I’m a Conservative. My party affiliation is Republican and that’s how I vote, but what I am is Conservative, so when considering my vote for the 2016 Presidential Election, it wasn’t a choice between parties, but rather within the party, because there’s nothing Democrats have to offer that appeals to me. Bernie was a socialist and his policies ludicrous and destructive, the Green Party was irrational, and Hillary Clinton was a crook who I would never vote for; therefore I had to examine the Republican candidates and what they were about. Originally there were 6 under consideration, and in order it was – Cruz, Trump, Fiorina, Christie, Paul and Carson. None of the other candidates were even in contention, especially Benedict Rubio, who’d betrayed us on amnesty, and Jeb! Bush, who not only destroyed himself with his idiotic ‘acts of love’ comment, but his embarrassing pandering to hispanics and his strategy to win without even engaging the conservatives from the start was offensive. And honestly, what incredible hubris…did he really think American wanted yet another Bush in the White House? No, they didn’t, and that’s why Mr. $150 million Jeb! never got over 3%! (Note to the ‘Elites’ – we don’t do dynasties in America!)
I really liked Carly Fiorina at first, (and yes, we conservatives would love to have a woman for President too, but not just any woman); she was smart, scrappy, and had great ideas, but after a while, she seemed to be just a snarky sourpuss all the time and lost favor with me. I liked Christie’s fighting spirit, but he was too wishy-washy on the issues I cared about most. Carson was smart, with good ideas and an amazing story, but he was too quiet and boring; and Rand Paul, while not nutty like his father, was still a bit whiny and unrealistic. Thus, the choice was between 2 candidates – Cruz and Trump.
As a conservative, naturally I wanted a candidate who shares my values and political positions, and Cruz, a doctrinaire conservative, champion debater, Constitutional scholar, etc. on paper, was perfect. The problem is however, elections aren’t held on paper, they’re held on tv. Don’t get me wrong, I campaigned for Cruz, made calls for him, went to events, etc., but if I’m being honest, it’s not that I necessarily ‘liked’ the guy for himself, what I liked was his credentials. Cruz was awkward and unattractive; his voice nasally; his rebuttals, although brilliant, were long-winded and he verbose. I heard one pundit say about Cruz that ‘every time he opens his mouth, you expect to hear a recitation of the Gettysburg Address’, which was pretty much true. And I’m not trashing him, he just wasn’t overly inspiring. I kept true though, because he checked all the boxes. Trump on the other hand, while certainly charismatic, interesting and savvy – despite the crazy hair – seemed to check none of the boxes! A Democrat from Queens who was now running as a Republican: he had supported (up to) late-term abortion, single-payer healthcare, etc. and would have been my last choice for President, except for one issue on which he was perfectly correct – Immigration.
For me immigration was the primary issue of the election. Both parties had been trying for years to shove amnesty down our throats – without the ‘consent of the governed’ who elected them – and city after city in America, including my own hometown, had been transformed into 3rd world s-holes, with people who neither spoke the language of the country, nor assimilated into the American culture. We’ve had immigration forever in this country, and for the most part it has worked out fine, which is because the people who emigrated here have embraced the culture and understood that to ‘become American’ meant to adopt certain ideas and principles, among them being language – learning English. Whether it’s German, Polish and Italian immigrants after WWII, or African, Asian and Indian immigrants, they have all worked to learn the language and assimilate, which was at the time encouraged by the government. Sure, they kept their individual cultures, customs and even languages, but they were all grateful to ‘be American’, and worked to be part of instead of apart from.
Somehow, however, after Ted Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Bill, assimilation has become a ‘racist’ term, as well as the phrase ‘learn to speak English’, and many pockets in American have been created (Miami, Florida being a prime example), where it’s so easy not to speak English, that many new immigrants don’t even try. And in those pockets, American-born citizens have often been excluded from employment and opportunity in the country in which they were born because they don’t speak the language of the foreign nationals who moved there. And to add insult to injury, have received welfare and benefits like in-state tuition which out-of-state citizens don’t even get. Why should someone like my sister (and millions like her) who work so hard (at a back-breaking job), have her taxes go to fund welfare & other ‘entitlements’ for people who aren’t even supposed to be in the country, especially when we have our OWN people who need help? I mean, we have homeless combat veterans and we’re funding illegals? No, these things are unacceptable, and despite all of my initial reservations about Trump, that is why he was my 2nd choice…because he was willing to tell the truth about immigration.
Now before those who may have knee-jerk cries of racism even try and go there, let me answer the question of why language is so important to cultural and national assimilation. As a ‘land of immigrants’, in order to avoid balkanization and diffusion, beyond a nation’s laws, having a common language and culture is part of the connective tissue that helps to unite the 320 million people with different backgrounds living in a vast country. And despite the naysayers, there is an American culture that flows through our veins. From football & baseball, 4th of July & Veterans Day, to Bar-b-que, the Flag and the Anthem, and more, our American culture is unique and aspirational, and binds us as a nation of people with many differences, or at least it should anyway. Liberals, however, seem hell bent on undermining that connective tissue to exploit those differences and dividing rather than uniting us. (Which is of course why Trump got elected).
After eight years of Obama, who went across the world apologizing for America, shaming patriotic Christians as ‘bitter…’ who ‘cling to guns or religion’, and seeming to purposely stoke racial division, Americans (of both parties) had had enough! Enough ‘marches’, enough ‘protests’, enough race-baiting, enough dismissiveness by the Democrats and neglect and betrayal by Republicans. So when Trump not only embraced but championed patriotism, shared our concerns about unfettered immigration without assimilation, saw how politicians (on both sides) had screwed over the American worker and hollowed out the middle class, wasn’t politically correct and ‘told it like it is’, people took notice. Not only did he acknowledge America’s Judeo-Christian roots and saw the forgotten men and women of this country, but he celebrated the country instead of disparaging it and apologizing for it, and promoted the idea that America could be better than ever, instead of just accepting and managing our decline.
These types of ideas of course, were ‘dog whistles’ to the Left because they assumed it was just white people who voted for Trump, because they weren’t seeing that many black and hispanic Americans ALSO loved their country and had issues with jobs going overseas, drugs pouring in, crime in their neighborhoods, and having to press 1 for English. They too were Patriotic Americans of Faith, and wanted to both appreciate their country (imperfect though it was), and worship their God without recrimination. No, Democrats expected, and still do, ‘minorities’ to ‘fall in line’ with the Democrat platform without question, and don’t understand that people want to love their country, want to be inspired, and want to be free to pursue the American Dream. So while liberals were complaining about America at every turn, Trump was hugging the flag and talking about how he was going to put money in their pockets, and it made people happy and hopeful. And he’s kept his promise after he asked ‘What do you have to lose?’ as he his policies have helped usher in the lowest black unemployment rate in history. Democrats were surprised in 2016 when Trump got 15% of the black male vote, and they will be again in 2020, as he has already doubled that amount and has increased hispanic support as well. He is helping to break the stranglehold of the Democrats on ‘minority’ voters by appealing to them not as separate identity groups but as one group – Americans!
The irony and pleasant surprise of Trump is that he is actually quite conservative. One has to assume that it was merely geography – doing business in ultra-liberal Manhattan – that required of him certain political actions and affiliations, especially considering he has for a long time contributed to both political parties. The reason I believe Trump got elected, however, is because he wasn’t a politician and wasn’t politically correct. Americans of both parties were just sick and tired of the same old BS. The promises these special-interest-beholden politicians made during the campaign but never kept; them getting rich and comfortable (on taxpayer funded government salaries) while the rest of us got poorer, it was all just too much. Not for everyone mind you, as millions still voted to continue the status quo, but for many and in the places it counted to win, particularly the Midwest, which had been all but abandoned by both parties.
So no, the brash billionaire from Queens with the wild orange hair and spray-on tan was not my first choice and when he won the nomination, after some nasty back & forth he had with my preferred candidate Cruz, I was an ardent Never Trumper for about a month and was actually not going to vote. In debates with friends I’d say ‘Trump’s not a Conservative’, whereupon they’d say ‘If you don’t vote, you’re helping to elect Hillary’, which I stubbornly dismissed. I still balked for a bit, but after a while I knew they were right, that Hillary must never be president or the country would be finished; we simply could not take another 4-8 years of Obama’s policies. And then, after reading Trump’s book Crippled America I came to understand that he GOT IT, that if he believed in what he wrote then he actually was conservative, and more, a non-politician, independent pragmatic businessman who knew how to get things done – the right things for America – and he has. He’s appointed very conservative judges at all levels, is re-working trade deals, dealing very strongly with America’s adversaries – foreign and domestic (The Swamp) – and is a Patriot who loves his country, Flag and Anthem – unapologetically – and loves the American people (instead of calling them irredeemable and deplorable). He’s a brilliant fighter who doesn’t quit, isn’t politically correct, isn’t the same old politician, and is willing to take the hits and the hate, even from within his own party, to save the country that he and we love.
I was wrong about Donald Trump: he’s the right man at the right time to do the right thing, and I’m a Proud Deplorable and extremely grateful he’s my President.