Every time a purported Trump scandal explodes, the invariable question gets posed to conservatives by liberals and never-Trumpers: “How can you still support that man?”
The latest scandal to elicit this reaction is the case of Stormy Daniels, in which a non-disclosure agreement involving a purported extra-marital affair between the president and a porn star fond of giving interviews to the media (when her gadabout lawyer isn’t giving them for her).
The basis of this question is that conservatives — in particularly, religious conservatives — have to be in complete alignment with the behavioral past of their candidate or simply refuse to vote for him. If there’s any kind of behavior we wouldn’t expect from a reverend, the expectation is that we’ll completely disavow the candidate.
Liberals have no such scruples, of course, which would be an interesting lesson in the fact that were it not for double standards, the left wouldn’t have any standards at all. That fact’s been oft-touched upon, however, so let me give you one of the most convincing reasons why conservatives continue to stick by the president, all in one handy tweeted photograph of the last two presidents.
Young Trump studied Sun Tzu & built a business empire.
Young Obama studied Alinsky & organized a community.
Does it all make sense now? pic.twitter.com/b4cWbhAotr
— C3 (@C_3C_3) May 6, 2018
The 2016 presidential election was a referendum on eight years of President Barack Obama and whether we wanted to continue on that trajectory with Hillary Clinton. The answer was no, and this picture provides a little bit of insight as to why.
As a young man, Obama was more interested in the writings of Saul Alinsky and the goings-on of the “Choom Gang” than making money. Trump was itching to build an empire. Obama created community contacts like Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright. Trump created jobs.
Under Obama, we were told how great the economy was, in spite of persistently high unemployment that lasted well into his second term. In spite of economists’ worst predictions, the economy has grown significantly under Trump, with unemployment dipping to 3.9 percent in April. That’s the lowest number since December 2000, back before the dot-com bubble truly burst.
The president has made jobs a top priority for the administration, and so far he’s delivered on that. Other economic indicators are positive, too, according to Reuters, with 164,000 jobs added and inflationary fears at bay.
If Obama was still in office, he would probably be telling us that “we didn’t build that.” He’ll never live that line down, and for good reason: it provided a brief window into exactly how he thought about the economy.
Whenever things went well, it wasn’t that American innovation was being unleashed or that people were working hard. It was that government had made it possible. When the numbers were bad (as they so often were), however, it was all someone else’s fault — usually George W. Bush’s.
Are you beginning to see now why conservatives still prefer Trump?
It wasn’t just Obama, either. The Democrat base has changed a lot since the days of yore.
Last week, during an event at the Shared Values Leadership Summit, Hillary Clinton was asked whether calling herself a capitalist hurt her at the polls.
“Probably,” Clinton responded.
“It’s hard to know, but if you’re in the Iowa caucuses and 41 percent of Democrats are socialists, or self-described socialists, and I’m asked, ‘Are you a capitalist?’ And I say, ‘Yes, but with appropriate regulation and appropriate accountability,’ you know, that probably gets lost in the ‘Oh my gosh, she’s a capitalist.'”
Clinton isn’t exactly the most capitalist person in the world — or, at least, she certainly hasn’t been moving in that general direction for a while. However, she realized an important thing: Republicans and independents probably weren’t going to go for someone who wouldn’t call themselves capitalist, while Democrats would be averse to someone who took on that moniker. She took a gamble, but couldn’t get Republicans or independents to trust her.
Are you beginning to see why conservatives prefer Trump?
This last election was about values, but not in the narrow way the media defines values. It was whether we wanted to go with a capitalist who has a proven track record of creating jobs in the private sector or someone who seems genuinely ashamed to claim the mantle of capitalist.
It was about whether we value the free market or whether we were willing to abandon it for the track of European-style democratic socialism that the Obama administration put us on. It was whether we were willing to put the economy at the forefront of our concerns or give ourselves over to the politics of identity grievances.
Yes, Trump may have made some mistakes in his personal life, although almost certainly none as grievous as his rival’s consort is accused of. When it comes to our values, however, he was certainly better than the only plausible opposition on almost every count.
After eight years of Obama, America was ready for someone who would be proud to claim the mantle of capitalism and focus on jobs. When it comes to all things economic, we almost certainly dodged a bullet not having Clinton in the highest office.
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