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From Trump Skeptic to Enthusiastic Trump Voter in Four Years

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

Picture it: Election Day, 2016

I’d spent the majority of the election season anti-Trump. I was not a Never Trumper. I certainly had no intention of voting for Hillary Clinton. But I remember the disdain I felt when Donald Trump announced his candidacy. I cringed at his debate performances and chided Republican friends who were “on the Trump Train.” When Trump clinched the nomination, I foresaw a bloodbath. Hillary Clinton’s victory was all but assured in my mind. Every day before the election was just twenty-four hours of torture.

While I looked forward to the end of Barack Obama’s presidency, I had no hope for the future. A Clinton victory would be a third term for Obama. While McConnell had successfully held up Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court, all of that effort would be for naught. Justice Antonin Scalia was going to be replaced with a liberal justice, and our constitutional rights would be doomed.

Eventually, I decide to vote for Trump. But it was more a vote against Hillary than it was a vote for Trump. Call me crazy, but I had hope that she would be held accountable for her illegal, insecure email server. And then, of course, FBI Director James Comey ended the investigation and I’d had enough. A Clinton victory would be like giving her a blank check for all kinds of corruption and a far-left agenda. Sure, I live in New York state, and my vote didn’t actually make a difference in the deep-blue state, but I would vote for Trump, and not write in an alternative candidate.

Still, I believed the polls. Nothing would stop the inevitable.

So, I went to work.

Back then I worked in an office as a disgruntled architectural designer. I could barely concentrate. It was a long day. Soon after getting home, I took a shot of whiskey, which I kept doing roughly every hour the rest of the evening.

At the time, I did not have cable. For some reason, though, I did have CNN. So, that’s what we watched at my house. In addition to CNN, I constantly checked the New York Times‘ chart plotting the candidates’ chances of victory. As the chart shows, by 9 p.m., the race, which had previously been believed to be an inevitable victory for Hillary, had become close, and before 10 p.m. ET, Trump’s chances of victory were approaching 60 percent.

And, of course, we all know how it turned out:

Trump pulled it off, and I was ecstatic. Not so much because I was happy Trump would be president, but because Hillary Clinton would not be. Trump had just saved us from a Hillary presidency. The disastrous legacy of Barack Obama wouldn’t be cemented by her agenda.

As I said before, I wasn’t a “Never Trumper” so much as I was a Trump skeptic, and it didn’t take long for my skepticism of Trump to be washed away. Conservatives who believed him to be another New York liberal were the ones proven wrong.

From the economy to the courts, from foreign policy to social policy, Trump earned my enthusiastic vote in 2020.

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Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trumpand the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis