Erick Erickson: I’m gonna give Trump a chance

From:,  by Erick Erickson,  on Dec 14, 2016


Scripture teaches us that “when pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Prov 11:2).  During the 2016 election, I was adamantly opposed to Donald Trump.  Much of the media cited a piece I wrote in mid-February planting my flag against Trump as one of the major pieces to spark the #NeverTrump movement.

I wrote in that piece that if the GOP went with Trump that the party was not only going to lose the White House, but see devastation down ballot.  All the polling showed it. The polling had been right during the primaries. Trump was the one guy consistently ahead in the polls and the one guy who consistently could not beat Hillary. The general election polling showed the same.

I, and the polling, were completely wrong.  So were a lot of other people. After the election I wrote that those of us who were so completely wrong about the election should exercise some humility. If we got that much wrong, the odds are we got a lot of other stuff wrong, too. Consequently, I thought the day after the election and still think that we owe Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt.

This does not mean I am now on the Trump team.  I still have concerns about Trump. But I see a number of friends and fellow #NeverTrumpers opposed to each and everything Trump does and each and every appointment Trump makes.  Anyone in the sphere of the president-elect must be corrupt and crooked.  Anyone seeking a job should be shunned.  I find that all nonsensical.

Donald Trump is the president-elect of the United States. Instead of demanding people stay away from him or casting aspersions on those who would work for him, we should all be encouraging good people to help the future president. He will be our president, not just their president.

Donald Trump is the president-elect of the United States. Instead of demanding people stay away from him or casting aspersions on those who would work for him, we should all be encouraging good people to help the future president.  He will be our president, not just their president.

Likewise, just as Barack Obama had the right to surround himself with advisers of his choice, Trump should be given the same latitude. I have concerns about some of his cabinet picks, but I think they deserve the chance to prove not just their qualifications, but their competence too.

Being so wrong about the election requires that I and others exercise humility moving forward when it comes to Donald Trump. Unfortunately, I see too few willing to take that approach. Many of those who were as wrong as I was in the election are doubling down on their opposition to Trump.  Those, like me, who think we owe the president-elect a chance to prove himself are called sellouts.

I don’t think wanting the president to succeed is selling out.  Nor do I think admitting how wrong I was about the election requires my re-evaluation of current events means I have abandoned principles.

Conservatism is, if anything, an ideology based on modesty.  I think it is ridiculous to double down now after being so wrong, but I think it is equally ridiculous to become an apologist for a man I was so critical of.

There is an middle ground. Those of us who opposed Trump from the right should give him the benefit of the doubt and admit many of his cabinet picks thus far have been solid. But there will be times that the president-elect and his administration do things that are not in the interest of limited government and individual responsibility. We should be willing to speak up then.

We should resist the impulse to be on one team or the other and choose instead to call balls and strikes as we see them.  And if all you call are strikes, perhaps you are not an umpire who can be trusted.

Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor. He is host of “Erick on the Radio” and founder/editor of The Resurgent. He is the founder of Follow him on Twitter @EWErickson.


Like Mr. Erickson, I was adamantly against Donald Trump during the race for the Republican nomination. The Donald Trump that I witnessed during that campaign was light-years away from what I wanted in a Republican nominee. He was a joke, a walking, talking, tweeting joke. My preference was Ted Cruz, a real conservative.

But it was not to be.

Now, we have President-elect Trump just a little more than a month away from occupying the White House and reality must be recognized. So far, he’s been more “presidential” than I expected (a pleasant surprise) and his cabinet picks have been, on the whole, pretty good, so it’s beginning to look like President Trump may be better than I expected – that too would be a pleasant surprise.

Regardless of my prior feelings about The Donald, he will be my president, and like it or not, and his success or failure will have a major impact on the lives of some 325 million people, so caring more for my country than for Mr. Trump personally, I do fervently hope that he succeeds in changing the direction of the country from rushing headlong towards socialism to a return to Constitutional governance.

I’m willing to give him a chance and I hope others will too.





Categories: Political


10 replies

  1. Other than SoS Mr. Trump’s cabinet and agency picks have exceeded expectations on the defense, law enforcement, and national security front. However, Rex Tillerson — a full-fledged progressive — at DoS is like placing an intelligent version of John Kerry to head arguably the second most powerful position in our government. Like Kerry, he isn’t a fan of Israel. Like Kerry, he likes the Iran deal. Like Kerry, he believes global climate change is man-made and that we must act to mitigate it. Like Kerry, he’s a globalist no-borders guy. Worse yet, Tillerson’s a friend of murderous Vlad, the media-Slayer! And consider this —Tillerson’s negotiations on international climate-related agreements are going to be subjected to the demands of Trump daughter Ivanka, who is a flaming libtard every bit as left as Hillary and will be heading up the climate change front in Trump’s administration.

    On the economic and domestic front, Mr. Trump’s cabinet and agency picks are for the most part abysmal save the pick to the EPA which I predict, given the left-lurch Trump and Ivanka have taken on climate regulation, will end up more or less a figurehead appointment. He may be draining the swamp, but he’s transferring many of the swamp-rats into his own administration rather than into political exile and away from our government.

    National defense and law enforcement are no-brainers if you truly care about the country, even the RINO GW Bush had that going for him as did old-time libtards like Hubert Humphrey or even FDR. But Trump has been filling domestic posts with crony-capitalists and progressives — NOT what he indicated he’d do during the primaries or in the last three weeks running up to election day. What I’m really saying here, is that Trump bought himself a little conservative street-cred by making strong picks for on the defense and national security fronts, but so far where it counts in our daily lives, our moral center, our values, and in our pocketbooks — he’s a RINO at best and may be closer to Hillary in policy than to a George W. Bush. That’s NOT what this election was supposed to be about!

    I don’t think Mr. Trump can be trusted enough to be given the benefit of the doubt. He’s still just a con-man at heart and I don’t believe he really intended or wanted to win the presidency, it’s more that he couldn’t stop it from happening and now he’s hemmed in by that life-long liberal worldview of his. Most of us voted for Mr. Trump because giving Hillary the reigns of power was too abhorrent to suffer. I won’t be surprised if the outcome of the election makes no real difference on our economic and domestic plight because the appointment’s he’s made and the policy statements on trade and labor don’t match up with conservative governance. Trump now has the luxury of being able to blame the media if or when his policies and character fail us — because he so completely exposed and eviscerated them during the campaign. So forgive me if I’m not onboard the give-him-a-chance train along with Erik Erickson.


  2. The snowflake millennials and all the other lefties are throwing a big enough hissy fit, that the rest of us need to counter that with some adult behavior. My primary thought all along has been that he’s better than Hillary, so almost anything he does will be also be better. We’re not going to agree with all his choices, but again, those will be better too, for the most part.

    Erickson either forgot or didn’t know, but when Trump first jumped in this race, he was playing a game. He just won the biggest reality game of his life, and he’s the king of the world and the center of attention. I will support his efforts, Maybe even brag about him, but I owe him no humility for my earlier negative opinions of him.


    • I agree with your comment regarding our earlier perception of him, he earned his reputation for being a buffoon through his antics and I won’t apologize for that.

      And I too agree that not only will he be better than Hillary would have been, but better than Obama has been as well, so on the whole, I think that we’ve upgraded the presidency. How much remains to be seen.


    • It would be a real mistake for any of us to lose sight of what a moral reprobate Trump has been and the fact that he’s a Leopard born with liberal spots. Conservatives are being too hard on themselves for “being wrong” in insisting that Trump couldn’t win. The fact is, that Trump won only because at the last second, those conservatives who either weren’t going to vote for him, never ever, or that weren’t going to vote at all, finally decided they had to — I’m one of them as I’m sure a lot of others and even some Democrats were. That group was 18% of the electorate and they broke for Trump almost perfectly consistent with his wins in key states. Whether he’s really better than Hillary remains to be seen. He’s certainly more entertaining, and by far and away he’s the more believable con artist. At least he seems committed to rebuilding the military and hopefully modernizing our deterrent force. That much alone might be worth the price of admission.


      • Clarification: that was 18% of the self-identified conservative, independent and neither electorate, not of the entire national electorate.


  3. This is why I almost never say never. It can come back to haunt you.

    I’m a little confused by Mr. Erickson’s post. Is he humbled because he guessed wrong that Trump couldn’t win or is he suggesting he was wrong to not support Trump? Considering that Trump hasn’t even been sworn in yet and we haven’t seen how his presidency plays out long-term I think it’s a bit premature to be humbled. Everyone who said Trump couldn’t win should have a little egg on their face but I hardly think it requires some great act of contrition. This may be more about Erickson trying to regain his readership than anything else.

    It’s a sad state we’re in when everyone feels the need to make the case for keeping an open mind. Having an open mind ought to be the norm, not the exception. There was (and IS) nothing wrong with having serious misgivings about Trump. He earned that himself with his past and present behavior. There’s also nothing wrong with giving him credit when credit is due or with calling him out when he does bad. I think we’ve all gotten too used to living in the age of unreason.


    • Well put, CW. I’m not sure what Erickson is getting at either except that he was even more vehemently against Trump than most of us. He was one of the “never Trumpers.” You’re right that we should keep an open mind, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. His actions during the nominating battle didn’t do anything to assure us that he would be anything other than a buffoon, so I am pleasantly surprised at his demeanor since winning the presidency.

      We’ve got a long way to go before we can be sure of anything and it’s too early to draw conclusions, but so far, he’s not as bad as I expected – stay tuned …


  4. He is our president.
    I’m watching.
    I fear that much he’ll do will need our opposition.
    But, he is our president.
    I had to sit back and give Obama the reigns as well 8 years ago and again 4 years ago…just saying.


    • Understand tannngl, but one thing about Trump is that at least I am convinced that he can’t be nearly as bad as Barack Obama. I do believe that he genuinely loves America and that alone makes him better than Obama. We the people may have to register our displeasure if he begins to go off the rails, but as much as I didn’t want him as POTUS, I am hopeful that he’ll do better than I expected.

      Liked by 1 person

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