Strong partisans glorify their party’s presidential nominee. The rest of us get to yes by rationalizing the nominee’s deficiencies. If you’re troubled by a position your candidate has taken, take a breath, count to 10, and repeat the incantation: He’ll grow in office.
Sometimes he does. Progressives dismayed by Barack Obama’s opposition to gay marriage in 2008 assured themselves that he was saying what he had to say to get elected. He would reveal his true feelings in time, once he had gained the advantage of incumbency. They were correct.
Conservatives dismayed by, well, everything about Donald Trump in 2016 assured themselves that the presidency would domesticate him. Policy sherpas like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan would lead him to a Reaganite agenda and sage advisers like James Mattis would restrain his most illiberal impulses. They were not correct.
But they did get three pro-life justices on the Supreme Court and an end to Roe v. Wade. All’s well that ends well, the occasional seditious conspiracy aside.