Style Over Substance

In the weeks and months since January 20th, I’ve seen a very alarming trend in the discussions about our President and how he comes across in his unique, and somewhat inartful way.  People are concentrating much more on what he SAYS or how he says it, rather than what he DOES.  And then many will say that comparisons to President Obama are meaningless to the discussion.

Well, let me tell you why the comparisons are valid and important.  Those policy and regulation changes rolled back many of the multitude of crippling, and head scratchingly strange, regulations that sucked the life out of primarily small businesses.  These businesses are the backbone of our economy.

Many will say, because the repeal and replace for Obamacare failed by one vote in the Senate, President Trump hasn’t accomplished anything, other than to rile people’s passions, positively and negatively, by what he says and how he says it… or when he says it.  But they don’t seem to grasp the many significant accomplishments that have been made, by direct policy changes, or because of the reduction in red tape for businesses to be profitable, adding significantly to our economy, directly, and through the record high numbers in the Stock Market.

Our foreign policy shows another stark comparison between the Obama and Trump administrations.  During President Obama’s tenure, our influence in the world was steadily undermined by weak policies of appeasement and apology for being an economic and military success.  Our hasty and well telegraphed withdrawal from Iraq, coupled with the total lack of real support to the Iraqi government, gave rise to the ascendency of ISIS in the region, and only now, after an aggressive change in our level of support, has that been rolled back.  The infamous “Red Line” in Syria, which was not enforced, shows that words, without action to enforce those words, are meaningless.  In Afghanistan, we are seeing positive results from tactics that are designed by those who are there, and know the situation first hand, rather than in a room in the White House.  The disastrous policies of the Viet Nam War, where all the tactical decisions were made for purely political reasons, by President Johnson, rather than to trust those tactical decisions to those in the field, should have precluded making the same mistake in the 21st century.  But they didn’t.  As they say, “Those who forget history, are bound to repeat it”.

I realize that President Trump is a highly polarizing figure.  He has a brash, and unfiltered, way of speaking (and Tweeting), and has a colorful past that has some distasteful elements.  I was not a supporter of his candidacy, in the beginning, and still think Senator Ted Cruz would have made a much better candidate and president in many ways.  But, after Trump was nominated, and began to lay out his policies, I began to slowly swing to backing him for several reasons.  First, and foremost, his opponent, Hillary Clinton.  No candidate in recent history has ever had so many aspects of her policy statements, and arguably criminal past, that were, in my opinion, completely anti-American, anti-Constitution, and pro-Socialism.  Secondly, his commitment to nominating strict Constitutional constructionists to the Supreme Court, which was borne out in his nomination of Justice Gorsuch, who has been a phenomenal voice on the court.  Thirdly, his commitment to American exceptionalism, through advocacy for policies in trade and diplomacy that project our strength and standing as an economic and military leader in the world, benefitting our own citizens first, but being compassionate to a hurting world.

So, I’ll take the substance, and pay less attention to the style.

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