This is one part of a point-counterpoint pair of articles. The other article is here.
For the record, I am ashamed of who I voted for in the 2016 presidential election. I’m not going to say who, but it wasn’t Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. I couldn’t vote for either. Hillary would have destroyed the country and Trump is pushing us in the wrong direction. I’ve been #NeverTrump since before the hashtag became a thing and I remain opposed to him as President. I’m not part of the resistance and I don’t oppose all of his actions, but I look at what he’s done and said and I cannot find it in my heart of hearts to approve of him.
I’ve always been fair, though. When he does the right things, I praise him. I like to call it like I see it, and what I see with President Trump is failure after failure with a handful of wins sprinkled about to make him appealing to his base. He did the right thing with Israel. He gave us Neil Gorsuch, which has not yet been proven to be a good move despite his reputation as an originalist. Pretty much every other populist concept he’s turned into policy has been bad.
Let me list some of the things I take the most offense to:
- Deflating Obamacare: Trump gets credit from some for taking away advertising budget for Obamacare and doing a handful of things to hamstring it. Guess what? These things aren’t helping the cause. He’s giving the Democrats all the excuses they need to say, “Obamacare would have worked if the GOP and Trump hadn’t messed it all up.” Some would also say that it isn’t his fault he hasn’t received an Obamacare repeal bill. Some would be wrong. Just as Obama was able to push the Democrats to pass Obamacare, Trump should have gotten a plan together to repeal it. The executive branch cannot legislate, but only a fool believes they have no influence. Again, Obamacare was put forth directly by the Obama administration. He didn’t wait for Congress to give him something. He sold it to them. Trump should be doing the same thing.
- Twitter Embarrassment: I understand his frustration with mainstream media. It’s a frustration I’ve shared for the last couple of years, particularly when he used the mainstream media to win the general election. His push against ‘fake news’ may be a license for him to use social media for communicating with the public, and I’m okay with that as long as he’s not using it to make a fool of himself and the country. When he attacks people, calls them names, and generally acts like a middle schooler with a smartphone and a grudge, he’s not doing himself or his agenda any favors.
- Terrible Targets: Most conservatives have a problem now with NFL kneelers. Before Trump made it an issue, it was just an annoyance. Now, it’s suddenly big news that won’t go away. By making it worthy of the Oval Office to go after, he belittled his own role. He also made the problem much worse than it was before. The NFL isn’t the only wrong target. He likes to call out anyone who hurts his ego. That’s not only foolish and below the office, but it’s often counterproductive. He likes to say things to prove he can defend himself, which makes him the ultimate “down puncher.” As a general rule, you never punch down, which is why U.S. Presidents rarely punch at all. Trump is too small to believe in this concept.
- DACA: I remember when everyone cheered him on for “killing” DACA. It was a joke. He didn’t kill it. He empowered it. He could have easily killed off the executive order immediately and left it at that. Instead, he not only gave Congress six months to fix it permanently, but he also told them if they didn’t come up with a solution to help Dreamers, he would. That doesn’t sound anything like candidate Trump. He will end up signing into law another amnesty program. So much for deporting all illegal immigrants.
- The “Best” People: Of all the bad things Trump has done as a candidate and president, the worst thing is what he claimed to be his strong point. He said he only hires the best people. Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, Anthony Scaramucci, Omarosa Manigault, Rex Tillerson, Steve Mnuchin, Jared Kushner… need I go on? The people in power today are not draining the swamp. They are the swamp.
Here’s the bigger problem. He hasn’t even done much damage, yet. He hasn’t been able to pass a fake repeal and replacement bill, but he will. It’s guaranteed to maintain federal government control over healthcare. He hasn’t put in his trillion-dollar infrastructure plan because despite signing the 2nd biggest budget in American history, there just wasn’t enough room. We also haven’t seen anything regarding his push for “fair trade” which we are certain to see before his next election, perhaps before the midterms. Some are speculating that if the tax plan passes, he’s going to go after China. That may be popular with his base, but it’s fruitless and potentially damaging for the U.S. economy.
I don’t necessarily dislike Trump despite my criticism. He was more liberal before he was a politician and I didn’t think twice about him. Is he better than I expected? In some ways, yes. In other ways, he’s actually worse than I thought he’d be. Anthony Scaramucci? Seriously?