On Sept. 17, the Albuquerque Journal editorial page included a guest column by Bob Franken headlined, “More than 20,000 lies later, you still believe Trump?” I’d like to explain why I answer “Yes – on what really matters.”
Now I don’t know whether Trump really told 20,000 lies as Franken claims, but I freely admit Trump is a BS-er. He often seems to spout off whatever pops into his head as something he thinks will sound good. If Trump made an off-the-cuff observation the sun would rise in the east tomorrow, I’d want independent confirmation. Franken’s accusations are largely very unfair, but correcting them would not change the fact that Trump is a BS-er.
How, then, can I and millions of other Americans say we believe him? It’s because, in what matters most, Trump has been unusually honest for a politician.
Take several steps back and look at the big picture. Go back to the 2016 campaign. Most politicians strive to cover up their rough edges when campaigning; Trump never did. He campaigned as his same bombastic self we’ve seen in office.
Much more importantly, Trump has fulfilled or tried to fulfill his major campaign promises. He promised to jump-start the American economy by reforming regulatory excesses and reforming business taxation to compete better with the rest of the world. He did, with spectacular results: Lowest unemployment in decades, lowest Black, Hispanic, Asian and women’s unemployment on record; first increases in real income in many years, with the most rapid increases being among the lowest income groups.
He promised to nominate judges for the federal bench, including the Supreme Court, who were genuine constitutionalists, not dogmatic conservatives. He has kept that promise, and I have faith that he will continue to do so, including the same for a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
He promised to rebuild the military that Obama-Biden administration cuts had severely damaged, and he did so and is continuing to do so, including reforms at the VA helping our vets get the medical care they deserve.
He promised an “America First” foreign policy, and he has made good on that pledge. I don’t always agree with his beliefs on what’s best for America, e.g., on tariffs and trade, but these are what he promised. He has had genuine successes: Getting NATO members to spend more on defense; a long-overdue toughening of policy toward China; providing advanced war planes to Taiwan; making good on America’s decades-long promises to move our Israeli embassy to Jerusalem; the amazing moves toward accommodation between the Arab world and Israel including recognition of Israel by two Arab states with more likely to follow; strengthening warm relations with the world’s largest democracy, India; providing Ukraine with the weapons needed to defend against Russia, weapons Obama-Biden refused to supply; and so forth.
Of course, the coronavirus has upended everything, and Trump’s responses to this unforeseeable crisis may not have always been the best. However, Biden’s wild claims that all COVID-19 deaths are Trump’s fault are utterly absurd; no policy could possibly have prevented all these deaths, and Trump actually did a lot of things right. These include “Operation Warp Speed” – to develop COVID-19 vaccines in record time.
I am confident that, if reelected, Trump will press on in the directions he has promised and made good on in his first term. Among other things, once vaccines and other medical advances to get the virus under control, I expect Trump’s economic policies will produce rapid recovery from the recession.
In contrast, Biden has promised to double down on the tax-and-regulate policies of the Obama-Biden administration that produced the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression, based on GDP. Biden would preserve our recession for posterity.
Oh, one other thing. Yes, Franken, and yes, Kamala Harris, as a senior citizen with underlying health conditions, I would be happy to take Trump’s first-available vaccine shot.
EDITOR’S NOTE: According to The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, President Trump has made 20,000 false or misleading claims while in office as of July 9.