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President-elect Donald Trump has proven me wrong time and again over the course of the campaign. When he launched his candidacy, I viewed it as a joke, and even as he ascended in the polls I gave him no shot of winning the Republican nomination. When he captured the nomination, I predicted he would be routed by Hillary Clinton – a prediction I held onto right until raw votes started coming in on Tuesday night. Now that he’s won, I can only say that I hope I’m as wrong about a Trump presidency as I was about his chances of winning.

For many conservatives who held onto their vow never to support Trump, one aspect of it was their belief that he wouldn’t actually govern as a conservative. But that was only one aspect of it – much more significantly, many of us thought he was fundamentally unfit to be president and could do grave damage to our republic and constitutional order. It’s one thing to live with a Republican president who doesn’t follow through on his pledges to pursue items on the conservative agenda — we’ve lived through big government Republican presidents before. But there are much deeper threats presented by a Trump presidency. Now that it’s reality, here are the things that worry me most.

America’s military might in the hands of a thin-skinned megalomaniac

Even if you dismiss the possibility of Trump triggering a nuclear war (which I don’t think could be completely discounted), there are a lot of ways short of that where you can imagine Trump taking the nation into a military conflict or creating an unnecessary international crisis through loose talk followed by the need to save face and project strength. It’s worrisome to have somebody with such a fragile ego, driven so much by his insecurities, who has benefitted politically from violating norms in the most powerful position in the world. It’s especially scary given the praise he has heaped on Russian President Vladimir Putin and other autocrats.

Using law enforcement tools to go after political opponents

Trump has a history of suing or threatening to sue or threatening recriminations for people who have crossed him. As president, he’ll have all sorts of law enforcement agencies (plus institutions such as the IRS) ultimately reporting to him. It’s frightening to imagine how he could use these tools to target somebody he views as a personal enemy.

Escalating racial tensions

Trump won the nomination and presidency, in part, by exploiting and inflaming white resentment and racist sentiment. Going into Tuesday, some Republicans were tamed when it came to addressing issues of race out of fear that they’d offend a changing American electorate and doom their prospects politically. But now that Trump has proved victorious, you may see more Republicans follow his tone on issues of race. It’s scary to imagine a scenario such as the riots in Baltimore or Ferguson playing out in a Trump presidency, and to envision how he’d react and how he could escalate the situation. During the campaign, there was a tremendous rise in racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic hate speech on social media, and now white supremacist movements feel even more emboldened that their guy has won. On a more personal level, nationalist movements have never worked out well for Jews, so I fear for what the movement that Trump has spawned will mean for myself and my family.

Further expansion of executive power

Chamber says it stands ready to help Trump

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During the Obama administration, I opposed the expansion of executive power. During the campaign, Trump did not recognize limits on executive power and as a CEO he’s used to getting his way. I assume he’ll attempt to push the boundaries more than we’ve ever seen before. Yet I suspect that Republicans, who know control Congress, will be much less vigilant about combatting executive power abuse under a Trump administration than they were under Obama. Politicians and their supporters are ultimately more outcome driven. Instead of fighting policies they and their constituencies oppose, under a Trump administration, if he tries to do something his constituents want, they’ll excoriate any Republicans who try to stop them.

Attacks on the free press

Trump made his war on the media a centerpiece of his campaign. Even in the closing days, he singled out a reporter for condemnation at a rally. He has promised to revisit libel laws. He never released his tax returns. And not only did this not hurt him, his war on the media worked to his benefit. There has been a long-term decline in media access to the presidency, and based on what we saw from candidate Trump, one can only assume that Trump will continue his attacks on the free press, will deny FOIA requests, and establish more precedents that will make it difficult for the press to shine the light on those in power.

I’m glad that Trump was gracious in his acceptance speech, and I’ve never before wanted to be proven as wrong about anything as I do about my fears over a Trump presidency.

This was an epic Clinton collapse

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Hillary Clinton is running over 6.1 million votes behind Barack Obama.

11/09/16 11:32 AM

Trump win shocks even true believers

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Trump supporters wanted Trump to win, but there were doubts galore.

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