Okay, 2 years ago today I wrote this post about then-candidate Donald Trump. As you can tell, I was not a supporter, and in fact voted for neither him nor Hillary in the 2016 election. Then almost a year ago I wrote this post about now-President Donald Trump.
Today, I do an annual update. I haven’t been paying much attention to what has been going on, but I do recall catching a comment Trump made about his first year as president being the best one of any president ever. I understand why he would say that. He has achieved quite a few things. But for such an accolade I think it would be hard to beat the first year of George Washington, in creating our new nation.
But based on how the press has treated him, I can see why he would say it, even if it wasn’t the sort of thing he would say anyway because of the ego that he has.
And the treatment from the press hasn’t changed significantly from a year ago, so my statements about that at that time still hold. I still think Trump, naturally, left to himself, is a big city Democrat, not a Conservative Republican. Yet, the side he chose, the side that got him into office is that Republican, and somewhat conservative side. But as long as the press holds him to the fire his ego won’t allow him to seem to give in, and so keeps him held to the conservative cause, instead of negotiating and finding the accommodations that his natural penchant would encourage him to do.
Let me take my closing comments from a year ago, and possibly tweak them a bit for today:
Why am I cautious? Because his brand of conservatism isn’t mine. It turns the course away from the “Liberal” trend we have been on, but it doesn’t really eliminate the big government with big solutions mentality that keep increasing the size of government. True, he is cutting and gutting a lot of the burdensome regulations. But has anyone noticed the parade that continues to go through the oval office. Big CEOs of various industries marching through to show their ideas and support, of jobs, of infrastructure, of being good Americans to make America Great Again. It is all so Mussolini: the cooperation of big business and big government. Yes, it will certainly improve many things; the trains (or whatever is our modern equivalent) will start running on time. But the shrinking of government, and the increasing of freedom for everyone, particularly the individual and the small businessman, that isn’t in the cards.
Yet once we start back from the old route, the chance to really make it to a true libertarian, true constitutional sense of our freedoms again, becomes more possible. thus my cautious optimism. There are still many things that could go wrong, so many ways the course could be turned back. But just the fact that so much resistance has emerged to the old course, is itself a sign for hope. Any attempt to turn back will see the same resistance that brough Trump to power.
We will see how much of my caution, and how much of my optimism, were warranted, as we watch events progress through the next 3 years.