Scott C. Johnston – Four years ago, I wrote a piece about what to do if you hated both candidates. Trump was, at the time, my last choice among Republicans, and most Republicans I knew felt the same. Some felt strongly enough to go Democrat.
“I could never vote for Trump,” they all said.
At the time, I wrote this:
I hear this a lot. I’m not talking about Democrats, but Republicans, particularly of the educated, northeastern, country club variety. The sort that like Kasich. For this genus, voting for Trump is declasse, a lowbrow act. And they would rather see Hillary Clinton be President than have their sophistication questioned at the next cocktail party.
So let’s get this part out of the way. Trump is boorish and frequently crude. He has no filter. He has a checkered past with women. His facility with the English language is wanting. He tweets too much and sometimes with little thought.
He is all those things. In a perfect world, Trump would have the decorum of a Mitt Romney. But he doesn’t.
(Worth noting here that there’s one thing I don’t buy, which is that Trump is racist. There’s no evidence for this – indeed, there’s ample evidence to the contrary – and Charlottesville was an abject lie.)
The question is, do these things mean you vote for Joe Biden?
Four years ago, I held my nose and pulled the lever for Trump, having no clue what might come. He was a total wild card.
Now, I will walk across a vast plain of burning coals to cast my vote.
What’s changed? While Trump, the man, is no different, Trump the president, has surprised wildly to the upside. He is a damn good executive, despite having to weather the constant lies of the media, Democrats, and even our intelligence agencies. It seems every week there’s a new manufactured scandal. It comes up empty and they pivot to the next with nary a moment for self-reflection.
The thing is, I don’t need the president to be my friend. I don’t need him to join my country club. I need him to do a job. That means creating prosperity and keeping the country safe.
Four years ago, I suggested that the “tie-breaker” (assuming you liked neither candidate) should be policy. What’s remarkable about Trump is just how doggedly he has pursued the policies he promised. If you’re like me, you have never given much credence to any politician’s promises. When Trump said he’d build a wall, I thought, “Yeah, sure.”
And yet, a wall he’s building, despite everything that’s aligned against him. Really, I thought it was just a campaign line.
So, let’s take a quick look at what Trump’s accomplished. (Perhaps you don’t know all this, because the media won’t report any of it.)
Tax cuts. We had the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Now we’re competitive. 30% of the stock market rally is attributable to the lower rate.
Economy. Pre-COVID, the most robust economy in world history, with record-low unemployment rates for minorities and women.
Energy independence. Fracking and pipelines like Keystone have freed us from having to suck up to the Middle East.
Massive deregulation. Equivalent to a huge tax cut, and a big part of the growth surge. Underappreciated in scope.
The suburbs. Ended Obama’s insane social experiment in housing.
Title IX. Ending the Obama era practice of depriving young college men of due process (I wrote about this in Campusland).
The Middle East. Peace breaking out all over, and it’s because Trump has ignored the foreign policy establishment and rewritten the rules. Plus, he’s phasing us out of the endless wars and bringing troops home. Any Democrat would already have won a Peace Prize. Maybe two.
Israel. Moved the embassy and recognized Jerusalem as the rightful capital. No previous president had the stones.
Iran. Got us out of an abominable deal that paved the way for the mullahs to get the bomb.
Climate Accord. Got us out of a ruinous deal.
Kosovo/Serbia. Another peace deal! Got thirty seconds of coverage.
ISIS. Heard from them lately? Neither have I.
Soleimani and al-Baghdadi. Dead.
World Health Organization. Defunding this corrupt, China toady. No one else, including Republicans, would have put up with the crap Trump knew he was going to get on this one.
Supreme Court. Putting constitutionalists (not conservatives) on the bench. And what other president would have stuck with Brett Kavanaugh? George H.W. Bush would have folded like a tent.
Trade. No more one-sided deals.
NATO. He’s getting deadbeat European countries to pay up.
Prison reform. ’nuff said.
Long list. I’m sure I forgot some things.
But, wait! What about COVID!
That is, perhaps, a whole other post, but the bulk of the mismanagement on COVID has come from Democrat governors like Cuomo. Trump let them have a lot of rope, something for which he was criticized. But if he’d gone the other way, they would have screamed fascism. I do think his messaging has been poor, but the bottom line is that this is a virus, and viruses will always run their course until either herd immunity or a vaccine. You can delay illnesses (and harm the economy, which we did), but the virus doesn’t just go away.
I remember one of my political science professors at Yale saying presidential candidates would always move to the center in order to carve out the maximum part of the electorate.
Like so many things I was taught in college, that’s totally wrong.
This election has one of the starkest choices in U.S. history, and that’s why it’s so important.
Biden is not a liberal. He’s also not a moderate. He’s not anything. For the seven hundred years he’s been in Washington, he’s been a human weather vane.
The problem is that the weather in his party is blowing hard – really hard – to the left. You don’t think that Elizabeth Warren, AOC, and the rest aren’t coming to collect on their IOUs? Biden was not their guy, but they all dutifully lined up. Biden campaigned all-out as a progressive during the primaries to shore up their support.
At any rate, even if he once might have been inclined to stand up to the far left, he no longer has the mental strength to do so. He is clearly in cognitive decline.
If Biden wins, he will likely win the Senate as well. When that happens, the filibuster goes on day one. And starting day two, you will see an onslaught of progressive legislation unmatched in our history. They will seek to get it done quickly, before the public catches on, and before they lose in the midterms.
So, what to expect?
Single-payer healthcare. This will be item #1. Hello Canada, long waits, zero innovation, and higher (hidden) costs. Nothing is as expensive as what the government makes free.
Free healthcare for illegals. Biden raised his hand, thus forever putting to bed his moderate rep.
Immigration. Look for virtually no enforcement.
Green New Deal. This one is so insane that I wouldn’t expect the full proposal to pass, and Biden has expressed reservations. But some form of it will pass, along with a bevy of regulations. Look for energy prices to spike, and a renewal of the Paris Climate Accord.
Taxes. Up they will go, starting with corporate taxes. They will once again be among the highest in the world. Biden’s plan also virtually eliminates estate tax exemptions, plus passes cap gains liabilities on to future generations. Awful.
$15 Minimum wage. Sounds great, but in reality, is a job killer for those that need it the most.
New States. Puerto Rico and DC, thus ensuring semi-permanent congressional control
Court Packing. Fifteen justices, something even RBG was against. Biden is being coy, which means he wants it
Civil Disorder. Is Biden really going to stop the violence that his own base creates? And don’t think the rioting will stop because a Dem is in the White House. That’s not how radical movements work.
Iran. The deal will be back on the table.
China. No one is closer to China than Joe Biden.
Speech regulation. I’m speculating on this one, but political correctness will rule the day, and the New York Times is pushing for it.
Any of these policies are horrific, but add them together and you have permanent change, the sort countries never recover from.
And we now also know that Biden is thoroughly corrupt. He has made himself a very wealthy man by having his children sell access to him. Incredibly, this isn’t illegal, but it’s still unethical and corrupt. Everything the left has long accused the Trump family of doing, the Biden family has actually been doing in spades.
So, give me the boorish tweet-sender. The choice is easy.
Published with permission from the author, Scott Johnston. Scott can be found on Twitter at @SJohnston60