I was not a fan of the idea of Donald Trump being president. I do remember reading about him when I was young, around the age of 12. I thought he was great at the time. As I grew older, I learned more about the specifics of his past and his operations and heard of his corporate bankruptcies that basically took unsuspecting people’s money. I learned the extent of the wealth of his father, read about Trump University and basically considered him a trust fund baby, con-man on a gilded scale.
So, the idea of him being President of the United States and representing America to the rest of the world frankly sickened me. Then he was tweeting these insults (how unpresidential), and footage came up of him talking about grabbing girls by the, well, I am sure you know I am referring to………… This was followed by the whole Stormy saga. What a disgrace on so many levels. The idea of this man being president was revolting.
When he won, I was disappointed in my fellow citizens for facilitating this. Yes, maybe we didn’t, but he did win the Electoral College, and in this country, that is what matters. Is this fair or right? Hell no, but he did win. We can all see that there was some Russian interference attempts. However, I imagine this effort on their part was laughably unsuccessful and probably even back-fired to some extent. Regardless, he somehow made it to the White House and I was a bit apprehensive, to say the least.
Now, after roughly two years, I was forced to confront what exactly he had accomplished in that time. I admit it, I am an ends justifies the means sort of person. I think means analyzed and judged without the context of the ends is a half-baked exercise generating meaningless and baseless assertions. So, back to the ends. These ends……………….But first the scene has to be set to even understand the ends and if they make sense.
What I am and what I hope we all consider ourselves to be first and foremost, are Americans. I am all for paying our fair share. As the world’s greatest power with all the wealth and influence that should result from this enviable position, I am sure the USA’s fair share was quite large. We let other countries make their relatively puny markets inaccessible to American imperialist companies, we let them tax our goods without doing the same to theirs. We built military bases globally and tried to rebalance wealth and influence through our multi hundred billion- dollar annual gifts to many other countries. We provided military strength to countries that would have disappeared without us.
We started wars all over the world and tried to seed Democracy globally. In the meantime, we exported our jobs to import cheaper goods and services. This yielded great short-term results, but unfortunately it came with exponentially larger long-term costs. These are the costs that we are now experiencing, but most aren’t really aware of them and how it is all connected. This was not done to help the common people, it was done so that the top percent would make even more profit to concentrate the wealth even more extremely to themselves. This allowed other countries to alter the global financial balance and become relatively wealthier to the point of them legitimately challenging the USA to the point of joining their uni-polar power league.
In my estimation, what makes the United States experiment different from everything else in history is that the country is run by businesses for businesses. No other country, as far as I know, shares this unique characteristic. That has lots of ramifications, but that is for another essay. The point is that all our politicians are funded by the families that own these businesses. These people realized that the balance of things was out of whack and the world was on a quest to kill the Golden Goose (the USA) with their greed. They also knew that telling these other countries that the gravy train was over would be hugely unpopular.
Enter Donald Trump. He, like every other president and politician, is but a puppet, an actor, so to speak, with an important part to play. Imagine if it were you, instead of him, that was propositioned. I think it would go something like this: “We want you to be the President, but you are going to have to relevel our relationship to the world around us. This will make everyone else in the world hate you, and by the way, half of the United States will hate you too.” Even if they offered me billions of dollars to play this role, it is not something I would be real interested in. That is the role that Donald Trump agreed to play. In retrospect, this makes him a patriot that makes me proud.
So, that being said, let’s get back to the ends. The goals. If restructuring our relations with the rest of the world is the goal, then what he has accomplished begins to make a lot of sense. He has enthusiastically attacked all the holes in this leaking dam that we call the United States from the subsidies overseas companies get mailing packages to the USA, to the one-sided tariffs we have allowed for centuries, to closing a border that all law enforcement considers to be the main gateway of crime into the Unites States, to making the rest of our allies actually pay for their military defense, and very importantly stemming the wholesale flow of American wealth into China.
Some think he is a racist, yet he has aligned the United States in a more meaningful way with Israel by moving the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem than any American President has every done. He bullheadedly went after all the classic American foes and has been able to open a dialogue with some of them that no one else has been able to do. It seemed everyone was so upset that he was engaging with these parties, like Russia and North Korea. It incensed them that he seemed to get along with them better than with our supposed allies that have been riding our coat-tails for decades. This realignment, this open mind, these new solutions are all what was needed to execute this global recalibration and begin to make world peace a reality.
Pity the fool that had to execute this, as it was a very lonely isolated role that opened the executioner up to lots of pain from every imaginable and unimaginable angle. That is the role that this Donald Trump signed up for, I now realize. I think this new perspective does require a heavy hand to get done. From what I can tell Barack Obama was the velvet glove. I liked and respected him and still do, but while the world loved us, they were still raping and pillaging our citizens. Donald Trump is the Iron Fist, and that is upsetting to some. But this is exactly the kind of diplomacy that the United States needs right now.
While all my original objections were valid, I no longer find them relevant. I think the President’s actions, his ends, speak for themselves. Once one appreciates the significance, the importance of what he is accomplishing and has accomplished, and the sacrifices he is making to get this done, maybe they will treat him with the respect and deference that he deserves. Donald Trump is the leader of the most powerful and influential country in the World. If we have any desire of maintaining that position, it was obvious a massive series of fundamental structural changes had to be made. These changes are what will lead to sustainable, scalable, repeatable gains in real wealth for all our country’s citizenry.
It is easy to criticize means in a vacuum and make stupid slogans and catchy nicknames. It is not so easy to see the real fundamental decay of this country’s prestige and defend what is ours without offending people. When I see people on social media just decrying and criticizing the President, I feel sorry for them. They are presenting themselves as thoughtless losers, playing like a broken, out of date record with a message that no longer has relevance or meaning. Donald Trump is doing more to reposition this country for effective global competition than anyone else since the end of the cold war. So while many of us objected to his character and question his means, we cannot discount or ignore his growing list of impressive accomplishments that will preserve the American way of life for many future generations.
I now am a fan of Donald Trump. I understand that his brand of diplomacy and his manner is not sustainable for the long term. But in the short term, it is exactly what is needed to get things back on track for the long term. The long term is something Americans have a difficult time conceptualizing and dealing with, but it is something that we need to understand. I am a believer in giving credit where credit is due, and I think this President is certainly due some kudos and respect. Bravo, Mr. President!