I live in Canada where our governing Liberal Party makes the US Democratic party seem downright alt-right by comparison. Even our Conservative Party would be considered left-of-center by American standards so it should come as no surprise that my enthusiastic support for much of President Trump’s agenda makes me a Canadian version of Alan Dershowitz, an outcast shunned by the summer cottage crowd and the intelligentsia who pity my lack of understanding of Trump’s unprecedented racist, xenophobic, sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, militaristic, neo-Nazi administration (have I left out any of the standard pejorative isms?).
Now, I will concede that President Trump’s canoodling with Vladimir Putin made me somewhat uncomfortable, but as is usually the case with Mr. Trump, his actions are far more important than his (usually injudicious) words. I also believe that if Russia did interfere in the 2016 election, it was more likely an effort to help the cause of Bernie Sanders (with whom they share an ideology) than to aid Donald Trump. Furthermore, if the Russian tactic to aid Hilary’s opposition was to leak her correspondence and that of her campaign manager, then we probably owe them some gratitude for revealing the depth of Clinton’s and Podesta’s perfidy.
So why do I continue to risk being ostracized by supporting Donald Trump’s agenda and accomplishments?
First, can we all agree that in any election, you are not normally choosing between the equivalents of Mother Teresa and Adolf Hitler? You are, in fact, usually opting for the lesser of two evils, the person who you believe will do less harm. In a contest between Hillary Clinton and any other sentient being, I would have had no problem voting for that somebody else, whoever he or she might have been.
Second, I agree: Donald Trump is a boorish, anti-intellectual, reality show womanizer. But we don’t vote for a Chief Virtue Officer. We vote for the person who we think will best protect the interests of our country. John Kennedy’s dalliances with movie stars and secretaries make Trump look positively monastic by comparison, yet Kennedy is revered in progressive circles. So let’s ignore the holier-than-thou wailing and judge Donald Trump by what he does and not by how he looks or how he treats his wife or what he might have said off the record 25 years ago.
Third, it is impossible to ignore the role the media plays in the public’s perception of Donald Trump. There is Fox News and Breitbart and a sprinkling of other right-leaning media, but the overwhelming majority of broadcast and print media in the U.S. are liberal/progressive in their orientation (even more so in Canada), meaning that they are pre-conditioned to find fault with whatever Donald Trump says or does. Watch or read the reports on Trump’s handling of the North Korea dossier and compare that to the media’s ignoring or downplaying Barak Obama’s serial failures to address (let alone resolve) North Korea’s or Iran’s development of nuclear arsenals. You cannot fail to conclude that there is a glaring double-standard where Trump’s motives and accomplishments are routinely ridiculed and vilified whereas it never seemed to matter what Barak Obama actually achieved so long as he spoke confidently and appeared Presidential.
Fourth, let’s look at some of the administration’s achievements in just 20 months in office :
-a tax reform bill that put billions of dollars back into the hands of consumers and businesses
-2 million new jobs, including the repatriation of thousands of jobs from overseas
-record employment figures, especially for minority groups
-business and consumer confidence at unprecedented levels
-the cancellation of more than 10 government regulations for every new regulation implemented
-withdrawal from the worthless Paris Climate Accord
-withdrawal from the dangerous and duplicitous Iran deal
-beginning the process to rein in North Korea’s nuclear program
-reprioritizing defence spending and American strength
-curbing the excesses of the EPA
-opening up new drilling areas to further decrease America’s need for foreign oil
-beginning to address the ongoing immigration problem
-number of measures to assist veterans
-reduced government funding of abortion
-appointment of judges who rule by the letter of the law rather than by capitulating to the progressive agenda
-reasserting American influence in the Middle East, including the virtual destruction of ISIS
Being not only Canadian but Jewish as well, it means a great deal to me that Donald Trump has also honoured a long-standing (and previously ignored) American commitment to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and that he and his UN ambassador have been such strong advocates for Israel in that international forum. I would like to think that I’m not a single-issue person and that I could judge Donald Trump’s overall record (a pretty formidable one in any case) without being swayed by his unwavering support of Israel, but how could any Jew not be heartened by a president who takes such courageous and forthright action to support the Jewish state? And let us not forget that one of the issues Trump and Putin discussed in their Helsinki meeting was how to guarantee Israel’s security in the context of the Syrian and Lebanese conflicts. Does anyone think that President Obama would have given one moment’s thought to Israel’s needs in such a forum?
Now, let us compare Trump’s genuine and measureable achievements to Barak Obama’s overall record : dismal employment figures; record lows in workforce participation rates; ballooning national debt; emboldening America’s foes, principally Russia and China; unparalleled expansion of entitlement dependence and its harmful social impact ; exacerbating racial and class divisions for political gain; repeatedly ignoring the Constitutional limitations on presidential powers; imposition of a healthcare plan based on distortions and sold to the public with the help of outright fabrications; appointment of activist judges who interpreted the law as they saw fit rather than in accordance with the Constitution; politicizing the IRS and Department of Justice; overseeing a significant reduction in American military preparedness and deterrence capability; negatively impacting economic growth through punitive taxation, exponential multiplication of regulations and an out-of-control EPA; ridiculing American exceptionalism and finding a way to blame America for all the world’s woes and inequities; and yes, demonizing and betraying Israel on multiple occasions.
Barak Obama was the liberal/progressive dream candidate; a stylish, articulate member of a racial minority who would put America in its place and undo decades, if not centuries, of white privilege and oppression.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, is a loud-mouthed, uncouth, Twitter-obsessed, vain, uncultured charlatan.
As I said, you choose between the lesser of two evils and I have no hesitation in saying Donald Trump was the right choice in his contest with Hillary Clinton and his record shines like a star going nova when compared to that of his predecessor.
So if this endorsement of Donald Trump’s performance means no more leisurely afternoons as a guest at the Yacht Club or invitations to join friends at some charity soiree, I guess I’m prepared to live with that.