A “Never Trumper” has a change of heart.
I have a basic set of standards that a candidate has to meet in order to earn my vote. When Donald Trump was the Republican nominee in 2016, he did not meet my set of standards. As a result, I found myself unable to vote for him on election day.
He was unprincipled, willing to compromise on issues that should never be comprised upon. He seemed to change his stances on important issues as frequently as many of us change our favorite television program. What’s more, he was morally unfit for the presidency, in my view. This was a man who bragged about extra-marital affairs, made numerous sexist remarks toward women, told his supporters to “knock the crap out of” protesters, mocked a handicapped reporter, and bragged about being able to grope women because he was “a star.”
Despite Mr. Trump’s shortcomings, I found Hillary Clinton to be even more detestable. Her across-the-board support for what I found to be evil, progressive policies, including partial-birth abortion, combined with what she “allegedly” did to silence her husband’s rape victims was despicable, to say the least. So if Hillary Clinton was worse than Donald Trump, why did I not vote for the latter?
I did not vote for Mr. Trump because I thought he would be the end of conservatism within the Republican Party. His presidency would not only cost Republicans the moral high-ground, but it would also mean the conservative faction of the Republican Party had lost. Mr. Trump’s European-style, right-wing populism would then dominate the party. Supporters of Donald Trump had abandoned conservative principles to support a man who was entirely unprincipled. Donald Trump did not believe in limited government; he merely wanted to be a voice for the American people.
Now, while I think many of those things have held true, I feel that my decision to refrain from supporting President Trump was a mistake. Donald Trump has been the most conservative president since Ronald Reagan. Sure, he has been erratic and is certainly still flawed for many of the same reasons I did not vote for him in 2016; however, Mr. Trump has been a tremendous president in his first year. Here’s why:
Neil Gorsuch was confirmed. Justice Gorsuch may be a more conservative Supreme Court Justice than both Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas – and that’s saying something. The pick was a huge win for conservatives, and nobody can be credited more for this victory than the president.
ISIS has been defeated. This is a story that should be huge in the mainstream media; just a couple of years ago, many claimed that ISIS posed the greatest threat to the Western society in the world. Now they have been obliterated under the leadership of the Trump administration.
The corporate tax rate was slashed by 40%. Republicans have been trying to cut corporate taxes for decades, but failed to get it done. Under President Trump, it finally happened. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan also deserve credit for this victory, but without Republican control of all three branches of government, tax cuts would have never happened.
Federal income taxes were reduced for most Americans. The vast majority of Americans will keep more of their own money for the foreseeable future. The tax code is all-around more conservative in approach than it was under President Obama. The bill was not perfect, but it did close many loopholes that gave unfair advantages to the wealthiest Americans. Most Americans will save money, and that is a win for conservatives.
The United States embassy to Israel will be moved to Jerusalem. A largely symbolic move, this represents the United States’ loyalty to our closest ally in the Middle East. Conservatives who believe in the existence of Israel as a sovereign Jewish state should applaud this move. No other president has been courageous enough to move our embassy to Israel’s true capital city.
Regulations have been slashed. This is one area where I was happily surprised with President Trump. Many regulations have been eliminated, modified, or slowed-down by the executive branch under the Trump administration. The president has focused more of his attention towards cutting regulations in his first year in office than any president since at least Ronald Reagan.
The Paris Climate Accord has been tossed out the window. Another almost entirely symbolic move, withdrawing from the Paris Accord was a big step in the right direction for conservatives with regard to the battle over ‘climate change.’ Not only are there uncertainties with regard to the changing climate, but this deal did absolutely nothing to punish countries that would certainly never comply with what was in the Accord eg. China, India, etc.
The Obama doctrine concerning Iran has been reversed. The Obama administration was relatively friendly with the Iranian government. The Iran nuclear deal is the epitome of Mr. Obama’s coziness with Iran. Contrast that with President Trump’s response to the uprisings against the Iranian government: “Big protests in Iran. The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer. The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!”
Donald Trump is not a perfect president by any stretch of the imagination. Many of his past actions are still troubling in many ways. Often, his decision-making appears questionable—just check Twitter.
However, I have seen his judgement improve over the course of the last year, and I have hope that he will continue to make strides as a leader and as a human being. Don’t listen to the media about Mr. Trump. His approval ratings may continue to fall, but as for me, I am falling in love with the way this presidency is progressing.