2016 was an opportunity to be seized upon. After eight years of President Obama, conservatives were energized to make a change.
This could be the reason Republicans fielded more candidates during the 2016 primary than any party had prior. It also led to the “sound bite” debates – ouch.
Though my opinion on some of these individuals has since evolved, I thought we were fortunate to have a field that included Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, and Scott Walker. I would have been pleased to support any of these individuals, many of them policy reformers in their previous positions.
Leading up to the national convention, I organized the third congressional for Ted Cruz. Trump won the Missouri primary, but no candidate achieved a true majority of votes, and Trump bested Cruz by less than 2,000 votes.
Unfortunately, Trump won the primary and the nomination.
To this day, I am proud I can say never voted for the man (I did not cast a vote for Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden either).
President Donald Trump’s most fervent supporters would probably list me as a “Never Trumper.” Unbeknownst to them, the world doesn’t exist in black and white.
As our President, I was happy to support Trump on several issues.
The tax cuts were an achievement that spurred rapid growth in our economy – creating jobs and prosperity.
President Trump also supported the First Step Act, making our legal system more just and undoing the harsh and failed “hard on crime” policies pushed by then-Senator Joe Biden. President Trump was most human in the heartfelt stories stemming from his work in criminal justice reform. The stories shared by Matthew Charles and Alice Marie Johnson highlight instances when President Trump displayed empathy for others.
President Trump worked to undo regulations and took on a policy position from President Obama to reduce the negative impact of licensing requirements.
President Trump correctly advocated for bringing our troops home and removing us from conflicts we no longer should be involved in.
One of the most influential and significant political legacies will be President Trump’s judicial selections. His appointment of judges who respect the constitution and the rule of law, who won’t legislate from the bench, will be felt for years to come.
On the other hand, the President has supported policies I disagreed with and worked against. The tax on Americans, known as tariffs, was one such issue.
I would like to highlight that any Republican during the 2016 campaign would have supported these policies. President Trump isn’t an anomaly in regards to policy.
But the frosting on America’s cake is President Trump’s further division of our nation. A divisive culture that culminated in an attempted insurrection of the US Capitol.
However, I’m more of the opinion that President Trump is a symptom of our problem rather than a cause. He certainly didn’t put an end to it, but he was also not it’s beginning.
This division has far deeper roots and earlier beginnings than the previous four years and Donald J. Trump.
As Richard Cournelle lays out in Reclaiming the American Dream, conservatives and liberals have been divided for some time. There are no longer win/win scenarios in politics, only win/lose.
Each moment power is exchanged between parties is an opportunity to undo what the other side has done. Yet, the worst policies always have a tendency to live on.
Whatever you think of Trump, he certainly has a way with words. He had Christians forgetting what morality is and conservatives forgetting what small, constitutional government is.
Under President Trump’s leadership, hypocrisy has run rampant.
And not just his own or those of his supporters. Everyone appears to be a hypocrite today.
In the events following George Floyd’s murder, we saw conservatives calling protests riots and liberals calling riots protests. Both existed. Some events were peaceful, and others were not, but all events were purposefully and incorrectly labeled by politicos to advance their agendas.
We saw this again during the insurrection. Most attendees to DC that day were protesters and did nothing wrong (though I disagree wholeheartedly for their reason to be there). But those who broke through the barricades, entered the Capitol, and killed an officer were not protesters.
Does truth exist any longer?
We certainly don’t get it from politicians, the media, or corporate leaders regardless of party affiliation. Each seems to have perfected speaking with a forked tongue.
I’m thankful President Trump is on his way out. I’m not grateful that we’ll be working now to stop President-elect Joe Biden’s policies.
But I will be praying for our nation.
Biden has called for unity, and I hope this isn’t mere lip service. It’s difficult to believe when Biden’s own supporters show anything but.
We need to remember what unites us. We need to remember we are all Americans and are not each other’s enemies.
Our enemies are tyranny, poverty, ignorance, hunger, violence, sickness, and so on.
Very few Americans support increasing any of these. Most want to see them come to an end.
Our nation has a black eye, and we need to take a good look at it and ourselves in the mirror. The world is watching us. Let’s make this moment in our history our nadir.
We need to support statesmen and not those who would further divide us. We need to find solutions upon which we agree and come together to see them brought to fruition.
It saddens me to think of what could happen to our great nation if we don’t – if we instead continue topping one another’s outrageous behavior.