Trump’s deeds destroyed my doubts

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Trump's deeds destroyed my doubts

When Don­ald J. Trump won the pres­i­dency in Novem­ber, I feared we were putting the Joker into the White House. Instead, we got Batman.

With Trump just days away from mark­ing his first six months in office, count this one­time Never Trumper as a mostly solid sup­porter of our 45th president.

For me, the 18 months pre­ced­ing the elec­tion were a tough slog through the miasma of Repub­li­can pol­i­tics. As 2015 drew to a close, Trump wasn’t in my top 10 picks to be the GOP pres­i­den­tial can­di­date. Although I knew ille­gal immi­gra­tion, his main issue, was a huge con­cern in many states, it wasn’t a big thing for me; Michi­gan has a big­ger prob­lem with los­ing pop­u­la­tion. And while John McCain is a hor­ri­ble sen­a­tor, I admire his hero­ism as a POW. I’ve rarely been angrier over pol­i­tics than when Trump mocked McCain’s service.

To be hon­est, I’d never thought much about Trump. I don’t golf, gam­ble, visit expen­sive resorts or watch real­ity TV. On the other hand, I do fol­low the media so I was aware of his busi­ness suc­cesses, his mar­i­tal shenani­gans and his bank­rupt­cies. When I did hear his polit­i­cal views, they usu­ally par­roted the lib­eral dri­vel of the day.

When he came out as a right­ist a few years ago by res­ur­rect­ing the Obama birther con­tro­versy, I con­sid­ered his efforts coun­ter­pro­duc­tive. Obama’s poli­cies and admin­is­tra­tion were destruc­tive to the fab­ric of Amer­ica; divert­ing atten­tion to a dis­proven rumor only rein­forced pub­lic sup­port for Obama.

As the pres­i­den­tial pri­mary sea­son got under­way in 2015, I was dis­mayed when Trump floated atop the field and my favorites — Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Carly Fio­r­ina and oth­ers (never, ever did I include Jeb!) — fell by the way­side. By the time it was clear that Trump was about to clinch the nom­i­na­tion, I was bon­ing up on third-​party can­di­dates that I could sup­port in November.

But then a funny thing hap­pened: Trump announced a list of judges he would con­sider for the Supreme Court vacancy left by Jus­tice Antonin Scalia’s death. Every sin­gle one sounded like an excel­lent choice. Know­ing what kind of per­son Hillary would nom­i­nate to the court, I sud­denly felt my oppo­si­tion to Trump melt a bit.

Dur­ing the course of the gen­eral cam­paign, Trump said some things that excited me and some that embar­rassed me. But nei­ther Hillary nor any of the third-​party hope­fuls were an option. I may not have trusted Trump to be a true con­ser­v­a­tive, but, thanks to his list, I thought he was more likely than any­one else to han­dle court appoint­ments and other key issues.

At the start of Novem­ber, polls showed Hillary ahead of Trump by about 4 points in Michi­gan. Real­iz­ing that Trump had a slim chance to carry the state, I called more than a dozen fam­ily mem­bers and friends and begged them to vote for him. I believe my efforts played a tiny role in Trump becom­ing the first GOP pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee to win Michi­gan since 1988.

Since he entered the White House, I have been happy with Trump’s per­for­mance far more often than I’ve been dis­ap­pointed. Neil Gorsuch’s appoint­ment to the high court is his chief accom­plish­ment, but the qual­ity of his Cab­i­net selec­tions is unpar­al­leled. I haven’t seen such a col­lec­tion of top-​notch tal­ent in Wash­ing­ton since the Rea­gan years.

I also love Trump’s relent­less and wide-​ranging war against costly regulations.

To me, “drain­ing the swamp” means get­ting rid of the name­less left­ists who have bur­rowed into the fed­eral bureau­cracy and wield uncon­sti­tu­tional power over almost all aspects of Amer­i­can life. As a pres­i­dent who thought him­self above the polit­i­cal fray, George H.W. Bush paid lit­tle atten­tion to bureau­crats — unlike Bill Clin­ton, who packed the agen­cies with hordes of allies. George W. Bush was so apo­lit­i­cal he tried to cover up the antics of the Clin­ton­ista van­dals who pried the “W” from gov­ern­ment key­boards in anger after Al Gore lost in 2000.

If Trump can get some con­ser­v­a­tives into the civil ser­vice bureau­cracy, I’ll be happy. It would be nearly as impor­tant as mak­ing an imprint on the fed­eral judiciary.

But count me among the many who think Trump should think twice or thrice before tweet­ing. While I hate the media as much as he does (and applaud when he scores direct hits), his Twit­ter feed too often takes atten­tion away from achieve­ments he makes on other fronts. Trump’s tweets also have fanned the spu­ri­ous and scur­rilous tales about Russ­ian inter­ven­tion in the 2016 election.

When Trump took office, my two main fears were that he would ignite a global trade war and cozy up to Vladimir. Nei­ther seems likely now. Wiser heads have per­suaded him that tus­sles over trade would cause a world­wide dis­as­ter, and Trump has dealt with Putin far more sternly than Barack Obama ever did.

We’re cer­tainly not out of the woods yet, and nobody can fore­see what will hap­pen in the next 42 months. The media’s obses­sion with Rus­sia hope­fully will back­fire even­tu­ally, and the Democ­rats’ love affair with the hard left could pos­si­bly push more mod­er­ates to the right polit­i­cal side.

Trump might not have come close to per­fec­tion in his first six months, but he’s done far bet­ter than I had any right to expect. If Con­gress gives him some vic­to­ries and the econ­omy picks up, I’ll be chant­ing “Four more years!” with plenty of com­rades in 2020.

When Donald J. Trump won the presidency in November, I feared we were putting the Joker into the White House. Instead, we got Batman.

With Trump just days away from marking his first six months in office, count this onetime Never Trumper as a mostly solid supporter of our 45th president.

For me, the 18 months preceding the election were a tough slog through the miasma of Republican politics. As 2015 drew to a close, Trump wasn’t in my top 10 picks to be the GOP presidential candidate. Although I knew illegal immigration, his main issue, was a huge concern in many states, it wasn’t a big thing for me; Michigan has a bigger problem with losing population. And while John McCain is a horrible senator, I admire his heroism as a POW. I’ve rarely been angrier over politics than when Trump mocked McCain’s service.

To be honest, I’d never thought much about Trump. I don’t golf, gamble, visit expensive resorts or watch reality TV. On the other hand, I do follow the media so I was aware of his business successes, his marital shenanigans and his bankruptcies. When I did hear his political views, they usually parroted the liberal drivel of the day.

When he came out as a rightist a few years ago by resurrecting the Obama birther controversy, I considered his efforts counterproductive. Obama’s policies and administration were destructive to the fabric of America; diverting attention to a disproven rumor only reinforced public support for Obama.

As the presidential primary season got underway in 2015, I was dismayed when Trump floated atop the field and my favorites — Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina and others (never, ever did I include Jeb!) — fell by the wayside. By the time it was clear that Trump was about to clinch the nomination, I was boning up on third-party candidates that I could support in November.

But then a funny thing happened: Trump announced a list of judges he would consider for the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. Every single one sounded like an excellent choice. Knowing what kind of person Hillary would nominate to the court, I suddenly felt my opposition to Trump melt a bit.

During the course of the general campaign, Trump said some things that excited me and some that embarrassed me. But neither Hillary nor any of the third-party hopefuls were an option. I may not have trusted Trump to be a true conservative, but, thanks to his list, I thought he was more likely than anyone else to handle court appointments and other key issues.

At the start of November, polls showed Hillary ahead of Trump by about 4 points in Michigan. Realizing that Trump had a slim chance to carry the state, I called more than a dozen family members and friends and begged them to vote for him. I believe my efforts played a tiny role in Trump becoming the first GOP presidential nominee to win Michigan since 1988.

Since he entered the White House, I have been happy with Trump’s performance far more often than I’ve been disappointed. Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the high court is his chief accomplishment, but the quality of his Cabinet selections is unparalleled. I haven’t seen such a collection of top-notch talent in Washington since the Reagan years.

I also love Trump’s relentless and wide-ranging war against costly regulations.

To me, “draining the swamp” means getting rid of the nameless leftists who have burrowed into the federal bureaucracy and wield unconstitutional power over almost all aspects of American life. As a president who thought himself above the political fray, George H.W. Bush paid little attention to bureaucrats — unlike Bill Clinton, who packed the agencies with hordes of allies. George W. Bush was so apolitical he tried to cover up the antics of the Clintonista vandals who pried the “W” from government keyboards in anger after Al Gore lost in 2000.

If Trump can get some conservatives into the civil service bureaucracy, I’ll be happy. It would be nearly as important as making an imprint on the federal judiciary.

But count me among the many who think Trump should think twice or thrice before tweeting. While I hate the media as much as he does (and applaud when he scores direct hits),  his Twitter feed too often takes attention away from achievements he makes on other fronts. Trump’s tweets also have fanned the spurious and scurrilous tales about Russian intervention in the 2016 election.

When Trump took office, my two main fears were that he would ignite a global trade war and cozy up to Vladimir. Neither seems likely now. Wiser heads have persuaded him that tussles over trade would cause a worldwide disaster, and Trump has dealt with Putin far more sternly than Barack Obama ever did.

We’re certainly not out of the woods yet, and nobody can foresee what will happen in the next 42 months. The media’s obsession with Russia hopefully will backfire eventually, and the Democrats’ love affair with the hard left could possibly push more moderates to the right political side.

Trump might not have come close to perfection in his first six months, but he’s done far better than I had any right to expect. If Congress gives him some victories and the economy picks up, I’ll be chanting “Four more years!” with plenty of comrades in 2020.