My final thoughts before the election were published this morning in The Washington Post and they turned to the future. We don’t yet know the outcome of this election, voting is still underway as I write. And I still fervently hope (and pray) for a Trump victory. But we do know that something changed during this election cycle. The change has been happening for a long time, but slowly. A nascent recognition of and displeasure with the change was evident in the candidacy of Ross Perot and then again in the Tea Party movement. These were smaller, mostly Republican, eruptions. But some of the same sensibility was also present in Bernie Sanders’ campaign.
For Republicans, Donald Trump represents much more than an isolated eruption. He captured the nomination and may yet become President. He was the answer in 2016—or at least a partial answer—to the sense that government has grown ever more remote from the governed and that elections don’t ever seem to change the trajectory of the country. Trump promised to change the trajectory on certain key issues or, at least, a pause in the relentless pursuit of policies that many Americans believe are antithetical to their rights and interests as citizens. That’s why I argue that we should hope for more candidates like Donald Trump.
Here’s an excerpt:
Whether he wins or loses, we need more people like Donald Trump in politics.
I don’t mean to suggest ambitious Republicans — or Democrats for that matter — should copy the GOP standard-bearer’s braggadocio and flippant responses (to say nothing of his more crude moments), or stock up on red power ties. Love him or loathe him, there is only one Donald Trump. No one else can be him and, even if he wins, no one should try.
Instead, smart politicians should take the best and leave the rest behind.
That means abandoning overly scripted campaigns in favor of authenticity, listening to voters instead of to elite opinion and — this is especially true for Republicans — embracing the issues that propelled Trump’s campaign instead of recurring to stale conservative checklists.