Donald J. Trump

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Or if not me exclusively, then me and all those like me who voted for a non-mainstream candidate. 

Or so the accusation has been leveled. By the way, throughout the campaign, I was being told that I (non-mainstream voter) was going to be to blame for a Clinton victory by my conservative friends.

I guess the idea is that if I had voted for the Democratic Candidate that none of this (whatever apocalyptic version of the world you believe has ensued) would have happened. That one is easy to debunk, as Mrs. Clinton never had my vote to lose. I disagree with her on policy. I don’t give two shits about her email server, though I think it showed bad judgment. Frankly, if she had been the Republican candidate, Republicans would have defended her to the ends of the earth in the same way that Democrats defend Bill Clinton’s transgressions.

The argument that I object to most is the assertion that I am either a knuckle-dragging redneck imbecile or a soulless, greedy person that wants to steal money from the poor and give it to billionaires. I could not possibly be a thinking person that disagrees with your “correct” decision. I must be, at my core, either evil or stupid or both.

I don’t care who you voted for. My assumption is that you gave it some thought and voted your conscience. About 95% of you did not agree with me. Got it. Good for you. Let’s have a beer, or a coffee and talk about something else.

I’m a hybrid Libertarian/Conservative. Notice that I did not say Republican. I left the party last year and became an unaffiliated voter. Most candidates I supported in the last election were Republican, and that will likely continue. I did not vote for Mr. Trump because I felt like he would do a bad job. We will know in a few years. We don’t know now.

I couldn’t vote for Clinton for the same reason. I thought she would do a bad job, and I have not changed my mind. I voted my conscience and I’m surprised that I was in such a distinct minority. If a third party can’t get votes in the most recent Presidential election then I have no hope at all for the future of third parties in the United States.

So, if I’m not responsible, who is responsible for the election of Donald Trump? Clearly, the people that nominated Donald Trump and those that nominated the only candidate that he could have beaten. Okay, he could have beaten Bernie too, but Joe Biden (and others) would have stomped a mudhole in his ass.

And while I’m sorry that some of you feel that the apocalypse is playing out right in front of you, it’s simply not true. No matter how unhappy you are, the US will survive this unscathed. Just like I survived 8 years with a President that I disagreed with on almost everything. Almost. Nobody is completely wrong all the time. Not even Obama. Or Trump.

The larger problem is that since Reagan, the Presidency had been grabbing more and more power. Governing by “phone and pen” as Obama put it, is a big problem. The problem is not that someone you despise has been elected, but that it matters. The Presidency should be a weak office. It’s getting stronger because Congress and the Judiciary are letting it get stronger.

In this opinion piece from Newsweek (originally from the Cato Institute) from November last year the topic is being discussed because Trump had a 1 in 3 chance of being elected. Even on November 4th when the article was published it was “common knowledge” that he would lose. Clearly, many are OK with big powers for the President if someone they agree with is in office, but no so much when the election is lost.

It’s no secret that the “most powerful office in the world” grew even more powerful in the Bush-Obama years. Both presidents stretched the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force into a wholesale delegation of congressional war powers broad enough to underwrite open-ended, globe-spanning war. Bush began—and Obama continued—the host of secret dragnet surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden—and others we’re still largely the dark about. And lately, on the home front, Obama has used the power of the pen to rewrite broad swathes of American law and spend billions of dollars Congress never appropriated.

Full Newsweek article:

DO PRESIDENTS HAVE TOO MUCH POWER?

Bad Presidents are in the eye of the beholder. Since it is clearly unpredictable who we will get and what they will do, the power of the office should be checked and we should hold our congress critters responsible for making good policy and good law.