If your friends are squeamish about voting for President Donald Trump, I understand. I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Trump in 2016 because of his temperament and because I didn’t trust his promises. Yet Trump’s successes in his first term have brought me around, and I think they will convince your friends, too.
This is the first in a series of articles explaining the president’s policy successes and giving a full-throated defense for his reelection.
The president has the most direct impact on foreign policy. Trump has not been afraid to buck the established wisdom in this area, and he has achieved some impressive results.
Perhaps most notably, Trump finally kept the promise that former presidents repeatedly made and failed to keep; he formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the U.S. Embassy to the City of David.
Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all promised to make this historic move, but the foreign policy experts warned that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would ignite a war in the Middle East. Many considered Trump’s move reckless, yet the predicted war failed to come to pass.
Similarly, commentators warned that Trump’s aggressive statements toward North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un would spark a war with the Hermit Kingdom, perhaps even triggering World War III. Instead, President Trump brought Kim to the table and made history by becoming the first U.S. president to step foot in North Korea.
This past January, commentators feared that Trump’s airstrike killing Iranian Quds Force general Qasem Soleimani would ignite a war, perhaps World War III. Instead, Iran’s attempted reprisal involved shooting down a Ukrainian plane by mistake, killing 176 people on board. This tragic mistake sparked a new round of protests in the Islamic Republic. The coronavirus pandemic further weakened the Iranian regime, a regime already struggling due to Trump’s wise decision to pull out of the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, which involved the Obama administration sending pallets of cash to the mullahs.
Soleimani led Iran’s terrorist forces outside the Islamic Republic, and the U.S. government considers him responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American troops in the region. His death severely weakened the Islamic Republic’s stranglehold on neighboring countries, likely clearing the way for historic peace deals. (By the way, when Israel was close to assassinating Soleimani in 2015, the Obama administration tipped off Iran, preventing the assassination.)
A few months after Soleimani’s death, Trump announced historic peace deals between Arab states in the Persian Gulf and the State of Israel. In the Abraham Accords, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) normalized relations with Israel. Before the signing, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia announced they would open their skies to Israeli flights to the UAE. As part of its rapprochement with Israel, the UAE agreed to order hotels to serve Kosher foods in Abu Dhabi, delivering a powerful symbol of Jewish acceptance in a notoriously anti-Semitic part of the world.
Shortly before the Abraham Accords, Trump brought Muslim-majority Kosovo and Christian-majority Serbia together for a historic agreement that included promises to set up embassies in Jerusalem. This agreement brought reconciliation to two countries with centuries-long animosities that had sparked multiple wars, including World War I.
Trump oversaw the assassination of Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
In addition to these stunning achievements, Trump has pressured America’s allies to fulfill their promises to keep up their own militaries. He has also renegotiated trade deals to help the U.S. economy.
The president has also begun the process of removing American troops from overseas without sacrificing American interests — a difficult balance. He is negotiating the final withdrawal from Afghanistan and is taking American troops home, all the while increasing investments in the U.S. military above the levels of Obama’s second term. Trump believes in peace through strength, and he has achieved a great deal with this philosophy.
Finally, Trump warned about the nefarious threat of the People’s Republic of China, and the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic confirmed those warnings. Trump worked hard to negotiate a better trade deal with China, and now he has taken the Chinese Communist Party to task for its malfeasance during the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, Democratic nominee Joe Biden condemned Trump’s China travel ban as “xenophobic” and Hunter Biden raked in cash from China while his father was the Obama administration’s point person on the Middle Kingdom. In fact, Hunter Biden’s Chinese deals undercut America’s national security. Newly released emails suggest that Joe Biden personally profited from his son’s business deals in China.
A Joe Biden presidency would risk ruining many of Trump’s key foreign policy achievements. Biden would restore the Iran nuclear deal. He would likely return to the Obama administration’s tepid attitude toward Israel. He would relax the pressure on America’s allies to meet their commitments. He would rejoin the Paris Climate Accords, weakening America’s independence on energy. He would likely go soft on China.
Trump has the far better record on foreign policy, and these achievements provide excellent reasons to vote for the president’s reelection.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.