Four years of Trump, if it means a progressive DNC shakeup and killing the TPP, might end up being preferable to eight years of Clinton. If he is half as stupid and half as incompetent as he appears to be, his presidency will be ineffective and stumbling. The worst damage he stands to do is in his appointments. After that, the country will coast on institutional momentum, and Trump will rely heavily on the same insiders who have been running the show (that is, the DNC and RNC actors who, for all their mutual dislike, operate within the very narrow Overton window of American politics).
Trump will push for policies to benefit the rich, not because he is beholden to them but because he is them, and the elites will be happy to play along, business as usual. Trump might be a shit show, terrible for the poor and the middle class, terrible for the environment, terrible for militaristic overreach, terrible for the global economy, terrible for ordinary people. And in all these ways he will be indistinguishable from Bush, Obama, and Clinton. But if he attempts anything truly insane, he can expect opposition. After all, he is an outsider to the political establishment. Unless we are to imagine that Trump is somehow a secret political genius, able to manipulate established players in a way that Obama apparently could not (for those of you who still believe Obama actually cared about progressives), then the worst fears of the doomsayers won’t come to pass.
There is, of course, the lingering damage done by emboldening racists through extremist rhetoric -an effect which is felt outside the country. For this, we have both Trump and the DNC to blame -the latter’s complicity revealed through the Pied Piper CNN media strategy. But this is no longer a matter of politics; it’s strictly a social one, the sort of thing that we use the freedom of speech to combat. We should ignore Trump, and the trolls among his followers, and the racists among his followers, all of whom are powered by the attention they derive from being loathsome. Ignore trolls; that’s the only appropriate response. Instead, focus on progressive messaging, stay positive, and maybe in four years, America might finally get the opportunity to vote for a progressive candidate (that is, if the DNC and a complicit media don’t cheat the country out of one).