I was formerly a “never-Trumper.”
During the 2016 Republican primaries, I voted for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) because I believed that he was the most sound constitutional conservative running among the glut of candidates in the race. I also viewed him as the most well-prepared candidate to effectively prosecute the policies of the Democratic candidate—which was expected, despite the enthusiasm of the Bernie Bros, to be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
I had second and third choices. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was a solid candidate, although I wasn’t happy with his participation in the “Gang of Eight” immigration reform effort. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) also stood out as a principled individual dedicated to the Constitution.
The one person I wasn’t going to support was Donald Trump.
I viewed Trump as a conglomeration of the worst possible qualities of a politician. Not only had he flip-flopped on several issues, but he seemed unconvincing in his professed support for conservative positions. He was a brash and rude man whose uncontrolled demeanor and word-salad manner of speaking made him difficult to decipher, much less openly defend.
In short, I didn’t trust him and I didn’t like him.
By November 8, 2016, nothing had changed. I watched the election cycle as an outsider with no dog in the fight. When the time came, I voted down-ballot for Republicans and wrote in Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) for president.
Over the last four years, however, I’ve slowly let go of my “never-Trump” position as I’ve continued to witness the president’s successes. Despite his uncanny ability to repeatedly shoot himself in the foot (I speak mostly of his social media habits, as well as his hyperbolic excesses), President Trump has, for the most part, governed as a conservative.
Between the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which allowed Americans to keep more of their own money, and deregulatory efforts, the economy blossomed. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment was at historic lows.
Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, “which prohibits the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from funding any nongovernmental organization that performs or promotes abortion overseas,” according to National Review.
Trump’s Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, reformed Title IX, allowing due process back onto university campuses.
In addition to appointing hundreds of judges to the lower courts, Trump has nominated and had confirmed three justices to the Supreme Court—and while conservatives can debate the nuances and merits of their various judicial philosophies, we can also roundly agree that these justices are far and away more faithful to the Constitution than any who would have been appointed by a Democrat.
The Trump administration has brokered multiple historic peace deals between Israel and nations such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Sudan—the first such deals in decades.
Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, and the Paris Climate Agreement; he has stood his ground against the developing threat of Communist China; he has boldly criticized those who seek to undermine our Founding Fathers and the incredible documents they wrote.
Donald Trump and his administration have stood for true liberalism, and held back (as best as they can) the creeping illiberalism driven by the media, academia, and Hollywood, which endeavors to crush dissent and tear away at our individual liberties.
There are certainly faults to be found in President Trump’s policies, and in the policies of many of his Republican allies—namely as it pertains to spending and the lack of substantive rebuttals to certain Democratic plans—but these issues are dwarfed by what has been accomplished.
Daily Wire podcast host and Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro spent a full 40 minutes speaking about these (and other) Trump administration successes in much greater detail here.
On the other end, the Democratic Party and many of its supporters have moved more and more swiftly in a deeply troubling direction. More access and funding for abortion; encouraging the sexual transition of children; aligning with the neo-Marxist Black Lives Matter movement, and amplifying their claims despite the stunning dearth of supporting data; looking the other way, or actively emboldening, the ongoing rioting and looting; increasing taxes; enacting arbitrary restrictions on firearms; defunding the police.
And Biden—he’s not the honest Joe from Scranton the mainstream press would have you believe.
I could go on and on about the differences between what Trump and the Republican Party are doing and what Biden and the Democratic Party want to do, but I won’t belabor the point.
Here’s the distilled message. The Republican Party isn’t perfect. Donald Trump is about as far from the ideal conservative candidate for whom I would want to vote. I believe that his boorish behavior and propensity to exaggerate to the point of falsehood has done serious and lasting damage to the conservative brand—but there are three reasons this doesn’t hinder my vote for him.
First, the glass has been shattered. Another term of this China-shop bull won’t deepen the lacerations already inflicted on the conservative movement’s image. Second, governance under Trump and his administration has been, as noted above, remarkably conservative. Third, and perhaps most critical, the alternative in Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and the increasingly leftist Democratic Party, as well as their accomplices in the media, academia, and Hollywood, sends chills down my spine.
I was a “never-Trumper.” I’m not anymore. The only choice for me on Election Day is Donald Trump.