I like to read other writers’ thoughts on many of the same issues this writer struggles with. No doubt, Mr. Matthews (who penned the column below) felt exactly the same as did millions of conservatives in the runup-to the 2016 election.
There is NO question Donald Trump was “different” than any other candidate Americans had ever seen in a presidential race. His conservative message was spot-on. That message struck chords in the hearts of millions. But, most Americans struggled with the Trump persona and Trump’s chosen messaging methods. Th
Thankfully, enough Americans swallowed and pulled the “Trump switch” sufficient to elect him instead of Hillary Clinton. And the rest is history.
I highly recommend you read this column, especially if you were one of those who liked Trump’s proposed policies sufficient to vote for him. But I also want you to read it if you couldn’t vote for him. Either way, this will resonate with you.
I recently wrote a column about why I believed Trump should not run in 2024. I was wrong. I allowed my distaste for Trump’s personality to override his virtues, which are considerable. Some people want Trump without his vices. I was among them — until yesterday when I watched and listened to Tom Klingenstein’s speech titled “Trump’s virtues.” It was masterful and shamed me that I did not make the distinction between Trump’s character and his virtues, the former being deeply flawed, the latter being almost perfect. I need to man up in my defense of the former President’s virtues. The speech was among the most pointed I have heard and deserves some exposure. Klingenstein says:
Other Republicans say, “I like Trump’s policies, but I don’t like the rest of him.” This gets it almost backward. Although Trump advanced many important policies, the ‘rest of him’ contains the virtue that inspires the movement… Trump was born for the current crisis, a life and death struggle against a totalitarian enemy I call woke communism… that controls all the cultural and economic powers in America…
[Trump] revealed, not caused, the divide in this country. In war, you must make a stand… Trump is a manly man… traditional manhood, even when flawed, is absolutely essential… Trump plays to win… There are no clean hands in a fistfight…Trump is unreservedly, unquestionably pro-America… Trump is a refreshing break from the guilt and self-loathing that marks our age…
It is anti-Americanism that makes so many of us very angry: The Left has trashed America’s Founding and her history to the point where some believe it virtuous to hate America. Rather than advocating forgiveness for sins, the Left is advocating hair shirts, self-flagellation, and perpetual guilt. It is un-American and certainly un-Christian.
Trump thinks we can vanquish all comers if we just put our minds to it, and he’s right… Courage never demands perfection… Trump, over and over, said exactly what political correctness prohibits one from saying… Trump said Haiti is a shithole and that representative Maxine Waters has a low IQ. These were not racist lies. They were uncouth, politically incorrect observations that most of us would agree with but would not dare say.
In 2016, we loved Trump for his outspokenness. But many seem to have changed their minds without cause; Trump is the same today as he was before he was elected. The very things we disdain today are the things that made him the man of our time.
From morning to night, we were told that Trump is a racist. But endless repetition does not make it true. It isn’t. Trump’s contempt for political correctness showed patriotic Americans that its ever-tightening grip could be loosened… It is difficult to overestimate the significance of Trump’s fight against political correctness, a fight in which most Republicans are reluctant to engage… Trump treated the woke media with the same contempt he treated political correctness, provoking their outrage and revealing their utter corruption… it must be defeated.
I take back my unwillingness to engage Trump on his own terms. It is the Left, not we, who are politically correct. They are the ones restricting speech, canceling, and censoring, not we on the Right.
Unlike most politicians, when Trump sees a problem, he goes out and fixes it. He fixed our porous borders. He moved our Israeli embassy to Jerusalem after decades of inaction. He eliminated hate-America critical race theory in his administrative agency. He developed a vaccine in record time. He achieved energy independence and much, much more.
His accomplishments far outweigh his personality quirks. No other president did so much in so little time.
Trump smoked rats out of hiding places. Because of Trump, we know our intelligence agencies are corrupt. We also know that the mainstream media is not just biased; it is the propaganda arm of the Democratic party.
Had it not been for Trump’s vehement and irrational hatred, we never would have discovered that our security and intelligence structures are compromised. I blame #NeverTrumpers for corrupting these Agencies. This unprecedented breach of the very security of this nation is unprecedented and deeply dangerous, leaving us open to the espionage of courtesans who prey on politicians who think with their private parts.
A large part of Trump’s appeal was that he was a bona fide outsider. He distrusted the experts who believe they knew better than the average American how to run the country. This distrust was appealing to Trump’s base who believed, and with good reason, that is the experts who created the despotic mess in which we find ourselves.
We always knew but never had anyone champion that we, not the Swamp, knew better how to manage our money, time, personal lives, resources, and families. In their authoritarian mindsets, the Left wanted to take over all these very personal, uniquely American functions and replace them with governmental overreach. They nearly got their wish had it not been for COVID’s home zoom classes, where we found out that very young children are being sexualized, perverted, deliberately alienated from their parents, and taught to hate America and white people.
…They know that Republicans will lose all further elections until they get to the bottom of the last one.
This most sensitive area of politics is a disaster. I believe the election was stolen, and millions of others do. We now have evidence from many quarters that this is so. A repeat cannot be permitted, or severe repercussions will dwarf the current ones.
Some will say that Trump is a bad man and that disqualifies him. I do not think Trump is a bad man, but for those who do, I remind them that a bad man can be a good president in some circumstances. If you’re dying of thirst and there is only one person offering you water, you accept the water gratefully without much concern for the character of your rescuer.
We wanted Trump not only to fix things; we wanted him to be perfect while doing it. That is unrealistic in the average family, the average relationship, the average business, and the average political or cultural milieu. Yet some of us wanted Trump to be perfect enough to invite to tea. He is not that man. But he is the man for our tumultuous times.
This enumeration of Trump’s virtues does not fully capture his uncommon courage and firmness of purpose. Trump is the most towering political figure in living memory… Trump inspired a movement. If adequately deployed, this movement might challenge the woke-comms and save the country.
These very things are what the Left hate, yet it is not their favor we need to care about. They will not embrace anyone on the Republican ticket and certainly not one they cannot bully. We need to stop worrying about the acceptance of our candidates by the Left, or they will have won.
Republicans, however, should not forget that his support and the spirit they embrace have become the life force of the Republican party. Among the talked-about alternatives to Trump, I have not yet seen anyone who possesses or even understands Trump’s virtues. Nor have I seen anyone with his backbone and fortitude. One does not appreciate the strength of relentless gale-force winds until one is in the eye of the storm.
…which is precisely where Trump and we are at this moment. We have to prepare for the gale-force winds we will encounter. To not do this is to ignore the lessons of the recent past; it will be forever to our sorrow to ignore them.
His virtue must be the standard by which we judge other candidates.
Amen and amen. We don’t have to like his personality, but his virtues far outweigh it. I humbly stand corrected and offer my mea culpa.