A Letter to ‘Trump Haters’

I address this letter to ‘Trump haters’, not ‘Hillary supporters’, because based on personal observations, some of Trump’s biggest detractors also hate Hillary just as much, if not more (for denying Bernie Sanders the nomination, who would have been a better candidate).

Trump’s win has elicited a visceral, almost primal, rebuke from otherwise rational, smart people that I otherwise respect and or even agree with on some certain issues.

From Scott Sumner of Money Illusion:

And Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror:

Brad Delong, who recently did an AMA on Reddit, also voiced a lot of concern over Trump, but at least was far more polite about it, setting a good example of how to criticize specific policy without resorting to ad hominem attacks against Trump and his supporters.

I agree with these anti-Trump economists on certain things–about the US dollar, deficits, the US economy, and about how Peter Schiff and other doom and gloom ‘Austrian alarmists’ tend to be wrong more often than not. By ‘agree’, what I mean is that they are closer to being ‘right’ (or less wrong) even though I may not, personally, like it. Drad Delong is closer to being correct regarding the ‘free trade debate‘ than Vox Day even though I wish Vox Day were right. Rationality and the ‘pursuit of the truth’ means we need to accept the world as it is, not how we want it to be. By better-understanding reality, one can be more fruitful in not only predicting but optimizing the present situation to his or her own advantage. It sounds trite to say, but knowledge (and understanding) really is power. So even though we lie on different points on the political spectrum, we both seek islands of truth and rationality in what is otherwise a sea of media nonsense, misinformation, and sensationalism. That’s the ‘common ground’ here, that we can both agree on.

And we can both agree that Hillary was a lousy candidate who ran an equally lousy, uninspiring campaign that was backed by corporate interests instead of the interests of voters, doing a disservice to both her party and supporters. From Vice.com Why 2016 Seemed Like the Worst Year Ever:

…Hillary Clinton campaigned on the absurd slogan that “America is great because America is good” and was so convinced of her own inevitable coronation as the khaleesi of corporate feminism that she didn’t even bother campaigning in Michigan. Half the electorate stayed home, and a few million useful idiots for a bargain-bin…

Going back to Trump, yes, 2016 sucked for a lot of people. For Sanders supporters (for obvious reason); for myself, other reasons. Many beloved celebrities died. The situation Syria deteriorated. ‘Brexit’ left a lot of people divided, almost literally. We are on this boat together, and although we disagree on specific issues or policy implementation, we can both agree the economic direction of the country for the past decade or two has gone in a direction that, for better or worse, has benefited too few.

Now the compromise: between 2009-2015 Obama did things we ‘The Right’ opposed, but we got through it. More importantly, we didn’t make our opposition too personal (and we will take back the ‘birtherism’ if you can take back the part about Trump being Hitler). And admittedly, Trump can be rough on the edges and uninhibited, but is a departure from the tradition of bland and predictable politics (during the primaries, democrats voted against Hillary for the same reasons republicans voted for Trump).

Trump, in many ways, is the ‘inverse Obama’, embodying ‘hope and change’ for his millions of voters who felt, and justly so, ignored by ‘politics as usual’. Yes, Hillary won the popular vote, but 62,979,879 Americans voted for Trump. ‘Unity’ means bringing everyone above the fold in the ‘national debate’, not just those with whom you agree with. The 2017 Berkeley riots, was, regrettably, a missed opportunity to go in this much-needed direction.