Conservatives are stuck in a very strange situation. On one hand, we have a President who’s been more sensible from a policy perspective than many of us expected. I’ll admit, I didn’t expect to see the cuts in bureaucracy, the multiple attempt to kill off DACA, or the tax cuts.
That’s not to say it’s been a great first two years. We’ve made very little progress on the wall, Planned Parenthood is still funded, and, of course, Obamacare remains intact. And no, it wasn’t all the fault of our ineffective legislature. Just as President Obama led the way to get Obamacare passed, so too should President Trump have led the way on repealing it.
My issue isn’t with his policies. As with any politician, I judge each individual action as well as their body of work. I don’t take into account tribal loyalties. The one or two times President Obama did the right thing, I cheered, though obviously I found myself booing 99% of the time. The same goes with President Trump. When he does well, I express my appreciation. When he does poorly, I object loudly.
Like I said earlier, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that most of the policies the President has initiated have been positive. My biggest policy complaint has been his adoption of Chuck Schumer’s and Bernie Sanders’ tariffs which, as expected, have done little to help and so far haven’t yielded the major negotiation wins I believe the President expected by now. There’s still time. China may come around. But so far, the tariffs have been a bust.
No, my issue is and always has been his tone. This is what drives the strange situation conservatives find ourselves in. Most conservatives, the loyal creatures we are, have defended or even embraced any reaction, bad Tweet, or irresponsible statement the President has made. Part of it is tribalism that has engulfed both sides of the political aisle, but a good chunk of the reason many conservatives are so forgiving of the President’s rhetoric is that we hear equal or worse rhetoric from the left.
Mainstream media hates him and no longer tries to hide behind a facade of unbiased reporting. They’re proud of their partisanship and after decades of pretending to be fair and balanced, they can openly cry tears of sadness or tears of joy depending on whether the President has a good day or a bad day.
This unfair treatment by the media combined with the unhinged actions of the petulant leftists in and out of Washington DC endears the President to many conservatives. Heck, I found myself wanting to defend some of his reactions before the midterm elections even if I didn’t agree with them simply because the things he was responding to from the left were worse than his reaction.
Right now, the President has a tone problem. He has always said the wrong things at the wrong times, often because he comes to the wrong conclusions fairly regularly. Some tell me it’s because his straight talk style is offensive, but that’s not always it. Sometimes, his rhetoric is sung at such a poor tone that even his most ardent defenders have to pretend like they didn’t hear his latest statement or read his latest Tweets.
Here’s an example. This is a Tweet Saturday morning from the President.
There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2018
Really? I had to make absolutely certain this wasn’t a spoof account or something.
Let’s just break it down. There are hundreds of thousands of people who are currently evacuated from their homes. Many of them have no idea whether or not they just lost everything they own. Some of them KNOW they just lost everything they own. One of the biggest fires he’s referring to is currently at o% contained.
The President’s response? Threats.
Bad timing. Poor tone. Wrong choice.
If he focuses on his policies and avoids the urge to Tweet partisan opinions all the time, his reelection would be near certain. In fact, he might even still have the House based on the economy instead of losing it over rhetoric. Great policies. Bad tone.