Donald Trump was not my cup of tea in the Republican primaries. Well, maybe he was my cup of tea, if the tea was bitter and poisoned. Suffice it to say, although I started out as a Trump fan, I was not rooting for him to win the GOP nomination. Although I could never vote for Hillary Clinton, I did not support Trump either. I wrote in Ted Cruz’s name, which I thought was essentially irrelevant because there was no chance Trump could win.
I don’t feel bad about not believing Trump could win because let’s face it, even a lot of “true believers” were starting to give excuses about whom they’d blame when he lost. In fact, if you believe Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury (and I do in this case), even the Trump campaign thought it was going down to defeat. Since then, things have gotten a little weird for a number of reasons….
1. Trump has been a much better conservative president than I thought he would be
Maybe Trump is just jumping over a low bar because after listening to some of the crazier answers he gave during the primary season, I wouldn’t have put the chances of him nuking Norway at zero. On the other hand, maybe we don’t ask enough out of our Republican politicians because I am pretty sure that if you just focus on what he’s done and not what he says, Trump’s performance in office has been orders of magnitude better than Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or John Kasich could have ever delivered. He’s cut regulations, pushed through tax cuts, smashed ISIS, recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, helped get the NFL back on the right path, delivered brutal beatings to the liberal press, got a lot of judges confirmed, the economy is killing it – it just goes on and on. Even Trump’s harshest critics on the Right would be talking about him as another Reagan if he were capable of controlling the words that come out of his mouth or the tweets he makes. Of course, if fire were wet, it would be water.
2. I’m really surprised the Democrats haven’t made an effort to bring any of the people who didn’t vote for Hillary back into the fold
I can understand Democrats writing off a conservative like me because even if Alex Jones is duking it out with Todd Akin one day, I still won’t vote for whoever the latest socialist is that they run. That being said, there are roughly 8 million Americans who voted for Obama AND Trump and the general attitude Democrats have toward them seems to be, “Rot in Hell with your orange god.” No political party can appeal to everyone, but it’s so strange to see a political party that treats millions of voters they are going to want support from in the next election like pariahs simply because they voted for the other side. This would be like an NBA team saying, “If you didn’t show up to support us at yesterday’s game, then we better never see you again! Oh, and if we catch you wearing our merch, we will MURDER YOU.”
3. Who’s more annoying? Team “Trump can never do anything right” or Team “Trump can never do anything wrong”?
I remember when conservatives were generally split between the grassroots and the establishment. Those were fun times. Now, the movement is much more splintered and although I would have never guessed this to be the case before the election, the most diehard Nevertrumpers are really irritating. Granted, half of it is driven by branding. “If I talk about Trump like he’s the anti-Christ, no matter what he does, then I might end up on TV!” That’s a valid strategy, which is only possible because of the vapid nature of cable news these days, where any woman who looks good in a belly shirt or any person willing to relentlessly spew propaganda for either side is considered to be worthy to put on the air. Equally annoying are the legions of “No one can criticize the leader” Trump fans in the media, many of whom are grifters, conspiracy theorists or outright propagandists who realize suckers will make them famous or rich if they’re willing to go full-on Baghdad Bob in support of anything that Trump says.
Maybe if Trump actually caught some flack from his biggest fans over his dumb tweets and some of the crazy things he says, he would actually reel it back. That would be nice, but if he never gets anything but “Everything you do is good, Mr. Trump” brown nosing, why wouldn’t he keep making an ass of himself? If anything, at this point Trump’s probably convinced that he really could “stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters” — and the sad fact of the matter is that most of the biggest Trump diehards on cable would not only still vote for him, they’d be screaming that any claims of murder were “fake news” because the random pedestrian Trump shot obviously deserved it for getting in his way.
4. Despite the fact that I could (and do) criticize Trump a dozen different ways, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time defending Trump because of how bad a lot of the media criticism of him has been
Isn’t a guy who gets into Twitter fights with LaVar Ball and cheats on his wife with a porn star doing enough wrong that the media people don’t need to stretch so far they pull their limbs out of joint to criticize him? Apparently not. We’ve incessantly heard that Trump is a “racist,” a criticism that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny and gets thrown at pretty much every Republican.
The mainstream media liberals get furious when Trump calls them “fake news” although they were the ones using the same words to try to discredit conservative websites shortly after the election. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, boys! On top of that, the MSM liberals’ response to being called “fake news” has been to do endless unverifiable stories based on anonymous sources, to use the flimsiest excuses to criticize Trump, and to run numerous poorly done stories that Trump got to throw back in their faces when they were proven wrong. In other words, all Trump has to do to prove that the mainstream media is “fake news” is to point out its own shoddy work. It’s ironic, but a genuinely unbiased press that fairly covered Trump would probably do 10 times more damage to him than the Cobra Commander style “Thiss storrry willll finally be the one to take down GI TRUMP” antics we’ve gotten from the press since he was elected.
5. Nobody in the Republican establishment or the Democratic Party seems to think anything was done wrong in 2016 and the years leading up to it
If you’re the Democratic Party or the Republican establishment and you just got beaten by a businessman/reality show host famous for being the world’s biggest ass on Twitter, it should prompt some serious soul-searching. After all, at some point, in 2020 or 2024, Donald Trump is going to go away, while most of the Republican and Democratic establishment will still be in place. So, doesn’t it seem weird that you don’t have any big-name Republicans who question what was so wrong with Jeb Bush, John Kasich or Marco Rubio that voters decided they’d rather take a flier on Trump (P.S.: There are good answers to those questions)? Sure, the establishment Republicans may be afraid to cross Trump, but do you see some sort of genuine rethinking of any of the positions they held? Is anybody asking how Republicans can continue to bring Trump voters to the table after he’s gone? Not that I can see. Additionally, how is it that Democrats don’t seem to wonder if the apocalypse their party suffered nationwide under Obama — or the loss of Hillary Clinton despite the fact that Trump was hit with saying “Grab them by the p*ssy” as an October surprise — might be because they’re out of step with much of the country? I’m not sure if their “Damn all you racists who didn’t support Hillary! We will force you to love socialism and Berkeley” platform seems all that smart. Donald Trump has plenty of flaws, but I will say this much about him – he seems to be more in touch with what the American people want than either the Republican or Democratic Party as a whole. If he could ever go a few months without saying or tweeting every single thing that goes through his head, I don’t think any politician in America would have a chance of beating him.