The good news for the 150 candidates promoting themselves for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 2020 is that while none can possibly win, neither could Donald Trump at this point in the last election.
The bad news for this motley group of socialists and semi-socialists is that unless they start to stand for something and not simply stand against Trump, they — and we — will be doomed to the unthinkable: President Trump 2.0.
To be clear, Trump, like Charles Barkley, is no role model. He’s crude, rude and intellectually deficient. He doesn’t read. He can’t speak, and he’s grating in every way conceivable. He lacks common decency and self-awareness and never should have been President.
So, all those who yearn for the glory days of Barack Obama have a point. Now there was a moral, decent, inspiring man to admire.
But what the Trump haters aren’t right about, and what they can’t bring themselves to come to grips with, is precisely the reason those 150 Democrat candidates better start doing more homework.
The fact is — forgive me, haters — Donald Trump, as miserable a human being as he well might be, has nonetheless accomplished more in his first two years than any other President in our lifetime. That’s a detail that few who oppose the President dare utter, but it’s true.
Here’s a partial list that includes not only the well-known initiatives to “help the rich” but also those lesser-known achievements that even the most ardent anti-Trumpers should appreciate.
Criminal justice reform. At the top of every liberal’s “to do list” for the past decade has been prison reform, particularly adjusting the system so that minorities aren’t continually disadvantaged. Neither Clinton nor Bush nor Obama could move the needle on changing the criminal justice system. But Trump, through the offices of the Jared/Ivanka wing, got a bill passed that finally begins to institutionalize reform.
Fighting for international gay rights. Trump’s Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, is proudly gay and shaking up the diplomatic world to lead the effort to persuade Islamic nations and others to be more tolerant. Grenell’s boss is wholeheartedly behind the effort, and all those liberals who see shrinks to deal with their Trump trauma should support the effort, too.
Making NATO pay for its own defense. Democratic candidates all agree that the way Trump has treated our allies is disgraceful, harsh and embarrassing. Yes, yes and yes. But … isn’t it about time that Germany, France, England and all the others whose national protection we subsidize began paying more for their own defense? Sure, when Trump says the U.S. “pays 90 percent of NATO’s costs,” he’s lying. What the U.S. really pays is 72 percent, compared to England’s six percent and Germany’s and France’s five percent. Once again, neither Clinton nor Bush nor Obama had the guts to tell the Europeans to put up their fair share. Trump may be a bully, but he’s right.
Bringing home the troops. For years, liberals have decried the fact that poor people’s children are the primary defenders of this nation, putting themselves in harm’s way to protect the rest of us. But Trump is the only recent President with the guts to recall the troops from Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Predictably, The New York Times, which sadly has let its virulent anti-Trump obsession destroy its reputation for fairness, has castigated Trump’s action and led the charge to expose the “danger” of the U.S. precipitously abandoning these war zones. Fortunately for publisher A.G. Sulzberger and executive editor Dean Baquet, neither has a child fighting in these overseas hell holes. Good for Trump!
Denuding the dictators. Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for promises. Trump won’t win a Nobel, but he neutralized North Korea and bombed ISIS back to the Stone Age. And if I were Vladimir Putin, I’d demand Trump return my collusion bribes, because Russia hasn’t gotten much from this administration.
Bolstering the border. Obviously, Trump’s wall phobia is nuts, and separating migrant parents from children is awful, but … most Americans can see the wisdom in not letting too many people into the country who'll turn out to be net takers rather than net contributors. Should poor people and threatened people and sick people be allowed into the U.S.? Sure, but in an organized and limited manner. What most people oppose is wholesale immigration, where the U.S. imports anybody among the “tired, poor, huddled masses” who wants in. That may not be what Democrats want either, but it sure is the perception of the current candidate crop.
Not playing the elitist game. People despise politicians. They detest elitists. And they deplore the McConnells, Pelosis, Schumers, Comeys, Washington Posts and all the others that make up the Washington establishment. Trump is rich but he sure ain’t “elitist.” Establishment Washington hates him as much as he does them. And that’s another plus for the incumbent.
Supporting making money. Trump, thank goodness for anybody who’s got to support a family, is pro-business. Democrats abhor the fat cats who make more money and the businesses which support them. Trump’s philosophy and policies have cut taxes, increased GNP, lowered unemployment, increased wages, ignited the stock market and caused the U.S. economy to hum at increasingly-higher levels. Sure, the rich have gotten richer, but so have the less rich. And that, too, wasn’t the case under Obama. A political party that's vehemently “anti-business” shouldn’t be running this particular country.
If you’re still not convinced that Donald Trump could well be the next President of the United States, consider three final words: Amazon New York.
The tragedy of Amazon pulling all its employment, tax payments and ancillary jobs out of Queens is the greatest warning yet that the prevailing Democrat wisdom is dangerous for the country. When a few loudmouthed, anti-business socialists won the day, the real losers were all the Long Island deli workers and livery drivers and school teachers who would’ve made better lives for their families.
Let’s see who those folks vote for in 2020.
Fraser P. Seitel has been a communications consultant, author and teacher for 40 years. He’s author of the Pearson text “The Practice of Public Relations,” now in its 13th edition, and co-author of “Rethinking Reputation" and "Idea Wise.”He may be reached directly at email@example.com.