Trump’s Stunning Victory and Obama’s Shocking Defeat
The big loser on Tuesday was not Hillary Clinton. It was Barack Obama.
Obama staked all his personal prestige on Hillary’s victory. He barnstormed America, warning that Armageddon loomed if Trump prevailed. He actually told members of the African-American community that he would be personally offended if they did not vote for Hillary.
Talk about infantilizing a noble community.
Obama leaves office with the Democratic party having been eviscerated, losing the White House, the Senate and the House. The American people decisively rejected presidential overreach, appeasement of evil (like Iran and Turkey), the bullying of allies like Israel and American inaction in genocides like Syria. The American people rejected Obama’s near-constant professorial lectures that spoke down to them, forgetting that in America there are not elites, and it is the people who decide.
You’ll tell me those were not the main issues of the campaign. But they were.
Americans don’t want their country to be Europe. I know this because I lived in Europe for 11 years and there’s a huge difference between the United States and the continent we rejected 230 years ago. Americans don’t want to be weak, milk-toast democracies that are bland when it comes to promoting human rights and freedom. Americans are the most compassionate of people. But they reject the socialism of Europe, because of how it inhibits individual enterprise and accountability.
True, we don’t want to be engulfed in quagmires in the Middle East. But we don’t want American credibility to sink to the bottom, either, by simply retreating from the world stage and allowing evil dictators to fill the void.
Weakness will be the legacy of President Obama — a president who appeased the murderers in Iran and legitimized their nuclear program; a president who never challenged the dismantling of democracy in Turkey and indeed sucked up to the tyrant Erdogan; a president whose only display of toughness was aimed at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and, most damning of all, a president who watched Arab children in Syria gassed to death and did absolutely nothing.
And how does this connect with Trump?
Love him or hate him, the one thing that Trump showed throughout the campaign was an unimaginable toughness –grit that began to endear him to the American people. The media and Hollywood threw the kitchen sink at him. And still he went on.
In the last few days, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, Al Gore and countless others all traversed America to condemn Trump as the anti-Christ. It began to look like a pile-on. I did not know if Trump could survive the onslaught.
Miraculously, he won.
Make no mistake. I have criticized many things about Trump during this campaign. I wrote scores of columns holding him accountable for behavior and policies that ran contrary to basic values. But the resilience he showed in being battered by everyone yet remaining standing showed a mettle that ultimately earned respect.
Trump now has the opportunity to be magnanimous in victory, to reach out to his foes and unite the country. He can show a generosity of spirit that will surprise his most ardent foes.
And he can work quickly to bring order to a world desperate for redemption.
Trump should immediately impose a no-fly zone in Syria and save its children from further slaughter. He should tell Israel that he supports its efforts to build in Judea and Samaria and improve the lives of Israelis and Palestinians alike with a robust economy in the West Bank. He should warn Erdogan that Turkey risks losing its standing with the US if he continues to arrest innocent people in media and other positions. And he should reimpose sanctions against Iran for its exporting of terror and should undo the catastrophic nuclear deal.
Trump has a chance to bring renewal to America. This will begin by his doing his utmost to reach out to his critics and remake the country, from left to right and from Democrat to Republican — the United States.
Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi,” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is founder of The World Values Network and is the international best-selling author of 31 books, including “The Israel Warrior,” which has just been published. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.