In 2016, I was not a Trump fan, but in the four years since then, I have slowly turned from an opponent to a solid supporter who will pull the lever and vote for Trump for President in 2020. The following is my explanation of the evolution of how and why that transition happened as well as other factors I considered in my 2020 choice for US President.
This article is quite long article, and even then it is by no means comprehensive, so it is divided into sections that you can easily jump to with the following links:
- Why I was against Trump in 2016
- Why I’m voting for Trump in 2020
- Things I don’t like about Trump
- Why I cannot vote for Joe Biden
- Other candidates considered, like Libertarian Jo Jorgensen
The decision to vote for Trump was not something I took lightly or came to quickly. I have thought and prayed long and hard about it, and done much research. I read news articles from sources all across the political spectrum–left, right, and center. I have tried to document as many of those sources as possible in the hyperlinked text throughout the article. Please check out those references for more details on a given subject.
Why I Was Against Trump in 2016
I should set the stage by briefly going over why I voted against Donald Trump in the first place back in 2016. I am a registered Republican, so you might think I would vote for the party’s nominee. But I vote for the person, not the party (a principled stance more people ought to take), and I had major concerns about Donald J. Trump. I could not bring myself to vote for Trump for a myriad of reasons, and voting for the Democrat party candidate, Hillary Clinton, was not an option either, since she seemed corrupt and her policies were not my idea of good government. I ended up voting for a third party candidate in 2016, and honestly, after Trump was elected, I felt homeless, politically speaking. I thought the Republican party had elected someone who would not only ruin the party, but could ruin the country as well.
- Mixed Feelings on His Policies. I liked some of Trump’s policy positions, but others I did not. Trump had some good financial policies, such as theoretical tax cuts. I also liked that Trump took a tough stance against China and other nations that threaten us. But I disagreed, and still do, on Trump’s stance on tariffs. He likes to raise taxes on goods coming into our country and this only makes things more expensive for us. Trump’s stance, as I recall, on government’s roll in healthcare also differed from my own. While Trump supported the repeal of Obamacare (the Un-Affordable Care Act), he supported the continuance of a large role of the government in the healthcare system which I believe in contrary to our Constitutional freedoms and contrary to good policy.
- Is He even a Constitutional Conservative? Even if I could overlook the policy positions I didn’t like, Trump had an unproven track record, and therefore I doubted whether or not he would govern as a Constitutional conservative. He had a history of donating to Republicans and Democrats alike. He had close ties to the Clintons and other Democrats. I even wondered if he might even switch parties or become an independent after being elected. Overall, I didn’t think he was a good representation of the Republican Party, at least not the Constitutional/Libertarian/Individual Rights wing of the party.
- His Perceived Character Short-Falls: I wasn’t sure I could classify Trump as honest, wise, and good–three of the main character traits I look for in elected officials. “Honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold” (D&C 98). In the debates and interviews during the 2016 campaign, I found Trump often stretching the truth or telling outright lies. Trump had a well-publicized extra-martial affair many years ago, definitely not a good thing, and in just weeks before the election, audio was released of him using some incredibly foul language.
Before the 2016 election I had a conversation with a friend in which we both agreed that we should vote for people who are morally good. Of course, unless Jesus Christ is running for office, no one is going to be perfect, therefore everyone you vote for will have some good and some bad elements. At that time, I came to the conclusion that Trump did not meet my minimum threshold for goodness. My friend, and many other Republicans, thought he did meet the threshold. So we agreed on principles but differentiated on where to place Trump in respect to that threshold.
Four years later, however, while I still think Trump is far from perfect, he does now meet my threshold of good enough to vote for. Let me explain why.
Why I’m voting for Trump in 2020
Overall, I have been pleased with Trump’s handling of the Presidency. Of course, there are things I wish he would do differently (more on that below), but overall, many of my fears about Trump turned out to be unfounded and he has implemented many good policies that I believe are benefiting the country.
- Supreme Court Nominations: I was happy with Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court. He has turned out to be a very good Justice, usually siding with the other constitutional conservatives, Justice Thomas and Justice Alito. Brett Kavanaugh, however, was not as strong of a pick. He has been an okay Justice. It would be really good to get another pledge from Trump to put a constitutional conservative on the Supreme Court when it has another opening.
- Tax Cuts: I thought the tax cuts in 2017 were rather wimpy, but I’ll take what I can get. The small tax cut that Trump and the Republicans provided was better than the continual tax increases we get from most Democrats. Anything we can do to take money and power away from the government and given back to the people is a good thing. The tax cuts put millions of dollars back into the hands of the people, who’s money it rightly is. Disney handed out $125 million in employee bonuses and credited the Trump tax cuts and Home Depot hourly employees received up to a $1,000 bonus due to the tax reform.
- Healthcare: Trump has done an okay job of reducing the negative impacts of the Affordable Care Act. While Trump was thwarted by his own party in trying to repeal it, his 2017 tax overhaul legislation effectively eliminated the unconstitutional individual mandate by reducing the penalty for not having insurance to $0. Also, the Trump Administration has fought to broaden exemptions to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, ensuring that most moral and religious objectors to birth control will not be required to pay for it. The Obama/Biden administration, on the other hand, tried to force religious organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor, to pay for birth control and abortion-inducing drugs.
- Historic low unemployment: Trump has presided over a period of historic low unemployment (prior to COVID-19). The unemployment rate in the United States was seeing record lows around 3%, unseen since the 1950s. I don’t believe any president is directly responsible for the unemployment rate, but he certainly has an influence on it. The 2017 tax cuts and other economic policies of Trump, I believe did contribute to a better employment situation in the country. Though that was largely erased once we had the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic restrictions that many cites and states implemented along with it. But back in 2019, when the economy was still strong, not only was overall unemployment low, black unemployment was also hitting record lows. CNN even admitted that this marked “the smallest gap on record between the respective unemployment rates for blacks and whites.”
- Handling of COVID 19: While I have seen many news stories of people, usually the left-wing media and Democrats, attack Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m not buying the story. From what I can tell, he has done as good a job as could be expected. Very early, before the quarantines and social distancing and other lock down measures, Trump implemented a ban travel from China. His detractors called that move racist but it turned out to be the right thing to do and he did it sooner than most other countries. He is also doing well at not overstepping his constitutional authority and letting states make the decisions about the quarantine and measures to stop the spread of the virus. Trump has also funneled billions of dollars into vaccine research and production and we are on track to get a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year–much faster than any previous vaccine. And it’s due, at least in part, to what the Trump administration is calling Operation Warp Speed.
- Foreign Relations: I don’t have any major objections to the way Trump has handled official state diplomacy and foreign relations. In 2017, when Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on it’s own people, I think Trump demonstrated appropriate strength and resolve to stand up and prevent further attacks of that nature. Trump has, from the beginning, taken a tough stance on China, and recently he closed their embassy when it was discovered China was using the location to spy on us. It was also recently announced that Trump had a big part in the historic deal in which Israel and United Arab Emirates formalized diplomatic ties. And of course a simple yet bold foreign policy move was to relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This, I think, was a good move. For years, politicians in both parties have outwardly said that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel, but none of them, until Trump, had the guts to make the move.
Things I Don’t like about Trump, Some I’ve Learned to Deal With, Others I Wish He’d Change
In balance, I think Trump has been a good president, but I’m not blind to the inappropriate, wrong-headed, and sometimes idiotic things he says and does. For example…
- He Says a Lot of Stupid Things. Perhaps this goes without saying, but often times Trump says things that I think are just idiotic. But I shake this off pretty easily because I learned to pay more attention to what he does than what he says. I wonder if many of the dumb things he says are part of his personality or ingrained tactics he has learned as a business negotiator. Regardless, it is clear that hes has learned that he can have a major influence on the news narrative through his Twitter account and he loves to use that platform to tweak his political enemies. When looking at Trump holistically, I’ve learned that you you have to bake this in, and when you do, you don’t become outraged at every little outrageous things he says. You realize that much of it is only hot air. As reporter Salena Zito said, you have to take Trump seriously, but not literally.
- Printing Money and Dramatically Increasing the National Debt. This is one I can’t shake off as easily. Our politicians, on both sides of the isle and in all branches of government, are burying future generations in debt that will cripple them. Republicans are supposed to be fiscally responsible, yet under the Trump Administration, the national debt has continued to soar, and the printing of money is sure to cause massive inflation. There will be major economic repercussions for these actions that are unavoidable. I thought it was bad when the U.S. budget deficit hit an all time high in November 2018, of course that’s nothing compared to the COVID-19 budget deficits. These heavy spenders in government claim they are saving the country when really they are doing the opposite, dooming us and our children and grandchildren to an ever-greater bondage of debt.
- Other Miscellaneous Things. There are numerous other thing Trump does that I don’t approve of like how he can be short-tempered and have knee-jerk reactions at times. I think he tends to associate at times with shady characters which is a concern (like Paul Manafort and Steve Bannon). Thankfully, he seems to correct those things and get it straight in the long run, distancing himself from people like that and getting good people around him.
These are all weaknesses of Trump, and with time we could list even more. I wish he didn’t have these weaknesses, but as Abraham Lincoln and Peter Drucker have said, in picking a leader, you should focus on their strengths, not their weaknesses, and when you look at that holistic picture, I think Trump brings many more positive strengths to the table, and certainly more than Joe Biden.
Why I Cannot Vote for Joe Biden
- He is a Career Politician. To preface this, please note that I believe that an elected government official should not be a life-long career. I think career politicians breed corruption and thus it is a major strike that Joe Biden has spent nearly his entire adult life in politics. On top of that, I don’t see any major accomplishments in his record that show that he should be put back in public office. He was in the Senate for 36 years, and the vice presidency for 8 years. He’s had his turn and done little with it except enriching his family and increasing the partisanship and dysfunction of Washington. He is the epitome of the swamp that needs to be drained.
- Joe Biden is Pro-Abortion. Pro-life groups are calling Biden and Harris the “Most Pro-Abortion Presidential Ticket In American History.” While I haven’t personally verified that, I did check out Joe Biden’s website, and he talks a lot about ensuring what he calls a “right” to an abortion. For 50 years the Democrat party has supported and is now even promoting abortion, a practice which I consider like unto murder and a violation of one of God’s most basic commandments. The 2016 Democrat party platform reiterates five times that they believe having an abortion is a woman’s right–neither Joe nor the Democrats make any mention of the baby’s right to life, though.
- He Could Be the Most Corrupt VP in History. Peter Schweizer, a New York Times best selling author who I have followed for years and found to be trustworthy, has said that Joe Biden is the most corrupt vice president in the history of our country. When he was VP, Biden traveled to Ukraine on official state business and his son Hunter tagged along and came away with a multi-million dollar business deal. In China, it was even worse, with Hunter once again tagging along with his dad and coming away with a multi-billion dollar deal. Biden has replicated this ability to enrich family members many times and here is an article outlining how five members of Joe Biden’s family got profoundly rich through his connections.
- Even the Left Thinks Joe Biden is Corrupt. Zephyr Teachout, a left-wing reporter for the Gaurdian who is no fan of Trump, had this to say: “Biden has a big corruption problem and it makes him a weak candidate. I know it seems crazy, but a lot of the voters we need – independents and people who might stay home – will look at Biden and Trump and say: ‘They’re all dirty.’ It looks like ‘Middle Class’ Joe has perfected the art of taking big contributions, then representing his corporate donors at the cost of middle- and working-class Americans. Converting campaign contributions into legislative favors and policy positions isn’t being ‘moderate.’ It is the kind of transactional politics Americans have come to loathe.” (see ‘Middle Class’ Joe Biden has a corruption problem – it makes him a weak candidate.)
- Picked Most Partisan and Liberal Senator as His Running Mate. Biden’s selected Vice Presidential running mate, Kamala Harris, scored as the “most liberal” U.S. senator in 2019, according to a GovTrack analysis. “The score can be interpreted as a conservative-liberal scale” but what it also indicates is how partisan and extreme she is. Harris joined bipartisan legislation “the least often compared to Senate Democrats.”
- Joe Biden Clearly Has Racist Tendencies. Just a couple of months ago, Joe Biden had the temerity to say to black people that they aren’t truly black if they don’t vote for him. “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” To think that all black people should vote for him is by definition racist, on top, of course, of being arrogant and condescending. To further his racist viewpoints, Biden also recently generalized the black community as lacking diversity. Said Biden, “unlike the African American community with notable exceptions the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community.”
- He is an Authoritarian: Joe Biden has taken the authoritarian and unconstitutional approach to calling for a mandate requiring all Americans to wear a face mask. Even if there’s no cases of COVID-19 in your city, he would make you wear a face mask. On the contrary, Trump has resisted efforts to to take unconstitutional powers during this pandemic. Said Trump: “My administration has a different approach, we have urged Americans to wear masks.” But ultimately, “I trust the American people and the governors want to do the right thing to make the smart decisions and Joe doesn’t.” (see Trump: No Power to Require Masks or Enforce)
- Joe Biden’s Deteriorating Mental Health. If all that isn’t enough to scare you away from Joe Biden, it is clear that his mental faculties are quickly slipping away. This is not an insult or attack, it is the unfortunate result of his advanced age (77). You can see the mental struggle Biden has had in many videos and speeches over the past few months like this interview on MSNBC where Biden struggled to speak coherently. Or this example where Biden struggles to complete a sentence. I feel bad for the guy, but what’s worse is that when he’s mentally checked out, he will likely become a puppet for the political extremists who surround him–people like his VP candidate Kamala Harris who has vocally supported the Black Lives Matter protests through and beyond election day–people like the Democrats in LA taking money away from police and redistributed to their favorite social justice organizations and Seattle cutting officers and slashing the budget of their police force–and people like the variety of attorneys general who let rioters get off the hook with no punishment and no justice.
- I Disagree with His Socialist Policies. The public policy preference differences between Joe Biden and I, if listed out, would be lengthy. I won’t bore you with that level of detail, but as examples, I disagree his unconstitutional stance on guns and the second amendment, his pushing of harmful environmental and green energy policies, his overreach in the federal government’s role in local education, and his seemingly endless spending on government programs that destroy our country financially, physically, and spiritually. Bernie Sanders, a self-described Socialist, says if Biden’s “proposals are implemented…Joe Biden will become the most progressive president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.” And he’s not talking about generic human progression, he’s talking about progression towards socialism. And socialism is the path to communism, an anti-family, anti-God, and anti-freedom ideology I cannot support.
Other Candidates Considered, Like Libertarian Jo Jorgensen
For those who are wondering if I considered any third party candidates, the answer is yes. I have often voted for people outside the two main, Republican and Democrat, political parties. In fact, there are many problems with the two-party-only system–I think it contributes to the corruption and the swamp environment that exists in Washington. So I considered third parties like the Constitution party, but they are on the ballot in only about half of the states, and therefore have no chance to win. I also gave Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian candidate for president, a good look. She has a lot of pros, but some cons as well, and ultimately, I didn’t see the net benefits as so great to push me over to her side. But here’s a summary of the pros and cons about Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian candidate for president.
Jo Jorgensen says a lot that I agree with. Here are some examples taken from her website, jo20.com:
- “Tariffs that are destroying markets for American farmers.”
- “We need to make government smaller – much, much smaller.”
- “We can reduce the cost of health care 75% by allowing real price competition, and by substantially reducing government and insurance company paperwork.”
- “I will veto any spending bill that would lead to a deficit, and veto any debt ceiling increase.”
- “I will work to remove government barriers to … allowing off-grid use of solar power.”
- “Eliminate trade barriers & tariffs, and work to repeal arbitrary quotas on the number of people who can legally enter the United States to work, visit, or reside.”
- “I will use my Constitutional authority to end federal civil asset forfeiture prior to conviction”
- “The real cure for poverty is a vibrant economy that generates plentiful jobs and high wages, combined with an affordable cost of living.”
- “I will work to repeal laws and regulations that prevent individuals and charitable organizations from helping those in need.”
- “I will work tirelessly to slash federal spending, make government much, much smaller, and let you keep what you earn.”
- “I will work to eliminate the Department of Education and return control of education to where it belongs – with parents, teachers, and students.”
While all of those are great statements, I also have my share of concerns about Jo Jorgensen, like the following:
- She is a full-time academic, and I’m not a big fan of putting academics in government positions of power. She had a career in marketing at IBM for a while, so that’s good, but now she is a teacher/lecturer in Psychology. Honestly, after browsing through her website, I am still left wondering if she is really qualified to be an effective chief executive for our country.
- She says, “I will also work with Congress to end the failed War on Drugs and other victimless crime laws.” This concerns me because Libertarians tend to favor legalizing all drugs, which is too far for me.
- Her website talks a lot about Republican and Democrat politicians failing us, and while that’s true, she seems to place the blame equally on both parties. While, there is corruption in both, I think the Democrats are far more nefarious, with their foot on the accelerator towards socialism and all the anti-family, anti-God, and anti-freedom evils that are brought with it.
- She says we have “the highest imprisonment rate in the world; even higher among racial minorities and the poor.” Playing the race card and class-warfare card like that, to me, is not a good sign. With an attitude like that, it makes me think she will make unwise decisions to placate the progressive mob that pushes divisions based on race and economic class.
Having surveyed the field of third party candidates, none stand out to me, and given the dire circumstances of our country today, I think it is more important to rally around a pretty good candidate, like Donald Trump, who has the best chance to defeat the socialists and other extremists in our country. The time may come when we need to vote for 3rd party candidate but it is not this year. Donald Trump, despite his shortcomings, has been an effective chief executive for the nation, and given the track record he has, I think he will continue to be a good president and we should unite behind him. Unity to defeat the radicals in our political system is vitally important in this election cycle because, if we don’t, I fear we won’t have a country left to save.
All things considered, I think Donald Trump is the best choice for president in 2020. He is not the perfect candidate, that’s for sure, but his record shows that he will enact mostly good policies. And perhaps more importantly, he has shown himself to be one of the few politicians willing and able to stand up against the extreme elements of our society that would surely bring anarchy, violence, injustice, and ruin to our country. Few decisions in life are clear cut–absolutely right versus absolutely wrong–and the decision of who to vote for as president is no different, therefore, I don’t fault friends and family who think differently and vote differently. But if you are on the fence about Donald Trump, perhaps this article will give you courage to come on over to the Trump side.