It won’t surprise anyone who is familiar with what I believe that I don’t support President Donald Trump. I didn’t support him in 2016 nor am I supporting him today. My reasoning is simple enough. After his election I started off as judging him like an umpire would judge a pitcher: by calling balls and strikes. But umpires aren’t zombies. Even an impartial umpire will eventually conclude a pitcher who keeps missing the strike zone is no good.
But what if I had to support Trump this November and cast a vote for him? How would I justify it? I thought it would be an interesting thought exercise. Here is my case:
To the extent the country can be managed, Trump has been fine at that. Not great, but not terrible either. The economy continued to grow and improve prior to COVID-19. His tax cuts, deregulation, and nomination of Jermoe Powell as Federal Reserve Chair have all helped. There’s a reason 57% of Americans think they are better off today than they were four years ago.
Sure it ran into a buzzsaw with COVID-19, but that would have happened to any President. The COVID-19 response has been a disaster, but I don’t think it was a disaster unique to Trump. Most of the world has similarly struggled to suppress the virus and I’m not sure any other American politician would have done much better. And when it comes to foreign policy, he’s avoided making any disastrous blunders and has even had a few wins in the middle east.
Like I said, fine management, but in each of these areas decisions by Trump have kept his management from being great. Yes the economy has continued to grow, but it would have grown stronger without a trade war– and the deficit exploded under his administration– even before COVID-19.
While the COVID-19 death toll isn’t on him, undermining public confidence in an eventual vaccine and irresponsible comments to shrug-off the magnitude of the crises are on him. And while his foreign policy hasn’t been a disaster there have been serious mistakes. For example, the US position visa via North Korea is significantly worse than it was when Trump took office because Trump voluntarily gave up US leverage in return for nothing.
I don’t think Trump has been a disaster as President– and in certain places he has been pretty good–, but, in the end, Trump has certain flaws that are too atrocious to forgive and a President Joe Biden wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. That’s why I won’t support him.