Many liberals disappointed and disgusted with Hillary Clinton have come to the conclusion that Hillary won't be favorable to progressive values should she win the Presidency, and the leaked speech excerpts provided by WikiLeaks showing the Democratic nominee committed to largely preserving the status quo bear more than enough evidence to support their prediction. In fact, some liberals view a Donald Trump Presidency as a necessary evil to set the stage for a progressive comeback in 2020. A Hillary Presidency, they argue, wouldn't improve the progressive movement's lot - indeed, they say, it could only make it worse.
Here's how their theory goes. If Hillary wins, she will not only face a Republican House of Representatives but possibly a Republican Senate, elected by voters wary of Democratic congressional power under a Democratic President, and she will get little if anything done. Worse still, there could very well be a recession within the next four years, which liberals believe will happen regardless of who wins the White House in 2016. The Democrats would then go into the 2018 state and congressional midterm elections at a huge disadvantage - particularly in the Senate elections, as they will have far more seats the defend than the Republicans, and the party that controls the Presidency almost always loses congressional seats in the midterms. Thus, the Democrats would lose big time in 2018, which would lead to a Republican blowout in 2020 when the Presidency will be up for grabs along with Congress . . . and 2020 is a census year. In this scenario, the Republicans would gain the power to gerrymander the House for another decade.
If Trump is elected President, though, the Senate will likely go Democratic, because voters want to keep a check on Trump, and he won't be able to accomplish much in that event. He will, though, try to pursue orthodox Republican policies and push some elements of his own extreme agenda. This, in turn, could embolden the progressive opposition to make significant gains in the 2018 midterm congressional elections and set the stage for a progressive comeback across the board in 2020. The Republicans would then likely be voted out of office in favor of the opposition, which would then gain control of House redistricting. Whether that opposition is the Democratic Party or a new liberal party that ends up replacing the Democrats still unclear, but Whig-like Democratic disintegration is a distinct possibility in the event of a Trump victory. But the Republicans would have an impossible time trying to govern going forward; it could be the end of their own party, in fact.
Or, to put it another way - the way I've been putting it - a Trump victory would mean the end of the Democratic Party, and a Trump Presidency would mean the end of the Republican Party. Everyone's a winner! :-D
The problem, though, is that the progressive comeback liberals envision is based on two things - a Trump victory and a Democratic takeover of the Senate - that now seem unlikely to happen and a third thing - a recession within four years - that no one can predict will or won't happen with anything resembling certainty. Also, Trump is so dumb and dangerous, it may to too risky to allow him to win with the hope that his Presidency can galvanize the left. The idea that America could even survive a Trump Presidency may be the least likely outcome of all.
The Hillary scenario, though, is very likely to play out as these liberals see it, and in the event of her election, liberals will have to face a choice. They should either take over the Democratic Party and return it to its New Deal/Great Society values or just jump ship and form a new party to take the place of the Democrats over time, just as the Labour Party took over the place of the Liberal Party in Britain. Personally, I prefer the latter option. Because the Democrats are going to deteriorate faster the the old British Liberal Party did. The fall of the Democratic Party is inevitable, given its electoral troubles of late; Hillary's election will only delay the party's richly deserved death by four years.
Any Democrat, meanwhile, who finds a silver lining in a hypothetical Trump victory by having a well-defined enemy to run against should, as always, remember this. The Whigs, voted out of power in 1852, thought that Democratic President Franklin Pierce would provide them the incentive to come back in 1854 and 1856 by stumbling in office. Pierce did indeed stumble, but it was the anti-immigrant Know-Nothings and the antislavery Republicans who benefited from his troubles, the Whigs having collapsed for want of a message or a purpose. Today's Democrats have neither as well.
Oh yeah, last night's debate . . . it would be inappropriate for me to comment on it. :-O