Though I believe myself to be a dyed-in-the-wool Republican, I had great difficulty getting fired up for any campaign featuring Donald Trump.
Truth be told, I just don’t like the baggage he brings, nor do I like the way he debated the other Republican candidates. My list of grievances goes on. Moreover, I think his tweets can be inane and show more of a caricature of Trump rather than the man himself.
Perhaps I’m still annoyed that Rand Paul didn’t get the nomination, though it’s part of the grand old tradition where the parties tear themselves apart during the primary and convention seasons and then clean their knives in preparation for a spot in the backs of the other side come November.
This leads me to the struggle of trying to decide whether I’d be happier being right, or having the leader of my party and country be successful. One is quite selfish and satisfying, I’ll admit. However, in light of recent events, I feel it necessary to give credit where credit is due.
President Trump has impressed me that his heavy-handed persona is actually working with the international community in balancing the United States’ interests. That he’s even been in the same room communicating with Kim Jong-Un is impressive. Though I generally do not support tariffs as they are a barrier to free trade, they are a useful potential remedy to trade distortions when others impose tariffs on U.S. goods, and Trump has been willing to support those measures, despite pressure from other international leaders.
Trump has also shown an interest in stripping some overarching federal regulations, giving a nod to potential support to end the federal ban on marijuana, leaving the legality of the plant up to the respective states. I suspect that will become a more pressing issue for Republicans as we get closer to the November 2020 election, as a Hail Mary to push the GOP across the finish line. Whether or not Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be along for that ride is yet to be seen.
I also love the “right to try” bill, which bypasses drug regulators and allows patients with life-threatening conditions to ask the pharmaceutical companies to try medicines that would have previously been unobtainable. That legislation allows drugmakers to give those patients medicines that have passed Phase 1 of the Food and Drug Administration approval process, but are still being tested. It allows for potential hope to those who previously had none and respecting that shows promise to our system which has, in some related cases, regulated people to death.
I’m still not completely sold with Trump’s scorched-earth style, but I’m starting to see good things come from it. Though he has done many things I wholeheartedly disagreed with both politically and morally, so has every other president and really, nearly every other politician. I won’t be buying a MAGA hat anytime soon, but it would unfair to withhold credit for the good things that have come about as part of this presidency. Granted, pleasant surprises aren’t too outlandish, since I expected the entire term to be a yuuuuge load of covfefe in the first place.