An Outrageously Honest Assessment of President Trump's First 4 Years

An Outrageously Honest Assessment of President Trump's First 4 Years
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
The Real Trump Legacies 

It is Election Day eve as I begin to write this column. It was originally scheduled to be written this past weekend but I was distracted by a few things and wanted there to be some real quiet time to think about this. The eerie calm before the storm is happening right now so it’s the perfect time to reflect before several days that will likely be purely reactive.

I should begin this by saying I haven’t the slightest idea how the election will turn out. My conservative friends and colleagues all seem to be rather confident that President Trump will be reelected. You have no idea how much I wish I could tap into that enthusiasm but I just haven’t been able to. If you’ve been reading me for any length of time you know that I tend toward dark and pessimistic.

I may not know what is going to happen but I am aware of what’s happened during Trump’s presidency and — not gonna lie — I’m a fan. Like many conservatives, I didn’t expect to be a fan. I had zero faith that Trump would govern as a conservative. That  feeling was rooted in my longstanding distrust of Northeastern Republicans, who I like to say are basically Democrats from 1978.

Trump has not only governed as a conservative, he’s made the two Bush presidents look like Kennedy castoffs. That’s what has turned skeptics like me into people who will swim through a moat filled with crocodiles to vote for him now.

It’s not his governance, however, that I have most enjoyed about President Trump’s tenure so far. There are two things that he’s done that I think are the foundation of his real legacy and will endure no matter how this election turns out: he forced the mainstream media to stop being coy and reveal its true far-left bias and he’s given his party a backbone that has marginalized squish Republicans who have always had far more value as useful idiots for the Democrats than they have to the GOP.

The former is the nearest and dearest to my heart. Liberal media bias is what got me started writing about politics twenty years ago.

I remember watching Trump doing a press conference just a few weeks after he was inaugurated and not being unable to look away. Those things usually bore me and I’d never watched an entire one in my life. Shortly thereafter, I told a friend that I didn’t care if he accomplished anything else in his presidency, I could get by with just watching him groin-kick CNN.

The mainstream political media has had a decided liberal bias for a very long time. The MSM has always been extremely adept at masking the bias though. Sure, we all knew it was there, but the folks at The New York Times and CNN used to put a lot of effort into pretending they weren’t in the bag for the Democrats.

Until January 20, 2017.

Since then, the faux journalists in the MSM have been incapable of hiding the fact that they are nothing but obedient lapdogs for the Democratic National Committee. What’s been most entertaining for me is seeing the anguish in their eyes because they know he’s making them reveal themselves. They don’t want him to but they can’t control themselves. It’s as if Trump has hypnotized them and is making them cluck like chickens in front of a comedy club audience.

They will never be able to undo what Trump has made them do. They are most definitely going to try, but President Trump has laid their agenda bare forever. If we are ever going to get back to any sort of real journalism being done in America, a huge correction needs to happen. Conventional media has been dying slowly for a while but Trump has hastened the onset of its death rattle. Thanks to him, younger Americans may one day see the rebirth of the kind of journalism where the journalists are more interested in the story than in self-promotion.


I have also greatly enjoyed President Trump’s overhaul of the Republican Party, which had been careening toward permanent dysfunction for quite some time.

As all have noticed, Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham have been positively transformed in the Trump era. Those are the two prime examples of a new steel that the spine of the GOP now has. Gone are the days of the Republicans who played nicest with the Dems running the party.

This means that the Mitt Romneys of the Republican world are pushed to the periphery. That’s why we see Romney acting out so much, like with his recent stunt when he made a big show of telling everyone he didn’t vote for Trump. Romney, by the way, is not the “nice guy” that people like to say he is. Nice guys don’t kneecap their own party this close to a presidential election like that.

Trump has outed the squishes in the GOP just like he exposed the media. There are a select few Republicans in Congress and in statehouses who are trying to create an anti-Trump brand they believe will serve to move their careers upward. They’re going to find out that the opposite will be true.

Trump, the non-politician outsider, has helped the Republican party turn into the kind of machine it hasn’t been for a very long time. We’re seeing it in the ground game that the party has had this year. Even if that can’t survive the Democrat fraud machine this time around, it at least got the party doing something that it should have been doing for years but hasn’t.

This indelicate, shoot-from-the-lip president has given Republicans the kind of functionality, toughness and resolve it is going to need to push back should the Harris-Biden ticket win and let socialism into the White House through the front door.

Win or lose, Trump has accomplished more in four years than most two-term presidents do. And he’s done it as a conservative. He continues to surprise.

It would be nice to see him get the chance to surprise for a bit longer. If that doesn’t turn out to be the case, he’s made the Republican Party better able to deal with the aftermath.

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PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author ofDon’t Let the Hippies ShowerandStraight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear twice a week.