Help me understand.

President Trump

I need to start this post with some background. I voted for George W. Bush. Twice. I voted for Barack Obama. Twice. I don’t tell people who I voted for because I am not interested in whatever judgment may be applied based on my choices. I only reveal my voting record now as a small measure of evidence that I do not align my votes with any political platform. I believe election debates and campaigning have a purpose and it’s to listen and see what kind of leaders I want defining policy that affects me in Congress, leaders I want confirming judges that interpret law for me in the Senate or the leader entrusted with executive powers that protect me in the White House. I suppose you’d have to trust me to know my claim isn’t a convenient one for the sake of my essay. Should you give me the benefit of the doubt, then help me understand. Why did anyone vote for Trump? Or at least what about now after so much drama; Why does anyone still support him?

I could keep going and going and going about Trump and lose my mind thinking about why anyone would believe this man has anything under control. However here is the thing; the point of this post (and any other post of mine covering controversial material) is me making a better attempt at understanding the perspective of someone who sees what I see and arrives at a different conclusion.

I have to admit intense frustration when I see the insensitivity my President shows by tossing paper towels at people in despair. I cannot understand executive orders that roll back protections for our environment. I cannot understand the lack of transparency with his taxes where every other president of modern times has done so. I cannot understand the name calling at other elected officials. Might as well be calling the people that elected them by the same name. This is only the tip. He calls heads of other nations by names. Like Kim Jong Un. Are you seriously taunting a man with nuclear weapons? Who CARES if he can make it to the US or not? If he launches that thing as a response to our (yes our, He’s our President) taunting then any lives lost as a result is on our hands. War is not a joke. War is not a game with winners.

I want to be clear. I am not on any bandwagon about this. I have no time to spend purposefully picking this man apart. I just want to know, what am I missing? Because if it looks like a fish, swims like a fish, and smells like a fish…

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6 comments

  • Denis Brown

    I’ll try to help you understand. President Trump is NOT a politician, and many Americans are very weary of our political leaders. Our founding fathers believed that our representatives in D.C. should be patriots who were giving of themselves to serve the betterment of the great people of the United States of America. A short period of time serving the country, and then returning home to the jobs they left behind. This notion has been tossed aside, and we now have to deal with career politicians whose greatest interest is their next election. How sad.

    Was candidate Donald Trump my first choice? No, not by a long shot. For some of the reasons you mentioned regarding name calling, etc.. I did vote for him and I am so glad I did. We finally have someone willing to stand up and fight for OUR country! All the deals made that were not beneficial to the U.S. are now being renegotiated or terminated. Where did these deals get us with North Korea, Iran, the world (Paris climate agreement)? North Korea and Iran are still heading towards nuclear armament, despite being told otherwise when the deals were made. What has changed since we dropped out of the Paris climate agreement? Nothing. Climate has been changing, continental plates have been shifting, and weather has been happening since the creation, by God, of this extraordinary planet. Do we all need to be good stewards of the Earth? Absolutely. But not at the expense of the American worker. Ever notice that the climate change purveyors are still flying around in private jets and living in expansive mansions? Don’t you think that if they were SO concerned about “climate change”, they would actually practice what they preach? No. Why? Because they are getting filthy rich by telling great tales!

    President Trump is FAR from perfect, but he is trying to shake up the Washington establishment, and he is promoting REAL change in our capitol. Anyone who denies that our political system is bogged down by career politicians, needs to get their heads out of the CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, etc. sand. Open your eyes up to the other side of the argument, one that believes in self-responsibility and less government intrusion. Even President Kennedy said “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. This sentiment seems to be lost on our current society.

    God bless you, and I hope this helps you understand why deplorables such as myself voted for and continue to support President Trump.

    • rodlui (author)

      Dennis,

      Let me take a second and thank you very much for taking the time to comment. It’s precisely what I need to come to a better understanding.

      I’m still processing a lot of what you’ve written down, but I do have some thoughts on your comment. First, I like to think of my self as anti-lemming when it comes to news sources. Albeit, I did find it interesting that you left out Fox News from your list. I am not sure if that is to imply that its reporting is sound and worth watching or if it was a simple oversight in your short list of news sources. I agree there are politicians that put self-interest ahead of state and that they are bogging down the legislative system. However, I think this is more a product of who we are electing for those seats and practices like Gerrymandering that lead to an ineffective congress. It looks to me like party leaders can count on whoever carries their label as winning as long as they can shape the district towards loyalty and seats. I see it as more our job at the local level to disrupt the status quo and elect better leaders. It seems to me a President can do little to change who is in Congress.

      Regarding climate policies at the expense of American jobs: I will ask you clarify (and please consider that I was either not alive or a stupid child for a lot of this, and even now I am a stupid man) but clarify how I should best interpret some of this info. From what I can tell by looking at the Bureau of Labor’s Data there were two major recessions in the last fifty years. 1st started at the end of the Carter administration saddling Reagan with high unemployment (9.7%), and the 2nd was the Mortgage Lending Recession that happened at the end of the Bush-2 administration saddling Obama with high unemployment (9.3%). If you are of the school of thought that executive policy is a key driver for Jobs (or the lack thereof), then both these Presidents performed beautifully. When Reagan left office, he dropped unemployment by 4.4% and when Barack left office, he managed to drop unemployment by 5.1%. On the surface, it’s a seemingly good comparison because both men had eight-year terms, inherited high unemployment and had the opposite party in control of Congress for the majority of their respective term. However, I am not ready to say that a president is a primary driver for jobs. I would throw out there that jobs are more a product of strong credit markets, which in turn are outrageously impacted by Wall Street and Inflation. The Fed monitors and helps regulate inflation, and government monitors and regulates Wall Street. The absence of monitoring and regulation to me leads to a destabilization that usually cascades into job losses. Do I think Presidents have a role in keeping the national discussion focused on proper discourse? Yes! They oversee the institutions that execute policy, so they typically have a great deal of insight into possible impacts. Much like I imagine the Police Department have insights into cause and effect for combatting crime. However, what has been the national discourse since Trump took office? I don’t think the national discussion has been debating the merits of Trump’s points on job creation.

      And listen, there isn’t a soul alive that can escape the ad-hominem stance of being hypocritical, and I am not saying that as a generality. I believe its a firm truth because I believe being hypocritical is directly related to our indefinitely imperfect and deplorable natures and this is a fact that the wisest among us can agree on.

      The thing is, I can see the gold at the core of your points, and I agree that responsibility is a core value worth lifting up. What I am not prepared to do yet is associate responsibility with laissez-faire social policies or smaller government. I have this nagging feeling that responsibility includes lifting everyone up with you and being a good Samaritan when presented the opportunity (I love this parable because the Samaritans were the scum of the earth to Jews. To Jews at the time it was a slap in the face to think a Samaritan had the character to act responsibly when afforded the opportunity). I agree that there are practical limits but those limits are worth debating, trying, updating, changing, and re-debating as we learn.

      Thanks again for commenting and look forward to seeing you at the Shocker games this year.

  • Dave Glover

    Luis, if you figure it out, let me know because I have no clue.

  • Chris

    Climate change at the expence of the American worker- coal miners, oil fields, additional costs associated with all things attempting to remain compliant…..stoves, lawn mowers, and cars to name a few. Does it create jobs in short yes…..but only when proped up with subsidies or corporate welfare. Siemens and their recent layoffs are a prime example. Why regulation is bad (commerce excluded). Big businesses love regulation cause it drives up cost for competitors hoping to enter the market, is the very reason we have lobbyists, and the only reason cronyism exists (why wall Street doles out big money to democrats)….When I discuss small government I’m speaking specifically federal government. States rights are states rights…..if a state chooses to over regulated that is their choice. I’m a firm believer that accountability can only ever exist at a local level. Over regulation just shut down our local “home health service”. Cost of compliance was too high….the company I work for is doling out money and loosing out on potential income because of a bird nobody has seen in twenty years…….independent oil operators struggle while Exxon and big oil prosper without the existence of competition. Occupational licensing…..I could go on and on.

    Also Reagans GDP per quarter dwarfed Obamas and the unemployment rate the way it’s calculated can actually go down when people give up on finding a job so there’s that. It’s misleading when Trump uses it and it was Misleading when Obama used it. Why the media continues to use it as an indicator I don’t know.

    Sorry to interject….but this country needs to start having conversations again…..

    • rodlui (author)

      I appreciate the comment Chris and agree conversations need to be had so that we make the best decisions. However, speaking with absolutism about cause and effect while using anecdotal information in evidentiary fashion is not truly a conversation. At least that is how I perceive the comments. Admittedly, comment text sometimes does a poor job of communicating tone. What I have been suggesting in this post and my comments is that there is no one way to govern. There is no magic bullet philosophy for maintaining prosperity. As a result, it makes it very important to elect leaders that can have flexible conversations. Keep in mind that I most assuredly mean to apply this to both major political platforms in America. What Denis stated above was that he supports and continues to support Trump because we lost jobs due to Obama. When the employment rates suggest, we gained jobs under Obama; jobs lost due to the Great Recession. I then, in turn, selected another president (for comparison) that had to deal with Recession, which was Regan, which also appeared to do well with the unemployment rate. Denis did not suggest that we voted for Trump because our economic expansion according to Real GDP was too low and accordingly Trump represented the best choice for reversing the trend that started after Clinton. He also didn’t bring up workforce participation which is also on a downward trend that started after Clinton. It’s important not to conflate the point of the post, which is to arrive at a real understanding of why anyone supports him. I submit that the platform he road into office is not enough of a reason to continue supporting him. I fear he is endangering our country, and we are not focused on any of these real conversations that need to be taking place. I also cannot fathom allowing his behavior to be a means to end. All we need is a President who can keep the country focused on the right conversations, not provoke racism, not dismiss Russian threats, not dismiss citizens in a state of emergency because he believes “it’s of their own making”, not provoke international incidents with insults, and navigate the US on the world stage without saying provocative things with near daily frequency. Which interestingly enough was successfully executed by most of the presidents in the last 50 years. Trump is also:

      1. Taunting a reckless nation with nuclear weapons.
      2. Ridiculing or berating anyone that disagrees with him mercilessly. Even other heads of state. Even his own staff.
      3. Disrespecting our values with subtle racism, overt sexism, and crude jokes about POWs.
      4. Undermining his cabinet.
      4. Causing an unstable White House staff.

      I am still interested in why we should continue to support him in light of the behavior we’ve seen since inauguration. Consider that; there is no reason Mike Pence couldn’t carry the banner of conservative ideas and making that happen would be a clear message in politics. Trump blew it, and if you are going to behave as he does, you’ll blow it too.

      Unless of course there is more reason to keep him around than I am considering. Which is what I am searching for…

  • Chris

    Support is not a zero sum game…..I’ve had employees do fantastic work, are efficient, and show up everyday……that were horribly rude and couldn’t get along with anyone. Doesn’t mean come review time I’d dismiss the positive contributions he’s made because I don’t prefer his personality.

    Everything you’ve listed above, while not inline with expected behavior of President, has yet to bear any negative impact on his “supporters”. It’s sticks vs. stones.

    While I don’t support his rhetoric, I do support a some of his policies. Those are policies that effect my family and community. There are many I don’t support.

    Yes, I would have prefered to vote on Pence to Trump, and I was outspoken about that In the primaries. However, since then it’s not Trump that has let conservatives down, its congress….there is a reason they have an even lower favoribilty ratings then even Trump, and dispotebTrumps willingness to sign any legislation…..the republican majority in congress has flopped on everything resembling conservative policies.

    Obama at his core never had my best interest at heart…..and certainly didn’t mince meat about it. Just because it’s polished doesn’t make anymore bearable…..I never once called for his impeachment because he violated my emotional barriers and until Trump actually breaks the law he has every right to remain the president as a majority of the people in a majority of the states gave him.

    Also, I’d be happy to discuss in specifity anything your referring to as anecdotal evidence. I’m not some brain dead propaganda sponge that’s isolated himself to Commentary that’s only inline with my views and any conclusion I might come to has been approached from every angle.

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