On Nov. 8, 2016, I was shocked when I found out that Donald Trump had beaten Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election. As a lifelong Republican, I was happy the American people had spoken and elected an anti-establishment, conservative outsider to get America back-on-track for the first time in my life. Since 2016, I have been delighted about President Trump’s job in the White House and will vote for him in the upcoming election. The reasoning for this is not just because I am a lifelong Republican, but goes much deeper than that.
First, let's address the elephant in the room. Many people, from journalists, to Democrats, to average citizens, have stated that Trump’s handling of COVID-19 was inadequate or that he is personally responsible for everyone who has died because of the coronavirus in the United States. However, it is important to remember the U.S. is not the only country to be massively affected by the virus. It is also not accurate to say that Trump handled COVID-19 worse than almost every other developed nation. Some critics of Trump’s COVID-19 policy say that he should have issued a federal mask mandate or encouraged governors to lock down sooner. In regards to the mask mandate, Trump let the governors do their job and did not attempt to overstep the executive branch’s power. As for the lockdowns, many scientists and doctors are unsure which lockdown measures work in flattening the curve and which ones don’t. However, assuming they do help in flattening the curve, then I seriously doubt that a Democrat in Trump’s place would have started lockdowns sooner. On Feb. 24, 2020, Nancy Pelosi and several other public figures stated that large groups of people should visit Chinatown. Monday morning quarterbacking is always more comfortable from your lounge chair.
Trump’s most robust accomplishment is the U.S.’s excellent economy. Before COVID-19, the unemployment rate was at its lowest point in almost half a century and other indicators of a strong economy like median household income and GDP have risen. In early February, Gallup administered their “Mood of the Nation” poll in which 59 percent of Americans said they were better off now than where they were a year ago. This number showed record-high happiness in personal finances, barely beating out that of 1999 when 58 percent of Americans said the same. A common criticism leveled at Trump is that the growth of the economy was not his doing but merely because he followed the Obama administration. However, Trump's approach to the economy is more supply-side oriented, while Obama focused more on federal intervention through government spending to stimulate the economy following the Great Recession. This focus means Trump wants to lower taxes and barriers to private business activity to stimulate the economy. The supply-side economics approach used by Trump generally leads to faster recoveries. Now that the virus is here, it has taken a significant toll on the economy as a whole — despite this, we have already seen the economy bounce back. We can expect even more economic growth if we elect Trump for a second term. If Biden’s approach is similar to Obama’s, then with the higher corporate taxes and anticipated government regulations, there would be a much slower rebound.
Another one of Trump's election-winning issues is his anti-war policies. Do not get confused by this statement. This does not mean Trump will sit back and do nothing if some foreign adversary attempts to kill Americans. What it does mean is Trump is not actively looking to invade countries who may or may not pose a strategic risk to our country in the future. Critics have thrown this complaint at the military-industrial complex-controlled Bush and Obama administrations. Now, in the interest of defending the country, Trump has and will place economic sanctions on countries who may threaten us, using purse strings as well as other peaceful measures to control behavior rather than the threat and intent of war. The critical thing to remember is when enemies threaten America, Trump has not attempted to go directly into conflict. Instead of this, Trump has opted for more diplomatic approaches to foreign policy, on display with the recent signing of peace agreements in the Middle East. Trump managed to get multiple Muslim-majority countries to sit down with Israel and recognize the Jewish-majority state.
Finally, all my life, many people who align with either side of the political spectrum have been referred to as the establishment, a group of American bureaucrats who have made non-elected politics and public service their career. Many former presidents such as the Bushes, Clinton and Obama are from this establishment. Not every establishment politician is terrible, and I like quite a few of them, like Mitch McConnell. Even so, it is essential to remember that for decades some of these establishment politicians have gotten comfortable with their jobs. To me, they have lost what it means to represent the people of their district, state and the U.S. Donald Trump is a change from the status quo and, through his first term, he has worked hard to run off many establishment Republicans, like Paul Ryan. With four more years, he can help bring on a new generation of populist politicians. These politicians will have America's best interests at heart on both the right and the left of the political spectrum.
Ultimately, the 2020 election will determine the United States’ direction for the next four years. If Joe Biden wins, he will attempt to eliminate much of what Donald Trump has done for this country. Sometimes what he tweets or says in an interview can be brash, somewhat confusing or not what you might expect from the president. Remember this: Trump is not a politician, for this very reason, he will not act like a politician by telling you what you want to hear with feel-good words. So judge Trump not on his tweets, but on his policies and what he has been able to achieve thus far. By and large, Trump has put America first with robust plans and another four years of him as president will do immense good for this country.
Bryce Robinson is a business administration sophomore and opinion writer for The Battalion.