We live in an age that is so divided that if you don’t share the vitriolic hatred for President Donald Trump, then you must be a dedicated deplorable. There is no middle ground. But some of us can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can support President Trump while at the same time express disappointment when warranted, something St. Obama supporters could never bring themselves to do.
Of the 17 Republicans who ran for president four years ago, Trump was my 17th choice. When he surfaced as the Republican nominee, the Democratic alternative was so repulsive that I pulled the lever for Trump with a prayer and crossed fingers. I did not choose Trump for his values, but I thought he had a better vision for America.
Three years into Trump’s presidency and before the global pandemic, the empirical evidence of Trump’s vision proved to be a good choice. The stock market, manufacturing, unemployment, wages and consumer confidence were all reaching record numbers with one of the best economies in American history.
At the same time, we had peace abroad including the destruction of ISIS, moving our embassy to Jerusalem, getting us out of idiotic, international agreements, and keeping our enemies at bay.
Amazingly, Trump did all this while under a special counsel investigation made up of lawyers who all voted for his opponent. He endured the most partisan impeachment in history, betrayals from members of his own party, the ugly onslaught from Hollywood airheads, TV hosts who spew hateful garbage about him every night, and a psychotic media whose reports are more than 90% negative.
You’d think this guy’s approval rating would be in the 70s, but Donald Trump has a terrible habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, which is why I have my own Trump Derangement Syndrome. I want him to succeed but I cannot defend his behavior when he acts less than presidential. His personal behavior repeatedly drowns out his great accomplishments, which can be maddening!
When Trump first took office, I thought his boorish behavior was because he had never been in politics. But hey, he’s a smart guy and he will learn from his mistakes and grow out of it, right? Not yet. He continues to play right into the media’s hands, who are ready to pounce like hungry jackals on everything he says that can be spun as scandalous, such as their lies about drinking Clorox.
I know there are many in Trump’s base who love his rough edges, but every following has its lemmings. This was true with Hillary Clinton. Despite enough corrupt baggage to fill a 747, she had her own loyal base. We’re seeing that now among Joe Biden’s rabid supporters who think his senility is part of his charm. If Trump says something untrue it’s called a lie. If Biden says something untrue, it’s called a gaffe.
I’ve also heard Trump supporters claim that his behavior is by design and all a part of some brilliant strategy. Yeah, and his opponents are still convinced that he’s an evil mastermind posing as a Russian secret agent. Get real. A brilliant scheme would require planning and forethought. I think President Trump just says what’s on his mind in the moment as many of his supporters cringe. It often feels like two steps forward and one step back with Trump’s unforced errors.
Part of Trump’s saving grace is that his opponents are so flawed themselves.
What did it say about Hillary Clinton to have such a powerful political machine, a far superior organization, 90% of the media as your personal Super Political Action Committee, and twice as much money with over a billion dollars in cash, and STILL lose to Donald Trump?
We are seeing history repeat itself with Biden, made worse by the accusations of Tara Reade.
Biden deserves the presumption of innocence and due process, something crazed Democrats never afforded Justice Brett Kavanaugh or Donald Trump during his impeachment mockery.
But it’s already too late for how Ms. Reade has exposed the blatant hypocrisy of the Democratic Party, the media, the #MeToo Movement, and worthless opinions of Hollywood actors.
My Trump Derangement Syndrome is a frustration that his domestic and foreign policies are winning, but his lack of decorum keeps holding him back.
This is the only reason the election may be close. If he ever figures this out, he will be unbeatable.
Gil Mertz is a Thousand Oaks resident and former Santa Clarita Valley resident who worked for Help the Children in Valencia for 20 years.