Elections

My Apologies, Mr. President

A suburban mom reflects on her 2016 vote and vows to do better in 2020.

Randall Smith made the point in a recent essay that a “do what you feel” society accustomed to indulging itself will not have the discipline or the grit to be truly progressive in the sense of doing what it takes to make the world a better place for future generations.

Immediately upon reading the article, I thought of President Trump. 

When Trump was elected, I was really disturbed. It just felt like a surreal joke to me. He was a party-switcher and a womanizer. I didn’t trust him. I feared he would ruin the presidency by turning it into an unbearable, narcissistic, reality-show farce, and his unfiltered mouth would get all the crazy dictators of the world stirred up and bombing. 

But this time around, I came away from the Republican National Convention feeling hopeful, protected in a “he’s got my back” kind of way, and completely blown away by how dedicated he has been to advancing pro-people, pro-America policies in such a short period of time—certainly more than any president I can remember, Republican or Democrat. 

From prison reform and tax cuts and incentives to pull good businesses back into the inner cities to declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency and launching a three-pronged all-out offensive against it involving education, cracking down on domestic and international supply chains, and funding proven recovery programs, Trump has been on America’s side. 

He restored funding to historically black colleges and sought the counsel of black Americans for his administration’s policy. Whether tough no-nonsense survivor single moms, ex-prisoners, or neurosurgeon Ben Carson as secretary of Housing and Urban Development, his administration has shaped its policies with input from people who know firsthand the overwhelming challenges of poverty, violence and racism that black Americans, and particularly our innocent black youth, face because generational sins have had huge generational consequences. 

He has stood up to China and created favorable trade deals for our workers. He has revitalized the military, showcasing it to create peace through strength, and has created and championed the space force; he took out two important terrorist leaders, thus delivering ISIS a horrible blow. Yet he has also championed the individual soldier: bringing home American boys from foreign entanglements and reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Today a workman came to give us an estimate on ductwork we need done in the basement. He was an ex-Marine and his knees were blown out—shattered along with other injuries to his legs during his tour of duty. In 1999, he applied for disability and was denied. The official determination was that he had torn cartilage in his knee as an 11-year-old so the condition was preexisting. He resubmitted his case, providing proof of the validity of the injury and was denied. In 2005, he tried again and was told they had no records of his previous claims. He produced the two denials and was denied a third time. 

As a single dad with full custody of his kids, he just felt he wasn’t going to waste his time trying anymore. But when Trump came into office, his veteran friends encouraged him to resubmit because things seemed to be moving. He said he applied in August 2019 and received full benefits plus retro payments by the first of December 2019. He explained how, pre-Trump, many veterans’ claims were routinely “lost” because VA bureaucrats would issue an immediate denial and then destroy the claims so as to come in under budget. Coming in under budget qualified them to receive bonuses for their money-saving, budget trimming work. His conclusion: “When Trump was firing everyone at the VA he was cleaning house. I voted as an independent last time. This time he has earned my vote.” 

All Trump’s firings since he has been in office at first made me nervous, underscoring a preconceived notion in my mind that he was unstable and too egotistical to work with anyone. Post-convention and after listening to the testimony of our contractor, I now see it in such a different light. He is effective because he makes sure his teams are top-notch and focused on getting the job done.

Trump’s administration has been at work eliminating intrusive governmental regulations so as to allow small businesses and many industries across the country to breathe and grow; he’s pushed through federal aid in record time to states during times of emergency. He’s appointed judges who honor the Constitution, and been a champion for school choice and religious liberty. He is standing strong against riots, violence, and radical movements and politicians who are calling to defund our police or promoting socialist agendas that history has shown over and over again lead to tyranny and spiritual, cultural, and economic poverty and devastation.

To me perhaps the most mind-boggling thing of all about the Trump phenomenon is that he breaks the religious Right’s womanizer stereotype mold. He speaks more boldly for the pro-life cause than some of our ministers and priests and stands firmly against pro-choice advocates who are lobbying for increasingly extreme abortion “rights”—like abortions at full term and the abolition of conscience protections. It causes my blood to run cold to think of any doctor having to abort a full-term baby, and it sickens me to think how New York and other states embrace and celebrate on national television with laughter their legislative victories in these matters as pro-woman, pro-doctor, or pro-human. No pro-choice friend or family member or pregnant woman I know who has been in such a crisis thinks abortion is a celebratory, laughing matter.

The Trump Administration seems to be keeping its head on straight as the rest of the nation goes pandemic bonkers. We wring our hands and despair, while the administration pushes, presses, demands that science and business and even government deliver: ventilators, PPE, eventually a vaccine, and that big, beautiful hope-inspiring Navy medical ship sent out to relieve hospitals overwhelmed by the pandemic. (Ah, what the fear of public humiliation and ridicule can do to get a fire under the buttinskies of the most entrenched bureaucrats.) 

From what I can tell, Trump and his administration simply won’t get distracted from the Make America Great Again promise and are absolutely determined, come hell or high water, to equip struggling and hard-working Americans of all races with the tools they need to succeed—not handouts, hand-ups; not welfare, jobs; not sentimental campaign promises, effective actions and results. 

As a mom of four, Herschel Walker’s comment about President Trump when he was owner of the U.S. Football League always taking the phone calls from his kids even during important board meetings, inspired me. In this fast-paced, tech culture, “Family First” is a very hard value to live. So many of our families are struggling and falling apart and we are losing a sense of who we are. I get it now, Mr. President, we need to put our American family first. Not out of selfishness or because of some superiority complex but out of the recognition that our American family is in crisis.

We need to pull in and care for our own. We can’t continue trying to save the world when we are drowning and hostile dictators all around the world are eager to watch us do so.

Circling back to my original thought, there is nothing I would rather do than give President Trump a first-class mouth upgrade—President Reagan-style. A mouth that is smooth and polished, light-hearted in its ribbing, and full of respect for all people including his enemies. But . . . I am guilty of judging President’s Trump’s mouth too harshly. His proven record of action makes me trust him in a way I absolutely didn’t before. 

He donates his salary to charity. That speaks to me. I believe he truly loves America and what it stands for, and I feel like he sees our people, our nation hemorrhaging—he’s in all-out emergency response mode, getting dirty and bloody as he tries to get those tourniquets on, and here I am shouting at him from the sidelines, “Tisk, tisk, Mr. President, your word choices are offensive.” 

What a joke! Before I put myself on a pedestal for my “kinder,” “gentler” way with words and people, I better make sure my delicate psyche, vanity, and stomach can handle the gruesome daily battle against entrenched hypocrisy, bureaucracy, evil and corruption—that my warm, fuzzy words can be backed by consistent, decisive actions that mean something. President Trump has made me very aware of my inner wuss—the coward made strong by her own judgments of moral superiority. 

My apologies, Mr. President. I misjudged you and grossly underestimated you. It is my judgy mouth that needs to be corrected this time—for criticisms I have made superficially and at no personal cost to me, from the comfy spectator chair on the sidelines of the war raging on this great American battlefield.

Thank you, Mr. President. God Bless you and your family, and God Bless America!