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Donald Trump isn’t perfect, but he’s just the medicine the U.S. needs

Posted 10/18/16

Two summers ago, I wrote a laudatory piece for the Press And Journal on Donald Trump and his then-ascendant campaign. I praised his tenacity to speak directly to the everyman, infuriating media elites who discourse in meaningless verbiage.  …

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Donald Trump isn’t perfect, but he’s just the medicine the U.S. needs

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Two summers ago, I wrote a laudatory piece for the Press And Journal on Donald Trump and his then-ascendant campaign. I praised his tenacity to speak directly to the everyman, infuriating media elites who discourse in meaningless verbiage. 

The D.C. class needed a good reminder that the rest of America doesn’t think, talk or act like them. Trump was that outlandish reminder.

Fifteen months later, I never thought he would be the Republican nominee. He’s less than 30 days from winning the presidency. Hillary Clinton, who I predicted would win the election hands down, is no longer a guarantee. 

Come Election Day, I plan on voting for Donald Trump. I know what you’re thinking: How in the world can you vote for that vulgar monster for president? Don’t you think he’ll run his gums and start World War III?

Well, the truth is that I do fear missteps in a Donald Trump administration. I’d rather him not embarrass us on the world stage. I’d prefer his temper not flare while negotiating with world leaders. I’d really like for him to not screw over his supporters the way he’s filtched from his creditors over the years.

All that said, I’m under no illusion: I’m prepared to be disappointed in a President Trump. Any president will sooner or later let you down (see the fall in millennial support of President Barack Obama). The Donald, despite his boasts, will not follow through on his dreamy, superlative-filled promises.

But I still back Trump, not so much for what he says but what he represents. He’s a blowhard businessman whose avarice is only rivaled by his opponent’s insatiable opportunism. He wouldn’t know the Constitution if it was gold-flecked and began with “Me, Donald Trump, of my United States, in Order to form…”

However, any apprehension I had about Trump’s ability to execute the duties of commander-in-chief have been softened by one thing: His penchant for protecting that which is close.

I doubt Trump knew what he was getting into when he launched his campaign way back in June of last year. His infamous announcement speech is remembered most for implying that many illegal Mexicans are criminals (definitionally, all illegal immigrants are criminals) and rapists. 

But he said much more. Channeling conservative columnist Pat Buchanan’s populist presidential runs from the 1990s, Trump came off as fiercely inward looking. He raged against international trade deals, the downscaling of the U.S. military, our porous border with Mexico, and proposals to gut Medicare and Social Security.

Trump’s platform wasn’t ideological. Heck, it was barely Republican. Trump shot from the hip at whom he perceived as corrupt politicians driving the country down the road to ruin. And he never apologized for it.

This was made all the more clear when Trump, after routing 16 opponents in the long and bloody primary war, accepted the GOP nomination. With his amateur campaign polished by professionals, the Manhattan billionaire took things up a notch in his acceptance speech, attacking Hillary Clinton’s cosmopolitan views. “The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponents,” Trump boomed, “is that our plan will put America First. Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo.”

It was once understood that nation-states exist to advance the prosperity of their citizens. That outdated belief is at odds with the “global-mindedness” of today’s elites, who see national borders and patriotism as limits on spreading the liberal gospel to the far reaches of the world.

Hillary Clinton is unquestionably the elitists’ choice this election. And her neoliberalism is based on a few assumptions, the prime one being the interchangeability of human beings. For Hillary and her globalist ilk, we are nothing by biological automatons that react to pleasure and pain. Blood, kin and roots are only the product of colorful imagination. They aren’t real like gross domestic product. They don’t provide meaning like biweekly dole checks. 

Of course, Hillary, being the canny pol she is, utilizes identity politics to rile up her base. She uses feelings of racial and sexual solidarity to boost her numbers. But that’s only a political ploy. Her heart is with the universalized idealism of the TED talk crowd.

Trump’s the opposite. He wants to bring money spent on democracy-building home to repair our broken infrastructure. He castigates companies that leave the United States to set up shop in cheaper countries. He wants to preserve America’s unique character by securing the border. He doesn’t want to just defeat ISIS — he wants to take their oil reserves for American use.

Trump’s focus is here, on our country and our people. His message resonates with those who don’t long to see the world, and are comfortable right where they are. A new poll from The Atlantic shows that “40 percent of Donald Trump’s likely voters live in the community where they spent their youth, compared with just 29 percent of Hillary Clinton voters.” Not only that, but 60 percent of Hillary supporters live more than two hours away from their hometown. (For the record, I live in Northern Virginia, which is slightly over two hours away from Middletown).

In a recent NPR interview, Bruce Springsteen, reminiscing about his hardscrabble years in Asbury Park, New Jersey, divided people into two camps: “(T)here’s folks that stay and there’s folks that go.” Trump is the voice of folks who stay — stay in their family, their hometown, and their country. Hillary is the voice of those who leave — who break the bonds of their birth and embrace their will-to-power self.

This 21st century America needs a good dose of staying put. Trump is the medicine. No matter the taste, I plan on taking it on Nov. 8. 

Do you?

James E. Miller, a native of Middletown, works as a digital marketer in Northern Virginia.

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