In June of 2015, I wrote a piece at RedState entitled “Why Trump Matters.” I did not think he would win, but I wrote this:
There is also a reality about Donald Trump’s candidacy that you should also not underestimate. People hate Washington, they hate politicians, and they are perfectly happy to champion a candidate who tells politicians to go to hell and provides creative directions on the path there. Donald Trump’s candidacy does not exist in a nation where people think the politicians actually care about making the country great again. It only exists in a nation of cynics who think the powers that be want to manage decline and profit from it.
On the last full day of the Trump Administration, that still holds up, even if a lot does not. What also holds up was my repeated refrains in 2016 that character still counts and aligning with bad character would bring out the worst in a lot of people.
Conservatives have gotten a lot from Donald Trump’s Administration — more that I ever thought or expected. It is one reason, in 2019, I decided I could support him for re-election.
The common refrain is we got judges. Well, we did — including three on the Supreme Court. Thankfully, the Senate GOP did not wait to confirm Amy Coney Barrett.
But there were more advances than that.
This President did not start or expand any wars and actually began winding down our presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. He moved the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He disrupted the Iran nuclear deal and wiped out Solemani.
At home, the President engaged in aggressive deregulation and tax cuts. Up until the pandemic, the President was leading a robust economic recovery and growth spurt that helped us manage the pandemic better than we otherwise would have.
Meaningfully, despite the scorn of the press and left, the President set about expanding water flow regulations for showers, washing machines, and dishwashers, which actually will benefit people. The FCC showed that expansive internet and telecom growth can happen without net neutrality. Aggressively, the Administration began rolling out 5G while blocking Chinese access to the market.
The President’s mere presence forced progressives to rely on federalism and expanding their programs at the state level. He did start building up the border wall he promised. He managed to get a few bad people off death row and the taxpayer dole by upping federal executions. Concurrently, he signed criminal justice reform into law and got a lot of people out of prison who did not need to be there.
Along with the good, the President’s tenure had bad stuff too, which much of the press has focused on. I will not do so here except to say this — moving forward into the Biden Administration, truth and fact must be of paramount concern to conservatives. There are those who clearly intend to lie, manipulate truth into half-truth, and spread conspiracy to advance their cause. They will not, however, undermine the Biden Administration. They will undermine conservatives. We must be vigilant, even against those who’d otherwise purport to be on our side. Character and truth must matter.