Do You Hear Me Now?—43jh.
They meant it. There have been five national elections in the past decade. In four of them—2006, 2008, 2010, and 2014—voters gave notice to the politicians who are supposed to lead them. They were different elections and different times, and the results invested power in different political parties. But the message was more or less the same: We want change.
And for the better part of that decade, voters have gotten more of the same. More government, more regulation, more taxes, more doubletalk, more bureaucracy, more corruption, and virtually no accountability. Barack Obama ran as the candidate of “Hope and Change.” He promised “change we can believe in” and declared to his supporters: “We are the change that we seek.” Immediately upon taking office, Obama issued an executive order on transparency vowing to “restore faith in government, without which we cannot implement the changes we were sent here to make.”
Faith in government is at all-time lows after nearly eight years of Obama governance. Obama’s three legacy achievements—the stimulus, Obamacare, and the Iran deal—are not achievements at all. The United States remains mired in the weakest economic recovery since 1949. Obamacare is collapsing. The Iran deal has put billions of dollars in the hands of the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, and if it succeeds even on the terms of its proponents, it will put Iran on the path to nuclear weapons. The national debt has roughly doubled, and Obama’s own top national security and intelligence advisers tell us the world is more dangerous than they’ve ever seen it.
After eight years of dashed hopes and phony change, voters in 2016 sent another unmistakable message: We meant it.
Donald Trump was obviously not our first choice to be the agent of change. We opposed him early and often, and we didn’t think he’d win. We lamented his ignorance, criticized his crudity, and catalogued his untruthfulness. We were troubled by his foreign policy noninterventionism, his antitrade demagoguery, by his lack of discipline and judgment, and also by the likelihood that he would disappoint far too many of his enthusiastic followers, especially those whose policy views we shared.
We don’t regret having fully aired all of our many differences. Our concerns about his character and some of his policies don’t disappear because he won an election. But he did win an election. The Republican majority in Congress was sustained, arguably because of, rather than despite, his efforts. And more than all of that, he is the president-elect—he is America’s president-elect. We want him to succeed.
There are obviously many, many ways in which a Trump presidency will be better than a Clinton presidency, assuming he makes good on his campaign promises. He will shape the future of the Supreme Court; he can roll back President Obama’s executive orders and eliminate many of the onerous regulations his energized bureaucracy imposed on American businesses; he can set about the important and urgent business of rebuilding American defenses; he can begin the complicated and critical work of repealing and replacing Obamacare; he can work to redistribute power from Washington to the states.
source-weekly standard, stephen hayes,