Progress At What Cost?

Conservatives have made gains from the Trump Administration. But at what cost long term?

There are many conservatives, myself included, who never expected much from a Trump presidency. Most of us, again myself included, never actually thought he would win and, even if he did, the cost would be so great as to make us wonder if it would be worth it.

In the past year, President Trump has delivered on an arguably very conservative agenda. Neil Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court. The regulatory burden imposed by Washington has been rolled back. Republicans have scrapped the individual mandate from Obamacare, thereby setting up the Affordable Care Act for increased destabilization, which will necessitate reform if only because of crisis.

Tax reform embraced a key goal of Barack Obama, who wanted to lower the corporate tax rate, while also embracing individual tax reform. Though the code is not as simplified as it could be, only five percent of Americans will see a tax increase. Major corporations, without federal intervention, are raising their starting salaries to $15.00 an hour because of tax reform. The political left could never deliver on this, but Donald Trump has delivered it.

Understated and overlooked, President Trump has also embarked on an overhaul of American foreign policy. Gone are the days when President Obama flirted with American enemies in hopes of wowing them to our side. Yes, wowing, instead of wooing, is intentional. President Obama believed his own press about the force of his charm and personality, but no foreign governments believed it.

President Trump has scuttled President Obama's "hashtag diplomacy" in favor of real diplomacy. Despite howls from the left claiming Russia stole the election, President Trump has armed the Ukrainians against Russia and taken a far firmer stance against Russian interference in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Additionally, President Trump has finally brought a grown up's perspective to North Korea after years of American presidents coddling the regime.

In short, the American economy has rebounded beyond the anemic growth of Barack Obama's years and American interests are again American interests instead of vague platitudes centered around global harmony.

I do wonder, though, at what cost we have gotten all these things. Again, many of us who were skeptical of the President, but are pleasantly surprised at his successes, have also wondered what the long term ramifications of his behavior would be. The left in America, suddenly clamoring about "rule of law," really have not respected it. They were fine apologists for an Internal Revenue Service willfully targeting conservatives. They were and are fine with activist judges overruling democratic acts for leftwing values. Now they scream about Donald Trump merely taking precedents Barack Obama set and amplifying them.

Still, something is off in the American experiment and experience. The President's behavior is not presidential. We have a President who can no longer serve as a role model for our children. And the President tends to corrupt everything he touches. People who were once strident defenders of the First Amendment now favor government controls of the press because Donald Trump says he would support it. At the opposite extreme, some long time supporters of moving the American embassy to Jerusalem now oppose it because Donald Trump did it.

There is more though. President Trump has offered no major leadership on a domestic agenda. Tax reform got passed by necessity by desperate members of Congress needing a win. They never did get Obamacare repealed. They never resolved the issue with DACA. They never built a wall. And President Trump seems to have no deep grasp of public policy. He would rather mean tweet.

The gains conservatives have seen have come from the Trump Administration, but President Trump himself has been an undisciplined distraction. The gains have come more in spite of the President than because of him. Democrats are mobilized and energized and President Trump seems unwilling or incapable of trying to mitigate what is coming. It is increasingly likely conservatives who voted Trump to save the Supreme Court could see it lost to a Democrat controlled Senate next year even though President Trump resides in the White House. Something has to give and I am afraid it will be our union that frays.

5.) To that end the evidence doesn't support Hillary was a spectacularly weak candidate. She matched or improved on Obama in several states. In Colorado for instance she'd have to lose over 150,000 votes just to tie with Romney's number which was on par with what Bush got when he won it.

6.) Conversely there is little to no evidence Rubio would do particularly better than "any Republican". Your entire argument rests on your unproven assertion regarding Favorability ratings.

7.) There is little to no evidence moderates are particularly moderate in their beliefs but rather that they pick and choose from the two ideologies. So a moderate might want tax cuts to promote growth of the economy but believes in "marriage equality". And each of these will have a different value of importance. And needless to say this wouldn't be captured by a Favorability rating.

8.) To that end these "moderates" will all break towards one side or the other based upon their own inclinations and the issues they value. And that is what is important. Not a Favorability rating, a gestalt numbered that says very little about the electorate, but whether the candidate exposes the issues they care about. Hence a certain percentage of blue-collar voters who had up till then reliably voted Democrat switched due to a combination of Trump's campaigning for them and the Democrats essentially abandoning them.

9.) Trump only got three points lower than Romney in terms of consolidating the Republican vote. And a good percentage of that three percent likely come from states Trump won anyway so would unlikely to make a difference.

10.) Big or small the issue is a favorability is not applicable to what your are trying to use it for.

11.) You very much have to look "state to state" in a national election. There is no getting around that. For instance if more people dislike you but are concentrated in one state while those that do are scattered just enough to tip the balance in several other states the advantage is to you.

"We have a President who can no longer serve as a role model for our children." Do you mean the way Bill Clinton was a role model for our children? You know, teaching them that oral sex is not really sex-----resulting, according to many parents and teachers, in young girls performing fellatio on boys because it was OK, "it's not really sex". Or maybe you are talking about the role model provided by Barack Obama, who advocated and promoted racial discord and allowed his Justice Department to pick and choose which crimes to prosecute, depending on race. (Unless you have a better reason for not prosecuting the New Black Panthers for openly soliciting the murder for hire of George Zimmerman.) Perhaps a president who undermines and ignores the Constitution is considered a good role model, or one who sues a governor for trying to honor her oath of office and enact the laws passed by Congress, or one who allows Americans to die undefended to try to hide an illegal intrusion into the politics of another nation, or one who lies to the public about the consequences of this betrayal. Is a good role model a president who openly disdains our military? Insults our allies an bows in submission to known tyrants? As you say your are not happy because we NO LONGER have a president who can "serve as a role model for our children" I genuinely want to know which president you believe has been a better one.

"Democrats are mobilized and energized " In what alternate universe is this happening? Oh, Democrats are certainly unhappy, loudly and hysterically unhappy, but "mobilized"? The more the radical left takes over the party, the more it loses the rational and moderate contingent, which does not want to be associated with shrieking harpies strutting around dressed as their own genitals, or howling mobs calling for the murder of law enforcement officers, or any of the other antics of the party. They are not happy to learn how badly managed the party has been, with its top officials bringing in foreign agents and then ignoring warnings about them as they had access to all the emails of the most highly placed Dems. Democrats also suffered under Obamacare and can't take Nancy Pelosi's strident hysterics seriously. They may be "energized" in the way a beehive is energized when knocked over by a bear, but simple hate-driven disorganized energy isn't much use especially when it creates massive internal divisions.

@Jules the world where Democrats swept the VA gubernatorial race, state senate race, and almost took their state house. A world where Democrats were able to get over 48% of the vote in GA-06, a safely Republican seat. A world where Democrats were able to take the Alabama Senate seat with a surge of black voters that broke turnout records for a special election. A world where Democrats were able to close within 48% in three special elections in R+10 districts. That's the world I'm talking about. It's the one we are living in.

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