First of all, I wouldn’t say I’ve “endorsed” Trump per se. There are several candidates I think would make good presidents on my Pick Six list, and he’s one of them. But it still makes sense that you would want to know why he’s one of them.
It’s not just because he’s “a fighter”, because all of the people on my list are fighters for the right things. They just have different styles and they all fight differently.
It’s not because he’s “not politically correct,” although that’s true and it’s a good thing. But it doesn’t make you come across as presidential to a lot of people. And it’s not just because he’s “tapping into people’s anger.” That doesn’t do you much good once you’ve been sworn in and you need to govern effectively.
My reason for remaining favorable toward a Trump presidency is this: I know the guy, and I know how he operates, and his track record as a decision-maker and executive leader in business, combined with his policy proposals, convinces me that if he were president, he would mostly have the right priorities and would be effective at achieving them.
Some of you are asking: What policy proposals? I know Trump’s campaign hasn’t been very focused on this yet, but his 2011 book – Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again – reveals how he would attack the right priorities for this nation.
You may not know about this book because the media have been too busy combing through footage of his reality shows in search of offensive things he might have said. I read his book, and here are some of the things he proposed back then, when he was thinking about running for president and I actually was running for president:
- Exploiting America’s energy resources by removing the restrictions against drilling here and exporting our oil abroad. This, he correctly argued, would not only bring down gas prices but would completely re-set our strategic position vis-à-vis other oil producing countries, in our favor.
- Start treating China as our enemy, and stop making deals with them in which we so easily roll over and compromise our best interests. Trump has harsh words for the Chinese, and yet he deals with them all the time and they respect him. He recognizes that the Chinese do not have our best interests at heart and expects them to seek ways to screw us. But he expects the leaders of our country to be just as tough in dealing with them, and Obama and company are obviously not.
- On taxes, Trump proposes a five-step plan in place of the current tax code. I do not necessarily agree with all of it, but I agree with the basic concept. He would eliminate both the death tax and the corporate tax, lower the tax on capital gains and dividends, and institute a 15 percent tax for outsourcing jobs and a 20 percent tax for importing goods. I’m not so sure about those last two, because Trump of all people should know that companies outsource labor or import goods because they’re trying to keep their costs down – and the government doesn’t need to be in the business of punishing that. But the first three are spot on. They would serve as a massive boost for business and job growth, and that’s what America needs more than anything.
- Streamline the government, attack Medicare fraud and stop letting OPEC and China rip us off – all of which would impact the deficit. Trump points out in the 2011 book that the government every day takes in $6 billion and spends $10 billion. The political class shrugs its shoulders and says there is no way to stop that. They know they could stop it, but they’re afraid of the criticism they would get if they actually did it. Doesn’t this sound like a situation in which we could use a president who doesn’t mind being criticized?
- Rebuild the military so we are in a stronger strategic position, and then take advantage of that position! Here is an interesting passage from the book: “Like everyone else, I’m glad Qaddafi is gone. But if we had been smart and negotiating shrewdly, we would have taken 50 percent of Libya’s oil for twenty-five years before we spent mountains of America’s money. Once again, Obama has proven to be a horrible negotiator and an expert at missing opportunities for America. And guess who gets much of that oil from Libya – that’s right, it’s China, not the U.S.” How can you disagree with Trump’s assessment of the deals Obama makes around the globe when we see the crap sandwich he brought home from the Iran nuclear talks? Believe me, Trump knows how to negotiate, and unlike Obama, he’s not afraid to walk away from the table rather than accept a bad deal.
- Making welfare a true safety net for people who temporarily find themselves down on their luck, not, as he says, a hammock for people who just don’t want to work or want the taxpayers to subsidize their drug habits. How can anyone disagree with this?
- Repealing ObamaCare. I realize this is no different than what every other Republican proposes (and properly so), but Trump explains extraordinarily well how it’s driving up health care costs, destroying jobs and driving up the national debt. I understand that Trump made some comments to the effect that single-payer health care “worked well” in Canada, and I didn’t like that comment any more than you did. But I’ve read his actual proposal for health care in America, and if it was implemented, it would be excellent.
So what about his contributions to Hillary Clinton? What about his tendency to personally attack his critics and call people stupid? Aren’t those cause for concern?
Of course. My perfect candidate would offer exceptional leadership experience, propose nothing but the right policies and never say or do anything that causes controversy. And he would have nothing in his background that anyone could point to as a failure, flip-flop or contradiction.
But I can no more change the way Donald Trump is than I can change the number of hours in a day. He’s been this way his whole life and it’s worked pretty well for him. He would be an unusual president, and he would give the hypersensitive among us way too much to wring their hands about. His style is not my style, but Trump is Trump.
But on the whole, I think he would do the right things and would do them pretty well. He certainly has the skill and the experience, and he obviously has the tenacity. That’s why I think he still belongs in the top tier of contenders, regardless of how many people don’t like his style.
Style doesn’t get the job done. I believe that Trump, rough edges and all, would.