Well, maybe that wasn't the ideal title for this piece, but I wasn't sure how to title it.
See, here is the thing. There are a lot of facets to President Trump, and I was wondering if another person (in his stead) could have had the same track record.
To date, he has overhauled our relationship with North Korea, healed our relationship with Israel, redefined our relationship with Iran and established new approaches to trade with Mexico, Canada (we hope) and the UK. He has successfully slashed the corporate tax rate and immensely hiked the nation's GDP, while lowering middle-class and lower-income tax rates.
He has brought attention to the Swamp, the corruption of the entrenched bureaucracies in Washington that long since ceased working for the good of the country. He has exposed the bias in the Justice Department, the people who are supposed to be protecting us from crime, not from Republican candidates. And he has appointed a virtual torrent of conservative judges to Federal courts, protecting us from lawmaking among the judiciary.
He has done all that. He has also issued about 26,447 or so tweets since taking office, many of which are grammatically cringe-worthy and occasionally sophomoric. He has taken on opponents with name-calling, and often says the kind of things you hear in junior high. And Lord knows, he has a history with women that has left a trail of hush-up payments, although so far it appears to all have been consensual and not #metooworthy.
And that's all the same guy.
Now, I am really happy with the domestic and foreign progress he has made. Our economy is roaring with no end in sight, as long as the USA doesn't go all stupid and elect socialist Democrats to the House. I'm strongly for the foreign relations direction of the Trump Administration, both in military posture and on trade. The nations that President Trump regards as friendly are the ones I feel the same about, and the same is true for our adversaries and enemies.
So essentially, I am in the same boat with about 90% of supporters of this president. I'm really happy with the outcome, and I struggle with the personal side of the guy.
But I have to ask myself this -- can you separate the two? That was pretty much the meaning of my title for this piece. Could someone else have gotten the good outcomes without the baggage? Could someone else have turned the economy and stiffened our foreign resolve, or is it actually a result of Trump's personality and candor that he has been able to get done what he did?
I immediately assume that no one, including the current Vice President, Mike Pence, whom Trump praises at every turn, could have done the same thing. You see, the biggest impediment to Trump's success has been the Swamp, and had he not put the Swamp on the defensive by exposing them to the nation, they would have slow-rolled it and screwed the USA yet again.
And I fear that almost all of the logical candidates would have lacked the resolve to expose the Swamp, let alone to go after it. Frankly, I think that can be said for virtually all the other 16 or so candidates in the Republican primaries in 2016, as well as VP Pence. Senators like Rubio and Graham and even Ted Cruz or Rand Paul would have been reluctant to take the Swamp on, since they lived in it.
Non-politicians like Ben Carson -- well, Carson might have been far too gentle -- and Carly Fiorina might have tried to make peace with it first and gotten absorbed. I mean, I almost voted for Mrs. Fiorina in the primary, but I suppose that might have been a challenge to think she could have made the same progress, despite her intellect and willingness to bring private-sector priorities to the government.
I have to infer that a huge part of President Trump's success is the kind of person he is. Gargantuan ego, New York brashness, excessive macho, all that stuff allows him, or even encourages him, to take on his adversaries both overseas, on the left and even the Swamp creatures of his own party. As a businessman, he is driven by results, and has absolutely zero interest in a system that allows itself to be entrenched without accomplishment, like, you know, the Senate or the Justice Department.
There aren't actually multiple Trumps. There are simply many facets to what it means to be this president, and it really seems that in order to get done the things that many want, but only he has been able to get done, he has to be the other half of him, the hard-to-stomach tough guy.
Fortunately, the USA only has to look at the results.
Copyright 2018 by Robert Sutton
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