If you had told me in 2016 that 3 years later I’d be saying Mitt Romney was right to call Trump a “fraud” I wouldn’t have believed it. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Unfortunately Romney was spot on then and he’s right now when he says Trump hasn’t lived up to the “mantle of his office.” Of course, most conservatives still see Trump as that same hero we hoped for. This is frustrating to witness, seeing how I ardently supported Trump at first but can see through him now. Let’s go through some of the ways Trump is a “fraud” and is not living up to the mantle of his office as Romney claims.
Do you remember the Tea Party movement of around the time Romney ran for President? Trump’s presidency has shattered that mold of the conservative movement that was promising but still in its infancy. Now conservatism is all about TRUMP Inc. All Republicans talk about now is him, all he talks about is him, all the liberal press talks about is him. If you follow his Twitter feed closely and for long enough, you’ll notice his obsession is not with governing, but with “being president.” He makes tired and repetitive points over and over again about HIS Russia witch hunt and HIS impeachment scam. Sean Hannity and others talk obsessively about these Trump-centric scandals instead of what concerns OUR quality of life: a border wall, a balanced budget, charter schools, a less invasive foreign policy, etc. Case in point: Trump did not turn off Ukraine’s aid because he wanted to wind down our involvement in foreign entanglements as he first claimed, but to (rightly or wrongly) go after HIS political rival Joe Biden. Another example: Trump did not cut off aid for the Kurds to “bring the troops home.” The troops were moved to Iraq instead!
Do you remember how the tea party was dismayed at the bailouts of 2008 by the Federal Reserve, the huge budget deficits and “stimulus packages” of the Bush and Obama years? Fast forward to 2019 and you won’t hear a WORD about deficits from Republicans or talk show hosts like Sean Hannity, much to the glee of liberal commentators. Where are these “deficit hawks” from the Obama years, says MSNBC panelists! They’re too busy obsessing over far off Ukraine and Russia. Meanwhile, the budget deficit for 2018 came in at a whopping $780 billion and is expected to go well north of $1 trillion at the end of 2019. With unbelievably little media coverage, the Federal Reserve is back to doing “QE”, printing about $60 billion a month to keep America’s economy (cough, cough stock market) going. This teetering bubble economy is what Trump calls “the greatest in history” although if you bother to look at the yearly GDP numbers (not the monthly ones that Trump and Trump Jr misleadingly tout) they are virtually identical to the later Obama years. The only thing that’s changed is that Americans have more debt. And no matter how much Trump wants to brag about the stock market, it went up under Obama too.
What about Trump not living up to the mantle of his office? Like most conservatives, I see right through our corrupt, self righteous liberal press corps. That being said, why does Trump use the smear “fake news” to describe news outlets like CNN? When CNN reports there has been a bus crash, a wild fire, a mass shooting, etc, are you really going to think “I wonder if that’s fake news?!” It’s petulant and childish, like when he forged a weather map with a sharpie because he couldn’t get over a minor embarrassment, only to make it much worse. Many of his public appearances are cringe worthy, like when he invited the Houston Astros to the White House for their World Series win and started bragging about his tax cuts during the ceremony. His twitter feed is embarrassing, with Trump calling himself “a very stable genius” and saying “in my great and infinite wisdom.” He consistently proves himself incompetent and out of touch, as with the governor’s races in Kentucky and Louisiana where he begged voters not to embarrass him by electing Democratic governors, only for them to do just that! Are conservatives too distracted to ask the simple question: why is our President’s ego so caught up in state governor’s races that have nothing to do with the presidency?
It’s a shame that conservatives today are focused on Trump’s cult of personality instead of the downward trajectory of our country. While we shouldn’t “go back” to the days of electing the milquetoast Romney’s and McCain’s of a decade ago, we should go back to focusing on what we stand for. Conservatives should remember that we elected Trump based on what he would DO more than who he is. Trump was just another rich reality show star before he talked about building us a border wall, bringing jobs back to America (the trade deficit is at all time highs in 2019 by the way) and getting out of pointless wars overseas. His claim that you would be “tired of winning” has proven to be the joke that it was. Perhaps our mistake as conservatives was overlooking the importance of character. Yes, Trump promised exactly what we wanted and he had the businessman credentials to suggest he could pull it off, but we got caught up in him instead of us. Let’s hope we can move past Trump before it’s too late to make America great again.