Daniel T. Weaver
Never say never. When I first heard in 2015 that Donald J. Trump was running for president, I was dumbfounded. To me Donald Trump was nothing but a celebrity, a man without a moral compass, a man who acted like a buffoon and who had a terrible hairdo. I was a never Trumper, and I let people know on the radio show I had at the time what I thought of Trump.
In the 2016 election, I couldn’t vote for Trump. Neither could I bring myself to vote for Clinton, so I voted libertarian. Now it is 2020, and I plan to vote for Trump. My journey from never Trump to voting for Trump was a long one. It began with the vitriol of those who opposed Trump. I had never seen such visceral hatred of a president since the days of Richard Nixon. The hatred moreover seemed irrational and arguments against Trump on social media and elsewhere were primarily ad hominem. That hatred made me take a closer look at Trump and question my own attitude about him.
Actions are supposed to speak louder than words, but in reality they don’t always do that. Unlike one of my favorite presidents, Calvin Coolidge, who was a man of action and few words, Trump is both a man of action and words. Lots of them. Lots of tweets that obscure the good things he has done.
But it is not just Trump’s actions that eventually won me over. In one area, it is his inaction that gained my respect. For Trump is the first president since Jimmy Carter to NOT start a new war. As a peace loving conservative who believes that virtually every United States war since World War 2 was unnecessary and harmful to our national interests, that Trump has not started a new war means a lot to me.
At the same time, I believe in a strong national defense as a hedge against war. Trump has strengthened the military, strengthened our southern border, forced our allies to pony up more money to pay for their own defense, increased sanctions against Russian oligarchs, strongly opposed the German-Russian natural gas deal and sent lethal aid to Ukraine to help halt Russian aggression, something that President Obama was unwilling to do.
Trump has consistently warned the world of the dangers of Chinese imperalism and has taken steps to halt that imperialism. His tariffs have sent a message to China and other countries who have for years exploited trade agreements to their advantage that those days are over. His withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership treaty and replacement of the destructive NAFTA agreement with a better treaty have better situated the United States in the world economy.
On the home front, Trump signed a criminal justice reform bill into law and also instituted tax cuts including the Qualified Business Income Deduction, the first tax deduction in my lifetime for sole proprietors and owners of small businesses, which was a big help to my business the past two years. He also is a nationalist and patriot who stands against the anarchy the left has recently unleashed in our major cities. And the American economy reached new heights under Trump until the coronavirus hit, and it is Trump, not Joe Biden, who has the ability to bring us back to those heights.
Trump has exhibited extraordinary courage in moving our Israeli embassy to Jerusalem when other president were afraid to do so. He is also the first president to address the annual right-to-life protest in Washington. He is absolutely fearless even though he daily faces a barrage of hate from the left.
Trump is still a celebrity. He still often seems like a man without a moral compass. He still talks too much and his hairdo hasn’t improved. But he has done a lot of good over the past four years. The alternative is Biden, who also is a man without a moral compass and a man who talks too much. Furthermore, Biden is feckless, shows his age, lacks the energy of Trump and has done less in 40 years in government than Trump has in four years. Trump is his own man, Biden is not. His choice of vice-president, Kamala Harris, a self-centered radical who will become president if Biden cannot complete his term is one more reason to vote for Trump.
The journey from Never Trump to supporting Trump took me nearly four years. While there are people who voted for Trump in 2016 who say they will not support him this year, I can’t help but believe there are other people like me who did not vote for Trump in 2016 but are eager to vote for him this year.