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President Donald J. Trump

History. A night like no other

CNN reports that Hillary Clinton has called Trump to concede. This thing is over.

Jim Acosta at Trump HQ says that even Trump campaign insiders are shocked.

UPDATE: I gotta hand it to Trump and his team, and their supporters. I did not think they could pull this off. I did not vote for him (or Hillary Clinton), and I do not think he will be a good president. I hope I am wrong, for the sake of our country. Ross Douthat speaks for me. Excerpt:

On the global stage Trump’s populism and nationalism makes him very much a man of his times, with parallels to figures as diverse as Marine Le Pen, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and of course Vladimir Putin. But in the American context he is like nothing we have seen before — a shatterer of all norms and conventional assumptions, a man more likely to fail catastrophically than other presidents, more constitutionally dangerous than other presidents, but also more likely to carry us into a different political era, a post-neoliberal, post-end-of-history politics, than any other imaginable president.

I retract none of the warnings that I issued about the likelihood of catastrophe and crisis on his watch. I fear the risks of a Trump presidency as I have feared nothing in our politics before. But he will be the president, thanks to a crude genius that identified all the weak spots in our parties and our political system and that spoke to a host of voters for whom that system promised at best a sustainable stagnation under the tutelage of a distant and self-satisfied elite. So we must hope that he has the wit to be more than a wrecker, more than a demagogue, and that his crude genius can actually be turned, somehow, to the common good.

I don’t think Trump has it in him, but again, I hope I am wrong. The good of our nation and indeed of the world depends on it. Trump has achieved something that is of world-historical importance, and that cannot be taken away from him. He knew how weak the system was, if few others did. He pushed, and it came down.

I was wrong about his prospects for victory, but I still take pleasure in the wailing and gnashing of teeth among the elites of both parties, and especially of the media. That pleasure, though, is sharply curtailed by a fear of what this means for the future of the nation and the world. I do not believe for one second that the left will reconcile itself to a Trump victory. I believe there will be violence. I hope I am as wrong about that as I was about the possibility that Trump would be elected. But I remember the thugs who beat Trump supporters outside California rallies, and I believe those people will come out of the woodwork now. And I fear that Trump will handle the crisis they force very badly.

One solace: with a Republican president and a Republican Senate, the Supreme Court is safe for four years. Trump will name Scalia’s replacement, and may well get to name Ginsburg’s, Kennedy’s, and Breyer’s.

Some people are already asking me what this means for the Benedict Option. Answer: nothing different. I’ve said all along that politics can’t fix what ails us. I believe that the erosion of our religious liberties will probably cease for the time being under Trump (and for that, thanks be to God), but the deep currents in society and culture are towards atomization and the abandonment of religious belief and tradition. There are a lot of conservative Christians who have faith that Trump can turn this around. They hope in vain. They forget that we are not to put our trust in princes. This would be true even if the princes were good, which is not the case here.

Last night was the end of the beginning. Now comes the troubles.



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