Note to NeverTrumps: Trump's Character Is Admirable

As more and more people who hate Trump are forced to admit his achievements as president, they are doubling down on character assassination.  Even Trump voters often preface their satisfaction with Trump's actions by criticizing his tweets or his personality.

Here's an alternate take on things: Trump's character is responsible for his outstanding performance in his first year as president.  If you want to know who someone is, you look at what he does.  What we have: a booming economy, growing jobs, more lawful governance, fewer regulations, more global security.  What character traits this took: hard work, focus, commitment, courage, honesty, independence, incorruptibility, self-confidence, love of excellence.  The list of Trump's positive character traits goes on and on.  You don't get achievements independent of character.

Here's another alternate approach: there's no need to point out that George Washington is a dead white male when you praise him as the father of our country.  Who cares that Churchill drank too much when you are discussing his leadership in the fight against Hitler?  We all understand perfectly well that we are all human, meaning we have faults.  We don't need to apologize for President Trump.

I think Trump's character is excellent.

Trump's integrity in office is outstanding – the first politician in my memory who is sticking to his promises to voters.  We are hugely benefiting from his promise-keeping.

His primary promise was to focus on jobs.  Wow, has he delivered.  Jobless claims have dropped to the lowest level in 44 years – last seen in 1973, under Nixon.  Record-breaking low unemployment in 13 states.  Investment reinvigorating the Rust Belt.  More high-paying jobs in mining, oil, and industry – another promise kept, as President Trump has unleashed the energy sector and boosted capital investment.

Lazy, leftist, passive President Obama lectured us to accept the new normal of a stagnant economy, which was what his policies delivered.  GDP growth was 1.6 percent in 2016.

Passivity and defeatism are not in Trump's nature.  He is a fighter who thinks big.  He believes in free enterprise in his gut, because he is himself a go-getter.  He thought big for the American economy, because he believes in Americans.  Trump likes to say he completed his projects on time and under budget.  It was a matter of pride for him.  Pride can be a good thing.  Trump was scoffed at as a braggart and buffoon for promising 3-percent growth.  He has already over-delivered.

The unemployment gap between blacks and whites has fallen to a record low.  Trump promised the black community a better life in a better economy, and he has come through.

Unemployment for hispanic Americans is the lowest in history.  Another promise kept, as our hispanic citizens have benefited from Trump enforcing our border laws and driving farm wages up.

Leftists are trying to credit the 2017 economic boom to Obama.  Good luck with that.  Trump boosted the economy through vigorous action: cutting regs, boosting the energy sector, restoring business confidence, dramatic corporate tax cuts, bringing back investments from overseas, and cutting job competition from illegal aliens.  We now have a tight labor market, and wages are rising.

Yes, for much of the year, Trump was doing a lot of jaw-boning and executive actions, with no legislative back-up.  That's the trait called leadership.

These economic achievements came from President Trump's character strengths.  He is a high-focus, driven bulldozer of a man who gets things done.  He's a practical man.  He's a hard worker.  These are not sophisticated or cultured or warm, fuzzy traits; they are traits of a strong man.  We have forgotten to honor masculinity in our culture.

President Trump did more than any president in history in his first year to relieve the regulatory burden on Americans.  Complying with useless government regulations costs the economy $2 trillion a year, or 21% of the average payroll per American company.  Estimates are that the Obama regs slowed the economy by 0.8%.  Trump's regulatory cuts, in which his administration removed 22 outdated regulations for each new one, is a big part of his doubling our economic growth in one year.

What did it take to cut the size of government and unleash the power of capitalism in this way?  It was motivated not by conservative principles of small government.  It was based in Trump's character.  He is one hundred percent practical.  He has a strong sense of fairness.  He is fearless.  He thrives on opposition.  He has incredible guts and stubbornness, necessary to take on the federal bureaucracy.  He doesn't give in when opponents fight dirty, and boy, does the Deep State fight dirty.  He is not scared of the media's attacks on him as a monster destroying the planet and abandoning the poor.

He is a creative and master fighter, as we see in the his effective use of tweets and branding to encourage his supporters and sow confusion among the enemy.

Trump is characteristically unsuited to kowtow to the Deep State or to follow its methods.  He does not flout the law in darkness, like the underhanded Barack Obama.  Obama's DOJ and EPA created secret and illegal slush funds.  The Democrat DOJ blackmailed the industries it was regulating in order to provide half a billion dollars to left-wing groups.  The EPA used phony sue-and-settle tactics to hand undemocratic power to privileged leftist groups.

In sharp contrast, Trump is not a sneak.  He respects the rule of law.  He honors the presidency.  He is open and forthright.  His administration has turned the DOJ and EPA back to following the laws as written.

Obama was an unhealthy narcissist who had never accomplished anything in the real world, yet he boasted that he knew more about every topic than his top advisers.  There is a business saying that A players hire A players, while B players hire C players.  The mediocre surround themselves with lesser mediocrities.  Obama undoubtedly did know more about foreign affairs than his right-hand national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, a speechwriter with a degree in creative writing.

Trump is different.  He is genuinely confident in himself.  You can tell because he is not afraid of being surrounded by top experts.  He expects them to know far more in their fields than he does.  Trump's pride makes him seek excellence in others.  He has created an impressive Cabinet and White House staff of brilliant achievers.  You don't get effective results on the economy and foreign affairs without a high-quality leader.

The importance of character to effectiveness cannot be overstated.  Trump has other character traits of achievers.  He is not discouraged by failures and mistakes; he learns from them.  He doesn't just set goals; he follows up on results.  He faces reality.

Trump does not see Americans in different categories.  He cares about all Americans, black, white and brown; rich, middle-class, and poor; city-dwellers and country-dwellers; New York sophisticates and Evangelicals.  He values freedom and prosperity for himself and for the rest of us.  He wants to do what is best for the country, not what is best for only some identity groups or some regions at the expense of others, as in Obama and Hillary's zero- sum game of identity politics.

We barely survived eight years of a bigot in the White House: the resentful, racially obsessed President Obama, who disliked Evangelicals, rural Americans, working-class whites, white small businessmen, and Jews.  At home, Obama purposefully stirred up racial hatred and violence for political gain.  Abroad, Obama tried to hand over the Middle East to the Muslim Brotherhood and facilitate nuclear weapons for the mullahs as payback to America.  Obama's race-baiting led to Americans dying – assassinations of our men in blue and innocent black victims of the resulting crime spree.  He chose to destabilize Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Libya, setting off an unprecedented war on Christians and a Muslim migrant invasion of Europe.  Maybe I missed it, but I don't remember NeverTrumps criticizing Obama on character flaws.

Obama's fantasist efforts to reduce American power and prestige, born of his anti-colonialist anger and resentment, were passed off to us as idealism and humanity.  Obama had a weird Marxist mother who raised him to despise America, and he saw his father only once.  He was an unhappy child, a confused teenager, and an angry, isolated college student filled with contempt for white people other than his fellow Marxists.  Then he went to Harvard finishing school and became a secretive politician who never trusted himself to speak in public without a teleprompter.  His false front hid a schemer and hater.

Unlike our last president, President Trump is who he is.  What you see is what you get.  His candor is blunt and refreshing.  He is not an ideologue, not a secret schemer, not a race-baiter, not a bitter person seeking payback.  Trump had a close, loving relationship with his father.  He has similar relationships with his own children.  He is a happy warrior.

Trump is honest in another sense, also: he is not corrupt.  Indeed, he seems incorruptible.  Trump does not sell himself to certain industries or lobbying groups (think the Clinton Foundation; think Obama's wasting the trillion-dollar economic stimulus on Solyndra green schemes and payoffs to Democrat voting blocs).  President Trump is a unique politician – a free man.

There's another set of admirable traits responsible for Trump's economic achievements.  Trump is a warm, extroverted braggart, not a cold, withdrawn narcissist like Obama or a self-serving, power-hungry narcissist like Hillary Clinton.  Although self-centered, Trump actually notices and cares about other people.  His voters are real people to him, as he is real to them.

Trump has softer, heart-centered virtues.  His priority on growing the economy and job promotion comes from his love of ordinary people, working-class people of all colors and all regions, whom he sees as real human beings and treats with respect.  What a relief after the cold and contemptuous President Obama, who cared about power, not people.  Trump's compassion and insight into working people's lives are wonderful character traits, shared by few in his class.

The president is also our commander in chief.  How has Trump's character served him in this role?

Trump's love of country and patriotism are dominant character traits.  Trump thinks for himself instead of accepting stale, outworn policies that are politically safe to espouse but dangerous to our country.  Trump has no time at all for pretense about our national security.  These are unusual character traits, different aspects of being a strong man.

Trump's personal qualities have resulted in the defeat of ISIS, our improved relations with the Saudis (now on board fighting terrorism and cooperating with Israel), restoration of our warm alliance with Israel, decertifying the odious Iran deal, and supporting the Iranian demonstrators against the mullahs.   European countries are finally paying their NATO dues, illegal aliens invading our country are being stopped at the border, the H-1B visa system is being applied lawfully to protect American jobs, and terrorists are no longer welcome into the country.  Trump is in the process of bullying the Chinese and the U.N. and South Korea into more effective action against North Korea, resulting last week, for example, in the confiscation of tankers breaking the oil embargo.  Pace Bret Stephens, the ability to bully opponents is something you want in a president.

Thanks to his fearless and clear-sighted character, we finally have a president who will not allow North Korea or Iran to have nuclear weapons.  Those of us who see that this is vital for national security are deeply grateful to have a strong president.

Trump has an abundance of character strengths as a tough guy – he is brave, he is assertive, he is an experienced fighter, and he always goes on offense.  He uses punishments and threats and intimidation, as well as cooperation and rewards, to get things done, because that is what it takes to win, and he wants to win.  He is unpredictable and keeps his opponents off balance.  He is impervious to their outrage.  He is a fierce fighter against all who attack him or his family or his country.

NeverTrumps are allergic to Trump's aggressive masculinity.  This is not a matter of hating his style.  They honestly see the man as evil.  His commonsense thinking, bold methods, and blunt personality are toxic to them – never smart, never constructive, never heroic, never associated with his achievements.  They are so blinded by their own hatred that they see Trump as a dangerous monster.  They accept outright lies and miss the real man entirely.

In a mere 800-word column, Bret Stephens, conservative columnist for the New York Times, managed to call Trump, in Stephens's own words, a lying, bullying, bigoted, ignorant, crass, petty, paranoid incompetent; a disgrace; an intemperate, dishonest demagogue who requires debased toadyism from his White House and Cabinet; a man who humiliates, denigrates, and insults his own officers and agencies, who is comparable to Juan Perón and Hugo Chávez and a deviant.  Stephen talks of the irremediable "stain of [Trump's] person," Trump's violence, his cult of strength (as in dictatorship), his disdain for truth, his hostility toward high culture, his conspiratorial thinking, and his white identity politics.

In the midst of the hysterical name-calling, Stephens doesn't point to a single bigoted word or action by Trump.  He can't.  There is none.  The accusations are partisan nonsense.  In Stephens's alternate universe, Trump's evident competence, his love, respect, and commitment to help his fellow Americans, goes invisible, and we are left with a racist, fascist caricature born of leftist agitprop.

Bret Stephens and his fellow NeverTrump elitists remind me of the British aristocracy in the 18th century.  These rich, powerful do-nothings monopolized political power and contemptuously demeaned the merchants, financiers, and industrialists who were making their country (and them) rich, powerful, and safe while improving ordinary peoples' lives – but their manners were ill bred!  They worked for a living.  They hadn't gone to the right schools.  Not suited for polite society.

It is a sorry reflection on our polite society that they are having conniption fits over Trump's character.  They want to divide the man from his achievements, just as they successfully divided Obama from his failures.  Can they succeed in besmirching Trump's character as they succeeded in sanitizing Obama's?  Their megaphone is large, and their self-interest in supporting the status quo ante is strong.  They have a ready-built audience.  They have enlisted enemies within our own Republican camp.

We have Trump.  We are winning.