than half the country thought. Compromise wouldn’t even be a remote possibility. With Trump, there is a chance of him listening to democrats. Maybe a small chance, but it may be the best possibility we can hope for.