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A Look at President Trump and the State of the Nation on his Birthday
Illinois Review ^ | June 14, 2017 A.D. | John F. Di Leo

Posted on 06/14/2017 5:47:25 PM PDT by jfd1776

President Donald J. Trump was born on June 14, 1946, a day also celebrated as the birthday of the Continental Army (1775) and the United States Flag (1777). It’s a good day to be a patriot.

At this writing, as he celebrates his 71st birthday, Donald Trump has been in office for less than five months. If the 100-day mark in a presidency is too early to judge a presidency, then so is this, so we mustn’t try. There is still room for almost all possible outcomes at the end of his four years (or eight).

It is, however, a reasonable time for some analysis of where we stand so far in this presidency, what the lessons of 2016 are, and what should brace ourselves for in the years to come.

The Reasoning of a NeverTrumper

Those of us who called ourselves NeverTrumpers in 2016 had several reasons for doing so. As I cannot pretend to speak for everyone else in this group, I will write in the first person, if you don’t mind; I speak only for myself here, though I am confident my feelings are broadly shared.

Those of us who so strongly opposed a Trump nomination in 2016 did so for a number of reasons. Among the primary ones (for me at least) were these:

1. This nation has never elected anyone to the Presidency who had not previously held high government office, as a vice president, victorious army general, a state’s governor, a congressman, senator, or cabinet member. While anything is possible, why risk an unproven resume when the stakes are so high?

2. While Donald Trump sounded like a conservative (sometimes like a populist, but usually like a conservative) during his campaign, we have learned to distrust people without a clear record on the issues; we’ve been conned before. What if we’re not electing the conservative he sounds like he is?

3. Every election’s result is dependent not just on your own candidate and his campaign, but also on the opposition. The Democrats might nominate the hated Hillary Clinton, but they might also see reason and nominate someone more likeable. The likely Democratic ticket in the spring might we be entirely different in the fall; we need to nominate the strongest possible candidate we can, so we can beat not only the weak Hillary Clinton but also a more electable powerhouse like Andrew Cuomo or Julian Castro if the Democrats see reason at the convention.

4. The Trump campaign style would be a dangerous precedent. Even if Trump were to win in the fall, there are things about him – the street fighter style, the lack of political experience, etc. – that might bring down the rest of the ticket in the fall, or might cause disaster at the polls in 2018 or 2020. We would forever be the party that nominated “that vulgar amateur,” and it could drag us down for years after he was off the scene. (Doubt me? How long have the Democrats attacked Republicans as “the party of Nixon?”)

Well, we know what happened. The Hillary Clinton campaign was worse than anyone could ever have imagined. Her coughing fits, her almost maniacal laughter, her complete disregard of many battleground states, all combined with the news that her wing of the Democratic party had cheated to beat Senator Sanders in the primaries, made it impossible for Hillary Clinton to win, even with all of her party’s traditional tactics such as the complicity of the media and often-massive vote fraud (particularly in the big cities).

We must also give credit to Donald Trump and his campaign, for they identified segments of the vote that the GOP has often given up on, and campaigned hard for them. Trump’s victories in certain rust belt areas, energy regions, etc. do merit genuine respect from political analysts who tend to fight the same way in every election. Trump redefined what areas needed to be viewed as battleground regions, not so much thinking of battleground “states” but battleground communities and geographic areas, and he won the ones he needed. Would he have won against a stronger Democrat? We’ll never know. But what he did worked in 2016.

A NeverTrumper, Reconsidered

Again, speaking just for myself, I could never fully trust Mr Trump last year, so I devoted my late summer and fall evenings to campaigning against Mrs. Clinton. I feared endorsing Mr Trump’s policies because he might abandon them after election day, and I felt it was more important to educate the public about the Democrat agenda, so I spent my evenings on social media, as did thousands of others, writing articles, posts and memes that exposed the Clinton positions on the issues, warning that it’s not just Hillary but her whole party that’s on the wrong side where crime, jobs, foreign policy, and the culture are concerned. She gave us plenty to write about.

When we won, that thrilling election night, I cheered and resigned myself to the good news that, no matter how likely Mr Trump was to govern as a moderate or liberal in the mold of Nixon and Ford, it’s far better than the alternative.

Imagine my surprise when he started announcing his cabinet! A solidly conservative cabinet, largely made up of experienced people who we 1980s folks would call “movement conservatives”… each dedicated to do what’s necessary to roll back government, to shrink and shackle the leviathan as much as they can.

I’ve always claimed that if I’m ever proven wrong, I’m honest enough to admit it, but I rarely get the chance, as cynicism in American politics is usually a safe bet.

But I’m happy in this case to announce that I was wrong – in fact, all of us NeverTrumpers were clearly wrong – about at least a couple of our key reasons to oppose Mr Trump: We were sure he’d govern as a liberal, and we were sure he’d damage the ticket downballot in 2016. We were wrong. He is governing as a conservative, and the downballot did great in 2016. A liberal Republican would simply not have appointed Sessions, Pruitt, Haley, Price, DeVos and so many others in these positions; he MUST be a conservative. And when the dust settled in November, the GOP remained in control of both House and Senate, and of record state legislatures and executive mansions. We are in an excellent position going forward.

I’m not so wedded to my past predictions that I can’t admit getting one wrong. On Mr. Trump’s birthday, I’m happy to acknowledge that my distrust of his core philosophy was at least mostly mistaken (he’s still clearly wrong on international trade and a few other things, of course), and to happily welcome him into the conservative movement.

Reasons for Concern

All that being said, however, there remain a number of serious reasons for concern.

Foremost among them is lawlessness and even violence. Mr. Trump comes into office at a time of unprecedented hostility on the American Left (in fact, recognition of this hostility is one of the things that inspired Mr. Trump’s supporters at the polls)… the Left is fighting dirtier than ever, with outright calls for violence – against law enforcement, against regular Americans, against Republican politicians – on television and in the public square. Things may well get worse before they get better.

Next, there is the backlash of the personality issue. Unlike our last conservative president, Ronald Reagan, Mr. Trump doesn’t have the universal charisma that helps to win over moderates and the non-ideological, and even to disarm some on the actual Left, as Reagan did as a sportscaster, actor, and commentator for so many years.

This isn’t necessarily a fatal flaw, but it is something to watch for in 2018 and 2020. The Left will refer to politicians as being “tied to” Mr. Trump, to weaken the Republican ticket, particularly when that ticket doesn’t have Mr. Trump at the head during the midterms. His slash-and-burn campaign style won him a primary and defeated the hated Democratic nominee, but it only endeared him to a portion of the American electorate, while driving others who might have been indifferent to join the Left in hating him. With Mr. Trump as the ghost at the party on the 2018 ballot, this will be a risk.

And there is a terrible risk that future Republicans will think that the Trump style is now a winning method, and will lose seats in 2018 and the future by copying him. Just because it worked against Hillary on a national scale doesn't mean it will work for you; all politics are local, and remember: all campaigns are based not only on your candidacy, but on your opposition too.

There is one protection – only one – against the powerhouse that the Democratic Party will pose in 2018 and 2020: the fact that, as the old saying goes, “You can’t argue with success.”

If the Republican party is to survive the onslaught of the next few years – an onslaught that must be recognized as being almost a civil war in scope – the Republican party must focus on rebuilding the economy as fast as humanly possible.

The GOP must fully embrace the lion’s share of the Trump message, which, after all, IS the conservative message anyway: a significant corporate and small business income tax cut, the absolute slashing of crippling federal regulations, the market-based overhaul of Obamacare, the repeal of much of Dodd-Frank’s destructive banking insanity.

This is critical not only because it is right, but also for political reasons: only a true economic boom in 2018, to which the sitting GOP leadership can claim credit, can save the GOP majorities from a devastating midterm election.

There is simply no excuse for the Republican majorities in Washington to allow these this opportunity to slip by. Economies take time to change; if we don’t make these corrections until next year, it will be too late for the boom to hit by November. America needs an economic boom, and we need it today.

A failure to fix the economic disaster of the Obama years – a failure to ensure a quick and undeniable replacement with a great, booming, job-creating, wealth-creating economy – would give the Left all they need to defeat the GOP in 2018. It’s obvious why the Democrats oppose our tax and regulatory reform efforts, but why on earth do several obstinate Republican Senators?

The Republican party – including the power of the presidency itself – must be brought to bear on the dilly-dallying members of the GOP Senate caucus who are currently holding up such things as the tax cut, the Obamacare overhaul, and the banking reforms. We cannot afford for our own party’s turncoats to keep the nation in the economic doldrums and ensure a Democratic sweep in the midterms. Democrats don’t tolerate any deviation in their ranks; the GOP is doomed if it doesn’t learn such party discipline from our enemies.

Whether we wanted to or not, our party is now a wagon tied to Donald Trump’s horse. It’s turned out to be a much stronger horse than many of us ever expected, but the fact remains, it’s the only horse we’ve got right now. We have to make our peace with him, delight in the fact that he’s right on so many more issues than we expected… and help him win. Now.

There are still some Republicans who fear that doing the right thing today will just result in Trump claiming credit for it, and they want to deny him that opportunity. We simply cannot afford to be that petty; our nation’s very future is at stake.

As Ronald Reagan used to say, “there’s no limit to what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

The US House, and particularly the US Senate, both need to make it happen, no matter what it takes. The nation depends on it.

Copyright 2017 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based writer, actor, trade compliance trainer and international transportation professional. His columns are frequently found here in Illinois Review.

Permission is hereby granted to forward freely, provided it is uncut and the IR URL and byline are included.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; History; Politics
KEYWORDS: cabinet; donaldtrump; recession; recovery

1 posted on 06/14/2017 5:47:25 PM PDT by jfd1776
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To: jfd1776

Andrew Cuomo is hated even within his own party. Julian Castro makes Marco Rubio look like Ike.

2 posted on 06/14/2017 5:54:05 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland US. There'd be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: jfd1776
ABC News‏Verified account @ABC · 11m11 minutes ago  More Replying to @ABC NEW: Pres. Trump, First Lady have arrived at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where Rep. Scalise is a patient.
3 posted on 06/14/2017 6:10:26 PM PDT by HarleyLady27 ( "The Force Awakens!!!"...Trump and Pence: MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!)
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To: jfd1776

Never trumper ...pffft ...

4 posted on 06/14/2017 6:22:34 PM PDT by VRWC For Truth (FREEP U, Schmucky O'Putz!)
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To: jfd1776

What nation? A “nation” exists when the people within it are united in a common cause. This country is wayyy too divided to be classified as a nation anymore.

5 posted on 06/14/2017 6:37:46 PM PDT by ScottinVA ( Liberals' agony is my entertainment.)
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To: jfd1776

I doubt President Trump anticipated the sedition and treason he has encountered from both sides of the aisle.

6 posted on 06/14/2017 7:11:54 PM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (The Bilderbergers are attempting to overthrow the Constitutionally Elected President)
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To: jfd1776

After seeing what happened today, and that along with the push to remove Trump (and Trumps very low approval numbers) I dont think this nation survives another 2 years.

We are in full blow collapse now.

7 posted on 06/14/2017 9:04:57 PM PDT by Angels27
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