Longtime PJ Media readers will know that I was a Never-Trumper in 2016. I couldn’t support a man who bragged about taking advantage of women, who boasted about sleeping with other men’s wives, and who didn’t think he needed to ask God for forgiveness. Perhaps most importantly, I didn’t trust the former Democrat from Queens to keep any of the promises he made to conservative Republicans.
Trump’s immoral past still bothers me, but it seems he has behaved himself in the White House, unlike Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter. Meanwhile, despite Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s promise to “restore the soul of America,” the Democrat is severely morally compromised.
Most importantly, Trump has kept many of the important promises I expected him to break — and he has achieved astounding results I never would have predicted.
In the past week, I wrote extensive articles for PJ Media’s VIP subscribers, highlighting each of the key policy areas that I think make a compelling case for the president’s reelection. These policy successes would have convinced me to support Trump in 2016, and I think they will convince others who may be sitting on the fence.
1. Foreign policy
President Trump’s foreign policy achievements have proven nothing short of astounding. If you had told me, in 2016, that a Muslim-majority European country like Kosovo would establish an embassy in Jerusalem, I would have asked what you were smoking. Yet Trump has achieved this and far more.
Trump kept his promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, even though previous presidents broke that promise. Trump ended the disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal and responded to Iran-backed militia attacks on Americans in Iraq by killing Iranian Quds Force General Qassem Soleimani, undermining the Islamic Republic’s power in the Middle East.
These earth-shattering developments moved the Overton Window in the Middle East, enabling a series of historic peace deals between Arab states in the Persian Gulf and the Jewish State of Israel. Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) normalized relations with Israel. Then Sudan, whose former dictator sponsored terrorism for decades, agreed to normalize relations with Israel. Trump also brought Muslim-majority Kosovo and Christian-majority Serbia together in a historic agreement that involved opening embassies in Israel.
In a powerfully symbolic move, 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.
Trump’s moves on North Korea and China have also pleasantly surprised me. Joe Biden would arguably undermine all of Trump’s progress by reinstating the Iran Nuclear Deal and going soft on China. Read more about his foreign policy achievements here.
Donald Trump had long supported abortion and I did not expect him to champion the right to life when he got elected. Yet the president’s record shattered my expectations.
Trump became the first president in American history to speak in person at the March for Life, delivering a passionate speech in defense of the unborn. He has repeatedly condemned Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D-Va.) comments defending infanticide.
The president banned taxpayer funding for abortion promotion overseas, reinstating the Mexico City Policy. He even extended that order to include federal contractors. He signed a law allowing states to defund Planned Parenthood and redirected Title X family planning funding away from organizations that promote abortion, costing Planned Parenthood $60 million a year of taxpayer funding.
Trump also reversed Obama’s policies that trampled on the religious freedom of pro-life charities.
Perhaps most significantly, the president kept his promise to appoint originalist judges and Supreme Court justices. This fundamental shift lays the groundwork for overturning Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), allowing the states to make their own laws on abortion.
If you told me in 2016 that Trump’s record on defending life would be this good, I would not have believed you.
Joe Biden would reverse each of Trump’s moves to restrict abortion and restore the original public meaning of the Constitution. Read more about Trump’s abortion policies here.
3. Due process and religious freedom
The Obama administration undermined due process and religious freedom, but Trump reversed those troubling trends.
The Department of Education (DOE) under Obama issued a “Dear Colleague” letter encouraging colleges and universities to set up a “sex bureaucracy” in order to fight sexual assault. Mini-bureaucracies across America started operating off of false assumptions regarding sexual assault and railroading due process, destroying the lives of men accused of sexual assault.
The Trump DOE rightly reversed these abuses. While Secretary Betsy DeVos encourages colleges and universities to take sexual assault seriously, she has also directed them to honor due process for those accused of sexual assault.
President Trump also wisely reversed course on the issue of religious freedom. The Obama administration mandated coverage for various forms of contraception that pro-life organizations considered to be abortifacients. This mandate led to years of litigation with the Little Sisters of the Poor. The Obama administration also pushed same-sex marriage, and Obama’s solicitor general admitted that religious freedom battles were “going to be an issue” after same-sex marriage became legal.
When religious freedom became an issue in same-sex marriage cases, the Trump administration defended Christians who refused to lend their artistic talent to celebrate same-sex weddings.
The Trump administration also defended religious liberty from the excesses of Democrats who used the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic as a pretext to single out churches, synagogues, religious schools, and other religious institutions for extra regulations to fight COVID-19.
Joe Biden, on the other hand, represents a threat to religious freedom and to traditional Christianity. Last month, he actually pledged to gut the religious freedom protections Trump has put in place, claiming that these policies give “hate” a “safe harbor.” During a speech at the Human Rights Campaign in 2018, Biden condemned some of the people who “tried to define family” — presumably those who believe marriage is between one man and one woman — as “the dregs of society.”
Biden has made no secret about his intention to return to the Obama policies that dragged the Little Sisters of the Poor into court. Biden also supports the Equality Act, a piece of legislation that would outlaw “discrimination” against LGBT people. States have abused such laws, twisting them to force Christian bakers, florists, farmers, and others to effectively endorse same-sex marriage by contributing their artistic talent to celebrate same-sex weddings.
Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, has demonized mainstream conservative Christian organizations, suggesting that people who abide by traditional Christian doctrines are unfit to serve in government.
Read more about Trump’s record on religious freedom here.
4. The economy
Although the economic recovery began under Obama, Obama’s policies stifled economic growth while Trump’s policies spurred it on.
Trump urged his administration to cut through the sea of red tape, decreasing the onerous burden of regulations that, according to some studies, actually cost the average American family more than taxes. The administration has cut down on regulations in some areas Americans would not expect, like the regulations that have decreased the water pressure in showers, dishwashers, and toilets.
President Trump also revved up the economy through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Contrary to the Democrat narrative of a “GOP tax scam,” the tax cuts actually decreased the amount middle-class Americans paid in 2018. That year, 82 percent of middle-class Americans saved more than $1,260 on taxes. A full 90 percent of workers saw an increase in pay after the IRS adjusted withholding tables to reflect the new law. In 2019, wages grew an average of 3.3 percent, the best in a decade. Opportunity zones led investors to put their money into distressed communities.
Under Trump, America had record-low unemployment before the pandemic hit in March.
The pandemic ravaged the U.S. economy as states and localities across the country issued harsh lockdown measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Republicans and Democrats agreed that the government should offer aid amid the restrictions, but Democrats repeatedly used coronavirus aid packages to push their far-left pet projects. In one bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) smuggled in provisions on violence against women, AIDS funding, LGBTQ+ financial literacy programs, onerous carbon emissions reporting for airlines, a $15/hour minimum wage, and sixty pages on elections, among other things.
Despite repeated Democratic obstruction, Republicans and Democrats eventually agreed on four stimulus bills and President Trump signed them. The president has made it clear he is willing to support another stimulus before the election, but Democrats blocked the effort.
On Thursday, the Department of Commerce reported a stunning 33.1 percent annualized GDP growth. That astounding rate suggests the economy is bouncing back, having recovered to two-thirds of the pre-recession level.
On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at an annualized rate of 33.1 percent in the third quarter. The GDP is still lower than it was before the pandemic, but it has recovered to two-thirds of the pre-recession level.
Read more about Trump’s record on the economy here.
5. Fighting the Left’s insanity
It is not a president’s job to enforce orthodoxy on the American people, but Democrats, the legacy media, schools, and various established interests have endorsed radical ideologies that threaten America’s social order and undermine basic truths about what it means to be male and female. Trump has rightly pushed back on these dangerous notions.
In 2015, as the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, former Olympian Bruce Jenner “came out” as transgender, claiming the name “Caitlyn.” The commanding heights of American culture began to force transgender orthodoxy on an unwilling public, and Obama’s Department of Justice unilaterally redefined the term “sex” in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in order to fight North Carolina’s law stipulating that school restrooms that were not single-occupancy must be single-sex.
The Obama administration endorsed transgender identity over biological sex in restrooms and changing rooms, in the military, and in Obamacare. Under Obama’s health care law, coverage for transgender “treatments” tripled under Medicare and Medicaid. Some regulations suggested that employers would have to cover transgender surgery in health plans, regardless of their convictions on biological sex.
Although people who really do struggle with gender dysphoria (the painful condition of identifying with the gender opposite your biological sex) deserve compassion, transgender identity is not the right solution — and enshrining transgender “protections” into law opens up a Pandora’s Box of social ills.
Many men and women have rejected transgender identity only to find themselves permanently scarred by the “treatments” they once welcomed. One man described his artificial female anatomy as a “Frankenstein hack job.” Endocrinologists have warned that experimental cross-sex hormones and so-called “puberty-blocking” drugs actually cause disease.
While those who actually suffer from gender dysphoria are likely not a threat, some bad actors — like Jessica Yaniv in Canada — appear to have abused the social acceptance of transgender identity in order to sexually prey on young women and female genital waxing professionals. Opening up women’s spaces — including restrooms, locker rooms, changing rooms, prisons, shelters, and sports teams — to biological men opens the floodgates to all kinds of abuse. In a particularly tragic case, a pregnant biological woman’s transgender identity actually confused doctors, leading to the loss of her baby.
The Trump administration has rightly reversed the Obama policies on these issues. The administration returned to the biological definition of sex in federal law and stood up for the rights of girls who unfairly lost athletic competitions to biological males. The armed services returned to the biological definition of sex.
Meanwhile, Biden has not only championed transgender identity for children as young as 8 years old, but he has also pledged to gut religious freedom protections for those who disagree.
Trump has also stood up against the rising tide of Marxist critical race theory, which took on new life after the death of George Floyd. Marxist critical theory encourages people to reinterpret various aspects of American society assuming they must be rooted in racist discrimination and historic oppression.
Expressions of Marxist critical race theory, like The New York Times‘s subversive “1619 Project,” have skyrocketed into the American mainstream. The project has partially inspired the destructive riots across America. Vandals who toppled a statue of George Washington spray-painted “1619” on the statue. The project’s founder, Nikole Hannah-Jones, briefly tweeted that “it would be an honor” for the riots to be dubbed “the 1619 riots.”
While the rioters aimed to support the black community, their acts of destruction cost black lives and ruined black livelihoods. Ironically, they toppled statues of black heroes like Frederick Douglass along with statues of Confederate generals and Founders like George Washington. The destruction disproportionately hit black communities in Kenosha, Wisc., Minneapolis, and Chicago.
Trump has directed his administration to counter Marxist critical race theory in schools and in federal government training materials. He has advanced patriotic education to counter the idea that America is fundamentally racist and oppressive.
Meanwhile, Biden has condemned the violence but embraced the logic behind the rioters, claiming that “institutional racism” in police forces is responsible for the statistically tiny but media-hyped police shootings of black people.
Read more about Trump’s record countering the Left’s insanity here.
I still find parts of Trump’s rhetoric disturbing (especially when he accused Joe Scarborough of murder and when he repeatedly falsely claims that Biden called black men “super predators,” a line only Hillary Clinton seems to have used), but his record on these issues has brought me around to supporting him. Furthermore, I do not believe that Biden represents some “return to normalcy” after the admitted hectic nature of the Trump presidency.
Kamala Harris oh, sorry, Biden presidency transitioning to a Harris presidency would undermine all of Trump’s policy successes, hyper charging the destructive social experiments of the Left, railroading the Constitution, harming the economy, and undermining Trump’s historic achievements with Middle East diplomacy. No, thank you.
Let’s make America great again!
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.