Trump Could be Better than the Republicans — But Don’t Bet On It

While conservatives crow and liberals despair over the latter’s alleged abandonment of the white working class, we should always remember and never forget that more than one-third of Donald Trump’s vote came from college educated whites. To be more specific, more than 20 million white Republican voters who are doing just fine economically felt that Donald Trump offered the country a better way forward than Hillary Clinton. You can chalk that up to garden-variety political polarization, of course, but should Mr. Trump live up to people’s worst fears of him, let us not for a moment be confused about who is actually responsible for putting him into office — that would be the Republicans who voted for him, endorsed him, and did not stand up to him (it should be acknowledged that a few tried).

Many of these same Republicans would enthusiastically see Trump repeal Obamacare, abandon the Paris climate accord, appoint a conservative to the Supreme Court, eviscerate Dodd-Frank, aggressively deport undocumented immigrants, engineer huge tax cuts for corporations and wealthy individuals, and wage holy war on “Islamic radicalism” and “political correctness” literally in the same breath. But probably (maybe) unlike Trump, they would go further still and ‘reform’ Social Security and Medicare, cut discretionary domestic programs to the bone, and pass a meek and ineffective infrastructure bill. So, barring a crackdown on free speech, the detainment of Muslim-Americans, or outbreak of world war (all sadly plausible scenarios), the truth is that Trump’ victory could be a better outcome than the one we’d have faced if almost any of his primary opponents had won.

That’s not something I would bet on, however.