What Trump and I Have in Common

 

In reflecting on the past year, I’ve been trying to figure out the reasons for my lessening frustration and growing appreciation—that may be too strong a word—for Trump. I’m a person who doesn’t like to make excuses, who prefers to be responsible and accountable for my decisions, and I’ve struggled with how to frame my support of Trump. I finally realized that my real struggle was less about Trump and more about what I thought was a conflict of values. Surprisingly (for me) the values clarity I reached was reassuring in explaining my present attitude about Trump and his first year in office.

The clarity has come from a careful examination of my personal values. My top three values are integrity, honesty, and persistence. To expand on those, integrity is simply doing what I say I will do; honesty is telling the truth; and persistence is striving to do my best even when the journey is difficult. I also prefer to be with people who feel the same way, because these values are important to me and when others feel the same way, we build strong and loving relationships.

So for the moment, let’s put values aside, and talk about the kinds of people I like. I like people who not only share those same values but are thoughtful, sincere, friendly, helpful—yep, just like boy scouts and girl scouts. The close friends in my life share these attributes, but I do have other friends and acquaintances with whom I am less close and who are less likely to meet my hopes and expectations for friendship. But I enjoy being with them in smaller doses.

So what does this all have to do with Trump?

I finally realized that in a strange way—can I say this?—Trump and I may actually share similar high priority values. The ways in which we actualize them are, at times, very different. But take a look at my high-level values: integrity, honesty, and persistence. Does Trump do what he says he will do? Yes. In fact, he would do more if the Congress would cooperate. Does he tell the truth? For the most part this past year, he has. He does tend toward hyperbole and exaggeration, but that is a temperament issue, not a values issue. Is he persistent? I don’t think anyone would question that value. Although Twitter does not allow for detail, it forces him to be very direct—bluntly direct—in asking for what he wants and expects. And I believe he expects that from others. His doggedness in getting laws passed is apparent.

I still don’t personally like Trump—he’s arrogant, tends to exaggerate, and works hard to be a master salesman. These aren’t attributes I personally embrace. We also know that his past actions and behavior in some cases have been less than admirable; I’m judging him based on his behavior this past year. But there is one value that we both hold dearly: the resilience and success of this country, not just financially, but in its ability to express and exemplify its historic greatness and values.

On this, we can agree.

There are 52 comments.

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  1. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Susan, I like a person who likes his country above all others. For Obama, this country seemed to be just another country.

    I’ll take Trump’s outlook every time.

    Kent

    • #1
  2. J.D. Snapp, All Out of Gum Coolidge
    J.D. Snapp, All Out of Gum
    @JulieSnapp

    I like him primarily because he’s got a massive pair with some of the stuff he says and does. He’s also hilarious, competent, and resourceful. It makes me sad that so many people are so full of hate for him that they can’t see that. I don’t vote for politicians based on my personal morals because they’re always going to disappoint me on some level. I was a kid during the whole Clinton scandal and he’s the first President I really remembered anything about. My parents weren’t fans of him. At. All. They do like Trump though, for the most part, and my dad seems super happy that he has at least one kid he can talk politics with now.

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    J.D. Snapp, All Out of Gum (View Comment):
    I don’t vote for politicians based on my personal morals because they’re always going to disappoint me on some level.

    Julie, you have good reasons, though, for voting for him. I don’t expect all my values (which are different from morals) to match up, but it’s hard if my “high level” values are very different. But this is America–we get to make our own choices! Yippee!

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    Susan, I like a person who likes his country above all others. For Obama, this country seemed to be just another country.

    I’ll take Trump’s outlook every time.

    Kent

    I’ve always known I love this country, but it’s only since I’ve been involved with Ricochet that I realize just how much. So I understand.

    • #4
  5. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    • #5
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Well said Susan.

    • #6
  7. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    That’s a mighty bold post, ma’am.

    But I see the sense in it.

    • #7
  8. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Most politicians are posers. They pretend to be something they are not. With Trump what you see is what you get and he is not ashamed of what you get. This puts him above the crowd in the political arena.

    Something tells me Susan. If you were to have dinner with him and Melania, you would find him warm and charming.

    • #8
  9. Hugh Member
    Hugh
    @Hugh

    What Trump and I have in Common….

    You’re both great!

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Well said Susan.

    Thank you, Bryan. I appreciate that!

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    That’s a mighty bold post, ma’am.

    But I see the sense in it.

    Now I’m intrigued, Hank. Why do you see it as bold? Or is it because people on both sides of Trump could have been angry with me?

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Something tells me Susan. If you were to have dinner with him and Melania, you would find him warm and charming.

    I’m completely confident, Kevin, that you are correct. I’d love to meet them both!

    • #12
  13. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    I still don’t personally like Trump—he’s arrogant, tends to exaggerate, and works hard to be a master salesman. These aren’t attributes I personally embrace.

    We who voted for him feel the same way. (we didn’t vote for and weren’t looking for Miss Manners. Where did Mitt Romney get us?). I live for the day when everyone can openly say they love what he’s doing without having to add this disclaimer.

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    We who voted for him feel the same way. (we didn’t vote for and weren’t looking for Miss Manners. Where did Mitt Romney get us?). I live for the day when everyone can openly say they love what he’s doing without having to add this disclaimer.

    I don’t think that’s likely–at least for me, RA. The way one person treats another is very important to me–especially when I think they are honorable people. So his actions toward John Kelly, Jeff Sessions and Rex Tillerson bother me–a lot. They may be able to let go of his words, but I don’t think I can. And I expect others will be treated the same. Just sayin’

    • #14
  15. Painter Jean Member
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Susan, I am happy with the direction of the country under Trump – far happier than I expected to be – but I can’t share your assessment of his honesty and integrity. I’m not even sure of his persistence. I think he does have qualities that speak to Americans and their concerns, but honesty, integrity, and persistence aren’t on the list.

    • #15
  16. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Every silver lining has a black cloud, eh?

    • #16
  17. Painter Jean Member
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    I’m

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Every silver lining has a black cloud, eh?

    I’m liking the silver lining enough to tolerate the black cloud.

    • #17
  18. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    That’s a mighty bold post, ma’am.

    But I see the sense in it.

    Now I’m intrigued, Hank. Why do you see it as bold? Or is it because people on both sides of Trump could have been angry with me?

    For the obvious reason, Susan. It’s one thing to say you appreciate this or that action — or even stylistic detail — of Trump’s. It’s another to welcome him back into the fold of humanity and be seen breaking bread with him, as if he were other than the secular anti-Christ.

    And here I thought you were a decent person. Obviously I was mistaken.

    • #18
  19. Chris O. Coolidge
    Chris O.
    @ChrisO

    I’ll just comment on persistence. Is there any professional politician who would have put any further effort into an agenda when Congress failed to repeal Obamacare? I don’t believe so. We used to hear talk of “political capital.” We don’t hear about it anymore because Trump doesn’t factor it.

    When the administration started pursuing tax reform I think the Beltway was caught by surprise. They (Congress) were going through the motions, but the plans under consideration weren’t getting a great reception from the public. The president became directly involved and the next thing you know, Orrin Hatch is gushing about his leadership following passage of the bill.

    Now Washington is engaged on the issue of immigration reform. Again, I highly doubt this effort would be under way without this president. Again, the political capital should have been considered spent. And yet, this agenda keeps moving. Is it arrogance, or just a lack of seeing a reason why the game should be played as it has for many years? Is it a lack of self-consciousness about the audacity of continued success? Washington has seen nothing like it in some time.

    And when you sit back and think about it, it’s exactly what we wanted: we wanted to see Washington work. This President is more like a CEO of a company with a troublesome culture. It seems, in his mind, there are things that must be acted on, culture or not. That, I think, is the persistence we wanted, even if it isn’t from the person many wanted. But who else would have delivered?

    • #19
  20. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    I don’t like Trump, never have, most likely never will. I view him as a boastful loudmouth. Given that he has done some good things for the country and I can live with that.

    I work with people all the time I do not like, find distasteful, and would prefer not to deal with. But I still work with them because it is part of being an adult and a professional. Not sure why everybody seems to think I must like Trump, condone his every behavior or anything else.

    • #20
  21. Painter Jean Member
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    I don’t like Trump, never have, most likely never will. I view him as a boastful loudmouth. Given that he has done some good things for the country and I can live with that.

    I work with people all the time I do not like, find distasteful, and would prefer not to deal with. But I still work with them because it is part of being an adult and a professional. Not sure why everybody seems to think I must like Trump, condone his every behavior or anything else.

    Thank you! That is my question as well: Why is it that I must like Trump? I’m happy to give him credit when credit is due. I see good things happening in his administration. I’ll also say that I doubt my preferred candidates would have recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol, an action I am delighted with. But I don’t like him. I was raised to value virtues that he simply does not possess.

    • #21
  22. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Chris O. (View Comment):
    But who else would have delivered?

    I think people would have liked Romney as president. He did a great job in Massachusetts. He fired six hundred lawyers one day. He said, “I just don’t think we need so many lawyers on our payroll.” :)

    They are a lot alike. In fact, I think Trump really wanted Romney to win. Trump got ticked off that Romney lost, and Trump registered Make America Great Again as a copyrighted slogan soon after that election.

    And Romney was strong on immigration issues. One of his closest friends was Tom Tancredo of Colorado. Romney was talking about immigration reform when no one else was.

    I am happy with Trump too.

    • #22
  23. Ralphie Member
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    Susan, I like a person who likes his country above all others. For Obama, this country seemed to be just another country.

    I’ll take Trump’s outlook every time.

    Kent

    Remember, he loves the uneducated. The uneducated are not a powerful organized poltical group that is owed a payout. His tirades on twitter are targeted. His bitter clingers appear to have names like Hillary or the NFL .

    • #23
  24. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Chris O. (View Comment):
    But who else would have delivered?

    I think people would have liked Romney as president. He did a great job in Massachusetts. He fired six hundred lawyers one day. He said, “I just don’t think we need so many lawyers on our payroll.” :)

    They are a lot alike. In fact, I think Trump really wanted Romney to win. Trump got ticked off that Romney lost, and Trump registered Make America Great Again as a copyrighted slogan soon after that election.

    And Romney was strong on immigration issues. One of his closest friends was Tom Tancredo of Colorado. Romney was talking about immigration reform when no one else was.

    I am happy with Trump too.

    Sorry, Romney would have made a lousy President. Mainly for the reasons he lost. In a different time Romney would have been a great President but that time is not now. Now we needed a man that will take the battle too them in a different way. Sadly Trump is that man. In today’s culture they would have torn Romney apart and he would not have been willing to get bloody in the knife fight that is modern day politics.

    • #24
  25. Chris O. Coolidge
    Chris O.
    @ChrisO

    Well, I’m not asking you to like him, @fakejohnjanegalt. Nor you, @painterjean. I think the OP sees a symmetry in Trump’s behavior and her own value preferences, even while other values clash. It seems Susan is in line with your position to some or even a great degree.

    I just got to the point where the problems the government was causing seemed bigger than my preferences, and I supported two other candidates before pulling the lever for Trump because neither was an option by the time the primaries reached Indiana. And yet, when I run my preferred candidates through the filter of my earlier ‘persistence’ comment, I know one of them would definitely fail the test, and the other I would give a 60% chance of doing as well.

    It didn’t/doesn’t seem like we can wait any longer for the ideal. I’ll take what we have. In fact, I’m thankful for it.

    • #25
  26. Painter Jean Member
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Chris O. (View Comment):
    Well, I’m not asking you to like him, @fakejohnjanegalt. Nor you, @painterjean. I think the OP sees a symmetry in Trump’s behavior and her own value preferences, even while other values clash. It seems Susan is in line with your position to some or even a great degree.

    I just got to the point where the problems the government was causing seemed bigger than my preferences, and I supported two other candidates before pulling the lever for Trump because neither was an option by the time the primaries reached Indiana. And yet, when I run my preferred candidates through the filter of my earlier ‘persistence’ comment, I know one of them would definitely fail the test, and the other I would give a 60% chance of doing as well.

    It didn’t/doesn’t seem like we can wait any longer for the ideal. I’ll take what we have. In fact, I’m thankful for it.

    Well, you might not be asking me to like him, but certainly others seem to think that I must, and that my thinking that character and virtue matter is out of date. It doesn’t seem enough for many that someone can like most of the actions of this administration while regarding the president as something of a pig.

    • #26
  27. Chris O. Coolidge
    Chris O.
    @ChrisO

    Painter Jean (View Comment):
    my thinking that character and virtue matter is out of date

    What’s important to each of us is never out of date. It’s just what’s important to us. Sorry others can’t take it or leave it. That’s their problem, not yours (though I’m sure they’re trying hard to make it seem otherwise).

    All bests, Jean.

    • #27
  28. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    I guess I’m past caring about what people think about Trump per se. I’m interested in each policy position he takes, and in the effects of any of his tweets and pronouncements that are likely to have an effect. But staking out a position on Trump as a personality seems to be inviting pointless debate: he is the person he is, and he isn’t going to change, and what he does still matters more to me than his polarizing personality.

    I hope our next President behaves at least as conservatively, and is less polarizing.

    • #28
  29. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    I guess I’m past caring about what people think about Trump per se. I’m interested in each policy position he takes, and in the effects of any of his tweets and pronouncements that are likely to have an effect. But staking out a position on Trump as a personality seems to be inviting pointless debate: he is the person he is, and he isn’t going to change, and what he does still matters more to me than his polarizing personality.

    I hope our next President behaves at least as conservatively, and is less polarizing.

    I don’t think it matters how the next President acts. If they are GOP then they are worse than any third world dictator and must be tore down. If they are Democrat then they are the second coming, can walk on water and do no wrong. Just how it is now.

    • #29
  30. Painter Jean Member
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    I guess I’m past caring about what people think about Trump per se. I’m interested in each policy position he takes, and in the effects of any of his tweets and pronouncements that are likely to have an effect. But staking out a position on Trump as a personality seems to be inviting pointless debate: he is the person he is, and he isn’t going to change, and what he does still matters more to me than his polarizing personality.

    I hope our next President behaves at least as conservatively, and is less polarizing.

    Well put. I should have added above that I don’t see Trump as being the cause of the coarsening of the public sphere – he is merely a symptom. And you’re right – he won’t change. Unfortunately, some of his stupid crassness does affect the implementation of his policies (or at least of his ability to keep in place a GOP majority which will effect the implementation of those policies), so I don’t buy the idea that his nuttiness doesn’t matter. I have no doubt that if he could just restrain himself from stupid outbursts, his popularity would rise and with it the possibility that he can achieve what he wants to achieve. If only he could just get out of his own way.

    • #30

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