So America has apparently taken leave of its senses and elected Donald Trump as President of the United States, my Twitter timeline is full of liberal (in the American sense) Americans decrying the state of the world, and my wife is suggesting that maybe we should finish doing up our house and move to New Zealand at the earliest opportunity. I think she might actually be serious.
To my American friends, I say this: take a deep breath. The fact is that America electing Trump does not mean you’re surrounded by racists, misogynists or homophobes; yes, those people doubtless voted Trump, but they won’t be a majority of his voters any more than you’d imagine that people who voted for Obama were black supremacists.
I would have preferred that you elect Hillary1.
But it will be OK with Trump, however awful he is. Your Constitution was designed to check the power of the executive, and the bulk of the GOP, which now holds a majority in both Congress and the Senate, was not united behind Trump. He will face plenty of opposition in both places from both Democrats and Republicans alike, and I am sure, and I hope, that Congress, the Senate and the Supreme Court will do their best to make sure that Trump’s presidency is not the disaster many fear it will be, either for the United States or for the rest of the world.
Some people will find this surprising; I am definitely right-wing, though I identify myself as a classical liberal, certainly not a conservative in the traditional sense and I definitely disagree with many of the things Trump has said during his campaign. If I had my pick of the candidates for the GOP nomination, I’d probably have picked Rand Paul, though I don’t share all of his views either (notably we differ on abortion). ↩