After reading compellingly honest columns from PJ Media’s Stephen Kruiser, Matt Margolis, and Tyler O’Neil expressing their ideological and philosophical evolution on President Donald Trump, I thought I’d go ahead and weigh in with my own journey.
I was solidly for Trump from the get-go, even before the escalator, although I found the promises and tenor of his candidacy to be so encouraging that I had to check myself from being ecstatic about it. I didn’t want to be burned if it turned out that Trump was floating a candidacy that was not going to be the real deal. He was saying all the right things, and to be disappointed by his somehow running as a publicity stunt would have been very sad. I was prepared to vote Ted Cruz if that happened.
He was saying things like “Go back to Univision” to media muckraker Jorge Ramos, signaling that the previous kowtowing to globalist foreign interests and the way they’d cheated the United States was fair game for denunciation. He would go on to use the “go back to” meme to upbraid a gaggle of ingrate Democratic congresswomen of color who took the opportunity of elected office to bash the president and the country that had elected them.
He was saying things like “You’re talking about Rosie O’Donnell,” in the first debate, signaling that Democrat hypocrisy on sexual harassment would be challenged, and paving the way for Meghan Kelly’s reincarnation as a very wealthy real housewife of wherever. He was saying things like, “Because you’d be in jail,” to Hillary Clinton, signaling that carefully calibrated uniparty politi-speak was long overdue for endangered species status.
What was not to like? I didn’t like what Trump said about Senator John McCain’s capture in the Vietnam War, but in politics, you learn to give mulligans.
My pro-Trump roots run deep. I had written two Portland Oregonian opinion columns way back in 2011, “Making the Case for The Donald,” and “The Trump Enemies List.” While the tone was definitely exploratory, with a dollop of serio-comedy, the conviction at the bottom of it was “Bring it!”
The early pro-Trump pieces I wrote at this website were couched in the sense that everything could implode at any moment. Given my extreme disappointment with the GOP, I desperately wanted to take Trump’s bid for the White House seriously. When he started knocking off his fellow Republicans in the primaries, my journalistic caution turned to true belief.
To be clear, I totally respect the reservations some of my fellow contributors had about Trump’s presidential bid. I just did not share them. My calculation was that things could not get any worse, coming off defeats of McCain and Mitt Romney. The normally cautious, Republican team-player side of my personality was…trumped… by an unfamiliar—almost nihilistic–conviction that a strong dose of creative destruction in the form of unapologetic American populism was needed to alter the disgusting path the country seemed to be on.
Donald Trump was the man to bring it. In addition, I just really, really like his style.
By election night 2016, I was publicly praying for Trump to win.
And I’m doing the same thing today.