Elgin Hushbeck, Jr.: Election 2016 – Initial Reaction

by Elgin Hushbeck, Jr., Engineer, Christian apologist, and author of Christianity and SecularismPreserving Democracy: What the Founding Fathers Knew, What We Have Forgotten, and How It Threatens Democracy, What is Wrong with Social Justice?and Evidence for the Bible.

 

time-election-coverMy reaction to the election can be summed up by relief, joy, hope, and worry, in that order.

Relief

On Election Day the election was too close to call. There were conflicting signs and it was easy to make a case for either Clinton or Trump wining. Perhaps it was the fact that I had seen so many other races that looked even more positive, and yet my candidate lost, so I feared the worst. I could not even watch the returns. When I got up this morning and looked at the news to see that Trump had won, my first reaction was a sense of relief. Relief that Clinton, probably the most corrupt person ever to seek the office of President will not be allowed to bring that corruption back to the White House. The combination of that level of corruption with the powers of the office of the President was something I truly feared.

Joy

As I began to look at the results in more detail, my relief turned to Joy. Not only did Trump win, but all the candidates I was supporting in my state, and virtually all I was watching across the nation won. Not only would Hillary not be President but we had held House and Senate majorities to work with him, and to keep him in check if need be. So I said a prayer of thanks.

Hope

My joy then turned to hope as I began to contemplate the ramifications. Finally, there was a good chance that we could get something done. For the first time in my life we had a Republican President with a solid majority in Congress. Bush had the thinnest of margins which disappeared when Jeffords changed parties. The wall will be built on the southern border and the illegal immigration mess solved. And no, I do not expect any mass deportations. I believe most of those here illegally will be in some fashion allowed to become legal, they just will not be allowed to become citizens or vote without going home and returning legally.

The disaster that is Obamacare will be repealed and replace by a system that gives far more choice and opportunity to people. I am hoping that the bureaucratic nightmare that is the Federal Government and which is such a burden on the people, will be cut back and focused more on actually helping them. For example, perhaps finally we can get a law passed to force the EPA to consider the impact of their regulations on people and not just animals, and the tens of thousands of people in central California thrown out of work to protect a few fish can go back to work.

Worry

Finally, I began to worry. And my cause for concern was twofold. First, while hardly a fan of Trump, one area I did agree with him on is that the ruling elites play by a different set of rules. They are very powerful and will not like that Trump is threatening the status quo. Thus, I worry about how they will seek to protect themselves and keep their power. Note that this is not a Republican vs Democrat issue, but an insider vs outsider. There are plenty of Republicans on the inside. And given the narrow margin in the Senate, I can easily see them blocking many of the needed reforms with a filibuster. Since Reid broke the filibuster, this should not be a problem, but it could provide a fig leaf for Republicans in the elite to block needed reforms.

Second, as the election fades into the background we will return our focus to the problems we face and they are both many and serious, both Domestic and Foreign. Many are well advanced and may already be too far gone. For example, it may already be too late to stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, and I have little doubt that if they get one they will live up to their promise to use it. In short, the world Trump will inherit is a mess and likely to get worse before it gets better.

Domestically the situation is not much better. For decades, the county has been masking decline with financial games, and even that has not been working very well. The Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing has taken us into uncharted waters, and our debt is at record levels and climbing. As Hebert Stein once pointed out, that which cannot go on forever won’t. It is not a matter of if, but when the house of cards that is the US economy will come crashing down.

I am not fatalistic about this. Countries have been in worst situations. Britain at the beginning of the 19th century had a much higher debt in proportion to the current US debt. They got out of that hole by the strong growth that came for the industrial revolution. But it was not without pain. We too can get out of our current messes, but it will not be easy and it will not be without pain.

So I guess I end on hope, but it is a cautious hope.