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Trump II? Think about it

For all of the diehard Trump supporters, here’s a thought: What makes you think a Trump II will be any different and better for the U.S. than Trump I?

  • Longboat Key
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To all you diehard Donald Trump supporters: Your fervor is understandable to see him elected in 2024; to see him bring back the good he did; to rid us of Joe Biden and the destructive progressives; and perhaps what you want most: to see him vindicated, exact retribution and bring to justice those who conspired to destroy him.

We get it.

But there is far more to this presidential decision than vindication and retribution. We would urge the former president’s supporters to be thoughtful about four more years of Trump. 

For one, what makes anyone think electing Trump is going to be better or different than the first time? Yes, anything and anyone would be better than what we have. And we’d much rather have the economic conditions of Trump I than what we have now.

But what makes anyone think the chaos, controversy and divisiveness that swirled every day around Trump would go away or be any less than it was the first time? 

Or, what evidence is there that Trump has the ability to heal wounds and bridge political and social divides that would move Americans more toward the United States of America instead of the Divided States of America?

What makes anyone think Trump would be any less narcissistic, bombastic and vainglorious a second time around?

Try this: Put yourself in the shoes of a director of a large publicly traded corporation that has a revered reputation in the U.S. and elsewhere. The company needs a new CEO who can maintain the company’s reputation but also propel disruptive innovation in an intransigent staff. Sounds like a job for Trump. 

Now imagine he applied. Having observed his behavior in public office and the way he treated and discarded executives who disagreed with him — calling them losers and all sorts of other undeserved, derogatory names, would you hire him to be your company’s CEO? 

Trump exemplifies that frequent debate that occurs in business. What do you do when you have a high-performing employee who offends everyone in the company and clearly violates the “no jerk rule”? Do you keep him? Or let him go? 

Consider the wisdom of others:

  • Ralph Hunter, late founder of the Longboat Observer. Prior to our purchasing the paper, Hunter told us that after many years of hiring and firing staffers, he came to the conclusion: “We only hire people with whom we want to work. No jerks.” Life is too short, Hunter said.
  • Rick Edmonds, former editor and publisher of Florida Trend magazine in the late 1980s: The magazine needed to fill a reporter opening. When someone suggested rehiring a staffer who had left the magazine, Edmonds responded: “Rarely is it good to go back. It happens, but it is rare.”

Do we really want to live through another a year-and-a-half of the Trump campaign and then, if elected, another four years just like the four years he was in office and the four years he will have been out of office?

Trump Derangement Syndrome and the progressive left already have brought chaos, distress and destruction to this country for seven years — the two years Trump campaigned, the four years in office and now the four post-years of continuing to tear him down and leaving us with Biden, et al. 

Now, say Trump is elected president in 2024. If past is prologue, you can pretty much presume 2025-2028 would be just a continuation of what we have been enduring. 

Altogether, that would make 13 years of national destruction that could put the Fall of the United States in bookstores right next to the Fall of the Roman Empire.

No one wants that.

Donald Trump is not a conservative

If your political philosophy aligns with free-market capitalism, limited government as the Founders spelled out in the U.S. Constitution, fiscal restraint, low taxation and free trade, sorry, Trump’s philosophy does not.

Give him gold stars for aligning with limited government and low taxation. Trump’s cutting of regulations led to the nation becoming energy independent. And he led the campaign for the most sweeping tax reform in 30 years with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. That act reduced individual income tax rates 1.3 percentage points and cut the corporate tax to 21% from 35%.

The perception is that these policies ignited what Trump often has referred to as “the Greatest Economy ever in the History of Any Country.” Of course, we know that’s classic Trump bombast. And it is.

The Trump era was not the greatest economy ever.

David Stockman, Reagan’s director of Management and Budget and now an author of books and economic newsletters, has done extensive analysis of Trump’s economic results.

He compared the inflation-adjusted average growth rate of the nation’s gross domestic product (the monetary value of all goods and services produced in a year) during the terms of presidents going back to Jimmy Carter. Trump’s average growth rate ranks last.

Clinton: 3.75%

Reagan: 3.44%

Carter: 3.37%

Bush I: 2.22%

Bush II: 2.00%

Obama: 1.74%

Trump: 1.52%

Of course, Trump’s GDP sank in 2020, the year of COVID:  -3.4%. If you eliminate that year, his three-year average GDP growth increases to 2.5%, placing him fourth, but still far from “The Greatest Economy in the History of any Country.”

What’s more, Trump proved to be a profligate spender. 

In one of his recent commentaries, Stockman writes: 

“When it comes to the core matter of fiscal discipline, the Donald was no disrupter at all. He was actually the worst of the lot among Washington spenders, and by a long shot, too. … All of the hideous excesses of the COVID bailouts were launched on his watch, signed into law with his pen and/or legitimized with the imprimatur of an ostensible Republican president … 

“When you compare the constant dollar growth rate of total Federal spending during his four years in the Oval Office with that of his recent predecessors it is evident that the Donald was in a big spenders league all of his own … the Donald’s record stands first among no equals on the wall of shame.”

Stockman calls Trump the King of Debt. “Ultimately, excessive, relentless public borrowing is the poison that will kill capitalist prosperity and displace limited constitutional government with unchained statist encroachment on the liberties of the people. So for that reason alone, the Donald needs to be locked-out of the nomination and the Oval Office.”

Mind you, if you follow Stockman regularly, he has a visceral animus for Trump. But despite that, if you look at the statistical facts, four more years of Trump spending, on top of the Biden era spending, will not bring economic prosperity for Americans. As government spending and the national debt grow, that flood of money will entrench inflation. It will erode Americans’ standard of living and wealth and increasingly weaken our national defense. The higher our interest on the national debt, the less money there will be for other priorities.

We’re not overlooking the good Trump did. One of his greatest contributions was exposing just how awful and deep the Deep State is. He also raised the United States’ stature in the world. He defeated ISIS and kept the U.S. out of new wars. He accomplished much more.

But as the presidential campaign unfolds, Trump supporters should keep in mind: Knowing that people seldom change, would a second Donald Trump presidency turn the United States in a new direction and save the republic, or continue the civil war that has raged for the past eight years?

If not Trump, then who for Republicans?

From the looks of the polls (to which we don’t give much credence at this stage), Donald Trump has the GOP nomination clinched.

The polls show him ahead of his closest rival, our governor, Ron DeSantis, by margins ranging from 24 to 43 percentage points.

The despised national media, of course, is salivating for the day that DeSantis bows out of the race for the presidency. They would love to cast off DeSantis as a defeated loser.

Don’t be hasty.

Personal story: It was a Saturday afternoon in the summer of 1975. I was an intern in the news department of the Topeka, Kan., Daily Capital.

Martin, the assignment editor, strolled to my desk. 

“There is some guy from Georgia coming to town today. His name is Jimmy — Jimmy Carter, and he says he’s running for president. 

“He’s speaking today at a Democrat Party event. Why don’t you wander over there this afternoon and hear what he has to say, and then come back and write a few graphs.”

No one — in Kansas, anyway — had ever heard of Jimmy Carter. 

But the unknown Georgian who rated only a summer intern reporter that day surprised the world.

Trump may be trumping his opponents now. But be assured: There will be a similar surprise for 2024.



Matt Walsh

Matt Walsh is the CEO and founder of Observer Media Group.

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