I was lying in bed with the wife the other night – don’t stop reading this story I promise it’s G rated – and she rolls over and says to me, “How can you continue to defend Trump?”
What started the discussion, and prompted the question, was the Doral G7 controversy. I was defending Trump. Needless to say, my view of the controversy was more benign than hers. In a nutshell Trump genuinely thought that the Doral would be a great place for the summit, and he was floating a trial balloon.
Well, my immediate response to her question, “How can you continue to defend Trump?” was, well, I admit fairly glib and blunt, but it was basically this:
“He may be the biggest a**hole in the world, but if he cuts taxes, deregulates the economy, deports criminal illegal aliens, and appoints conservative judges I will vote for him.”
She didn’t seem to buy that argument and rolled back over. But as I laid there in the dark, watching the ceiling fan rotate, the thought crossed my mind. How can I defend Trump? How can I defend Trump?
Well, there are two aspects to consider. Trump the person and Trump the President. I realize that I will never meet him, work for, or with him, socialize with him, hang out with him. Go bowling with him. And that’s probably a good thing. So, I won’t really know if he is an a**hole or a really nice guy. Both are possible.
I am sure his wife thinks he is a great guy. His kids and grandkids think he is a great guy.
I remember my Father met Jerry Ford when Ford was in Congress. Dad liked him a lot, so I was shocked when I learned that Dad didn’t vote for him. I said Dad you said you liked him. Why didn’t you vote for him? My Fathers response: “Just because I like someone doesn’t mean that I will vote for them for President.”
Conversely, just because I personally dislike someone does not mean that I won’t vote for them.
Our politics have been personalized.
It seems every election year our superficial media asks the question, which presidential candidate would you rather have a beer with? And when I hear the question, I ask myself, who cares? You will never have a beer the President. But most people in the fake media think this is an important question.
I remember the 1992 Presidential campaign. Bill Clinton would bite his lip, squint his eyes and say, “I feel your pain.” People were impressed! They thought, just what we need, a President that feels our pain. In fact, Clinton could, on command, shed a politically necessary tear when hearing a heartbreaking story from a voter.
The voter would tell him that they were about to be evicted, or would lose their health insurance etc. Clinton hugged them, shook his head - showed he really cared.
He was likable. He created, with the liberal media’s assistance, the image that he cared, as if a caring is an important quality in a President.
Whether Trump is a “nice guy” or a raging “a**hole” is mostly a media image. Created both by the media and Trump. Trump could work on his public image if he wanted to, but he doesn’t seem to care. And in some ways that makes me like him more.
In the past when Presidents wanted to improve their image, they would bring in photographers, do glossy photo shoots with the family for Life Magazine. They would do an interview with Diane Sawyer or Barbara Walters. Take the dog for a walk on the White House lawn.
Remember President Kennedy. He had those nice photos taken of him, Jackie, John Jr. and Caroline in the White House. Beautiful pictures. Now, earlier that day he was probably having sex the intern, but you don’t need to know that. What a beautiful family! What a great guy!
Now, it is tougher for a Republican to get fluff coverage, but if he wanted to, Trump could improve his personal image. Take some pictures with Baron. Pictures of him taking a walk or reading to Baron. Holding Melania’s hand on the couch, with TV dinner trays in front of them as they are watching dancing with the stars. Show some pictures of himself in a casual shirt doing some yard work. Maybe, loading the dishwasher. Pictures of himself shooting pool with friends.
Could you imagine if he got a dog, say a black lab. He walks the dog on the White Lawn in front of the press. On cue the dog poops, Trump reaches into his pocket, pulls out an environmentally correct compostable bag. Picks up the poop. The video would go viral. I believe It would greatly soften his image.
But to everlasting great credit, Trump won’t do it. He’d tell his political advisors I not picking up a dog’s poop. Every politician in America would pick up a dogs poop for the camera. Trump won't.
So, for me what matters are issues. Tangible results. My 401 K is doing great because of Trump policies. The tax cut and deregulation has led to the lowest unemployment level in 50 years. He has even outdone Ronald Reagan when it comes to deregulation.
Trump has appointed 2 supreme court judges, and 150 lower court judges. Good men and women who will strictly interpret the constitution and not legislate from the bench.
He has re-negotiated NAFTA, which now languishes in the House. Nancy is probably not going to bring it up for a vote. It could interfere with an impeachment- Democrats have their priorities.
He threatened tariffs on Mexico to pressure them to do more to stop caravans of illegals from getting into our country. It seems to be working. Mexico is helping.
He is pushing our allies to contribute more to our common defense. Pushing to re-negotiate trade deals to become more advantageous to our businesses and workers. In others words advancing Americas interest.
Would I personally like Trump? Would I like to have a beer with him? Probably not. But will I vote for him? Yes.