In 2016, disillusioned with the Republican Party, distrustful of Donald Trump’s agenda, and fearful of the rise of populism in America, I cast my vote for a third-party candidate. I strive to not repeat mistakes. This year, I will cast my vote without reservation for President Trump. He has earned this conservative’s vote by advancing and defending issues about which I have deeply cared for my entire adult life.
In politics, as in life, it is more imperative to judge people on what they do rather than on what they say. In most cases, this advice is a lesson to watch for oily people who say what you want to hear while doing the opposite. In the case of Trump, you have to sometimes ignore his ramblings and bombast to see that he has a record of conservative accomplishments strong enough to rival any president.
In the modern era where we have allowed our federal government to reach into the smallest crevices of our lives, federal court judges and justices have become critical to preserving our liberties — particularly those continuously threatened liberties enumerated in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendments to the Constitution. Supreme Court Justices get all the press, and rightfully so. For the high court, Trump is 3 for 3 in appointing superb judicial conservatives. He has strengthened the Supreme Court and helped protect our civil liberties.
Only a small percentage of federal cases, however, ever end up at the Supreme Court. The vast majority of cases are decided in the Appeals Courts. Trump has appointed 53 mostly conservative Appeals Court Justices. In doing so, he has even begun to turn the heretofore rogue 9th Circuit Court of Appeals into a court that is more balanced and constructionist. Combined with the 161 federal District Court judges that Trump has appointed, Trump has significantly shifted the federal judicial branch to one that is more conservative and more protective of individual liberties.
Beyond shaping the judicial branch, Trump has advanced many conservative domestic policies. The Trump-Ryan tax bill was a landmark piece of tax reform. It decreased the corporate tax rate to be more competitive with the world. It lowered individual tax rates until 2025. It reformed tax perks, incentivized companies to repatriate their foreign profits, and cut the death tax. Importantly, it also ended the unconstitutional individual mandate provision of Obamacare that forced people to buy health insurance.
On foreign policy, Trump strengthened our nation’s border. He removed the United States from the destructive Paris Climate Agreement and from President Obama’s dangerous Iran nuclear deal. Trump unleashed our military to defeat ISIS and moved the American Embassy to Jerusalem to strengthen our ally Israel. Despite liberal prophecies of Middle East doom, Trump helped negotiate the normalization of relations between the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Israel, thus ushering in the promise of stability in the region. It also signals the realignment of the region against America’s most volatile enemy in the region, terrorist-exporting Iran.
The big policy items necessarily get the attention, but the Trump administration’s unrelenting push to the right has racked up hundreds of successes that get overlooked in the mix. Bureaucracies are slashing regulations to let Americans and their businesses breathe and thrive. The Department of Education is encouraging school choice and rejecting the socialist indoctrination that has permeated public education. Trump reformed Veterans Affairs to bring accountability and more health care choices — including telehealth technology — to give our veterans more and better health care.
I have only begun to scratch the surface of Trump’s conservative record. Sure, Trump still spends too much, supports tariffs, and supported weakening our criminal justice system, but for conservatives who purport to care about protecting unborn lives, the 2nd Amendment, free speech, lower taxes, less regulation, an America-centric foreign policy, and a love of country, President Trump has made more tangible movement in advancing and protecting those principles than any other president in my lifetime. He is not the perfect conservative messenger, but he sure is an effective conservative doer.
As I pray for the speedy recovery of our president and those close to him, I also look forward to casting my vote for his re-election.
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