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To make it clear, I will vote for Trump in November, waiting until Election Day to mark our absentee ballots. I am a firm believer in having an actual day for voting, instead of the months-long smear that is now the practice.
However, this missive is not for the purpose of examining our current election practices, but to make the case for Trump as I have come to understand the matter. I did not vote for Trump in 2016, mostly because it was not clear to me what his policies might be. Sure, there was the “build the wall” issue and other matters but at the time it did not seem to make a coherent whole.
It did not help that his critics were vociferously against him, mostly assuming that he was not competent, not intelligent enough, would lose interest once in office, and on and on. Moreover, the attacks on his character made him out to be the worst person on earth. Better to elect Stalin than to let Donald Trump in the White House.
Virtually none of his critics, especially those in the Never Trump camp of the conservative faction, were right. No scandal has been manifest in his administration. Certainly none like those of previous presidents. This is not to say that things have been calm. But it is fair to say that the chaos that seems to be the normal state of affairs is largely the ongoing efforts of the critics to bolster their mostly false assessments of him. I take him to be a combination of the locker room towel snapper, always loud and frequently annoying, but still somehow doing well, and of the frenetic, mile-a-minute boss who expects everything now and his way. I have worked for men like that. He seems the type to say he needs a report on X and as soon as you say, “Yes sir!” his mind is elsewhere and if he looks up and sees you, he says, “Well, where is it?” If there has been seemingly tumultuous turnover in the cabinet, it is certainly because he has a clear idea of what he wants but has a hard time convincing those would-be princes to do what he wants.
He has accomplished much. If we do not yet have a sea to sea wall on our southern border, it is not for lack of trying. If there ever was a case for stifling a hyperactive judiciary, it is the fight over funding for a wall. It seems as if every two-bit rent-a-judge in the country feels empowered to frustrate him on this and virtually every other presidential action. And we need not rehearse the awful Mueller probe or the utterly groundless impeachment effort that began even before he took the oath of office.
There are two things that have made firm my choice this election. First, are the astonishing Arab-Israel agreements. It may not be full recognition, but it is something that has not been accomplished for more than half a century. The critics may dismiss it as low-hanging fruit but it is the first step to a real change in the Middle East. For all that, those same critics will not give credit where credit is due. For my part, if the Democrats win this election, it will either be undone completely, leading to decades more of terrorism and violence, or they will cynically claim it as their own and deny Trump, Pompeo, and Jared Kushner the recognition for a truly great accomplishment.
The second significant matter is that of his Supreme Court appointments. Amy Coney Barrett is an excellent choice simply because she will certainly apply the law rather than her personal wishes and the Senate should recognize that without regard to party affiliations. Trump and McConnell are completely within their rights to appoint and confirm her, rather than deferring to the opposition, thus allowing them the opportunity to place another partisan hack on the SCOTUS bench.
It is, however, his handling of the Kavanaugh appointment that earns my greatest respect. Again, there is no need to rehash the story save this. It is best told in the account by Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino, Justice on Trial. The ferocity of the opposition to Judge Kavanaugh was appalling. So intense was it that even conservative stalwarts like Senator Ben Sasse began to suggest withdrawing his nomination. Regardless of all that, President Trump was unwavering in his support of Kavanaugh and, of course, ultimately won the day. That staunch loyalty won my admiration and would be enough alone to gain my vote and it speaks volumes about the real character of Donald Trump.
In a recent column, Kevin Williamson (no fan of The Donald, for sure) mused as to what might have been were Ted Cruz been elected rather than Trump. I have news for Kevin and all the anti-Trumpers in the conservative world: It would not have been one bit different. No one who defeated Queen Hillary would have escaped the wrath of the left. To be sure, Cruz, or any of the others who could not overcome Trump, would have conducted themselves differently. The reality is that, as with the Kavanaugh debacle, the real goal was to control the office. Trump could have appointed the Pope to the Supreme Court and the response would have been no different. Nor was there any presidential candidate who would have been even slightly acceptable to the left.
For all this, and my intended vote, this election is not as significant as the pearl clutchers might think. Trump’s chances do not look good at this point. If he fails, the Democrats will pursue court-packing, statehood for DC and Puerto Rico, and all the rest of the baggage. If he wins they will be back in 2022 and 2024 with the same agenda and maybe more. They will pursue it until they succeed, or until the right finally gets its act together and realizes that more is needed than winning the next election. Rather than shedding crocodile tears should Trump lose, the conservative punditry should be explaining the consequences of the Democrat agenda and persuading the voters that these are bad ideas and more than just election gimmickry.
For all of the above, I will vote for Trump on November 3. I think you should, too.