Guess What? Trump Won. Stop Whining

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A woman in an anti-Trump candlelight vigil cries in front of the White House, in Washington, D.C., on November 9. Danielle Pletka writes that she is pained by the hypocrisy of her fellow neocons who believe in democracy everywhere but America. Kevin Lamarque/reuters

This article first appeared on the American Enterprise Institute site.

Wednesday was as predictable as the previous day was unpredictable. Washington whisperers gathered together to speculate, remonstrate and otherwise play to type.

Too many liberal internationalists (a label that transcends the partisan divide) celebrated their personal Ashuras, rending clothes and beating breasts, though they forewent the chains that true believers embrace. (Those sweaters are cashmere, you know.)

Our dear readers may find it odd that I did not join the dirge, knowing, as they do, that I was not a fan of many of the Donald Trump prescriptions for national security, such as they were.

But guess what? Trump won the election. And I am pained by the hypocrisy of my fellow neocons who believe in democracy everywhere but America.

Remember, folks, we love this country. Not just blue America or coastal America. And we want the president of the United States, whoever she or he may be, to succeed, flourish and make or keep America great, depending on your preferred locution.

That means snotty pronouncements about handing the reins to Moscow, the nuclear triad and the backwards preferences of Trump's hickish hordes are unhelpful. That fight is over.

Now the battle is to ensure that President Trump has the help he needs to do the things that have been left undone for eight long years.... Restoring our national defense, taking the fight to the Islamic State group (ISIS), addressing Chinese expansionism and, yes, ensuring Russia doesn't continue its predations in Europe.

Don't tell me that's not what "his people" want to do. These are American priorities, and the president of these United States will have to address the very real challenges Barack Obama is bequeathing to his successor.

It will be tempting for many who sat on the sidelines to root for Trump's failure and crow about how much better Hillary Clinton would have been. Similarly, it will be tempting for those who joined team #MAGA at the beginning to pay back those in the "establishment" who signed the myriad letters denouncing Trump, or joined the Republicans for Clinton cavalcade.

That would be a yuge mistake; people like Eric Edelman, Mike Hayden and so many other fine Bush 43 veterans will be an asset to a Republican administration.

It's time to prop closed our gaping jaws; stop telling our children "it will be OK" as if someone was assassinated or we had a coup; support those who are working hard to ensure a smooth transition; and help make good personnel and policy choices.

Danielle Pletka is senior vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Before joining AEI, Pletka was a longtime senior professional staff member for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, where she specialized in the Near East and South Asia as the point person on Middle East, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.