Trump Can't Win without Recognizing His Flaws
Now that Donald Trump has been indicted, the left will get its mug shot and a month-long orgy of barking media hate. But the Republicans are already coming to Trump's defense. Alvin Bragg did what the party has been unable to do: seal the cracks threatening party unity. He convinced patriots that our fight is not about Donald Trump. It's for our continued freedom. Bragg simply made Trump the cause to rally around.
Donald Trump will likely be the next Republican nominee for president — something I sincerely welcome. Now it's time for us to get our head in the game. We need Trump to win, but the next election will not be a cakewalk. The Donald must win bigger than he has ever won before. His victory must be outside the margin of fraud — and the margin of fraud has gotten awfully big since 2020.
I receive a disturbing amount of email insisting that I write no criticism of Trump. Readers inform me that he is the best chance America has, and I need to shut up, stop undermining him, and go along with what he's doing. That assumes that my criticism is intended to hurt Trump. It is not. It is intended to make him stronger.
We're all aware of the members of the "never Trump" coalition. They refuse to acknowledge any of his accomplishments and will even endorse Democrats to stop him. But there is also a growing army of Trump-followers who will tolerate no criticism of Trump. I'll call them the "only Trump" coalition. They are the mirror image of "never Trump." They believe he is the only solution to our problems and consider any criticism of the man to be treason against the MAGA movement.
Which hurts conservatism more: "never Trump" or "only Trump"? They are equally bad, and ironically for the same reason. Both groups prevent the accountability necessary for course correction, improvement, and optimization.
Commercial business has its own system of accountability. Good decisions make money, and bad decisions lose money — a painful lesson the Disney Corporation is learning. Donald Trump made billions in the business world by leveraging his successes and learning from his failures. Without an honest review of his time in the Oval Office, he is being denied the opportunity to do either.
"Never Trump" is wrong to deny his accomplishments, which have not been insignificant. They include:
- A vibrant economy
- Energy self sufficiency
- Enhanced border security — in spite of congressional resistance
- Transformation of the Supreme Court — the overturn of Roe v. Wade would not have happened without Donald Trump
- Enhanced national security
- Progress towards Middle East peace via the Abraham Accords
"Never Trump" would deny America the chance to build on those accomplishments. There is nothing patriotic in jeopardizing American prosperity for the sake of crushing one man.
But "only Trump" is equally wrong to deny his failures. Unless Trump and his followers allow a discussion of his lapses of judgment, any opportunity for improvement is obscured. Greatness is achieved by constantly striving to be better, not by telling the Donald, You're perfect; don't change anything. In a perverse way, the "only Trump" contingent is undermining his future potential by reinforcing his own belief that he is already "great." He is not. He has accomplished a great deal. But he fell short of being the historic president that he could be.
During his time in office, Trump increased the national debt and left America on a path to financial ruin. The national debt increased by almost $7.8 trillion. Congress passed the spending bills, but Donald J. Trump signed them.
He made numerous bad personnel choices in his Cabinet and executive leadership positions. For example, he wisely fired James Comey but allowed the weaponization of the FBI to continue when he appointed Christopher Wray to lead the bureau.
President Trump signed the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act, which guarantees back pay to federal employees in the event of a government shutdown. The act ensures that future government shutdowns are little more than a paid vacation for government employees and undermines the ability of fiscal hawks to force spending restraint. Now that "their guys" in the government are guaranteed their back pay, the Democrats have no reason to negotiate with Republicans for a rapid resolution of spending disputes.
Donald Trump legitimized Dr. Anthony Fauci. He may be a critic of Fauci now, but during his presidency, he shared the stage with him. He even awarded Fauci a Presidential Commendation along with numerous other employees of the CDC and NIH who lied to us about the pandemic.
During the COVID pandemic, it was President Trump who unleashed the federal bureaucracy to trample on our civil liberties. With the authority granted them by Donald Trump, federal agencies censored our speech, took away our property rights, and interfered in our medical decisions.
Donald Trump had a chance to do away with the most offensive intrusion into our lives by the federal government in a generation: Obamacare. He had a Republican-led House and Senate that had vowed to repeal Obamacare. He squandered the opportunity when he insulted the one squishy senator whose vote he needed. We are left with this monstrous expansion of government control, simply because Trump couldn't resist the temptation to trade personal insults with John McCain. McCain was a petty man, and he got the last laugh on Trump. McCain is gone, but Obamacare is alive and well.
If Donald Trump manages to beat the margin of fraud and become president again, he will undoubtedly be a good president. But our time calls for a great president. We need someone who can achieve durable advancement of our freedom — not fleeting executive orders that can be undone by the next president. That greatness is unachievable without public recognition of Trump's wins and his willingness to learn from his losses.
The difference between a good athlete and a great athlete is not just natural physical ability. It also depends on the availability of good training and a willingness to be coached. No great coach has ever told his players there's no need for further improvement. Great coaches highlight the accomplishments and the errors. The great players take the feedback as it is meant — not to offend, but to identify opportunities for improvement. Foot races are won or lost by hundredths of a second. Small improvements are often the difference between good and great.
The duty to coach Donald Trump falls on us. He is asking to be our employee. We owe him feedback about how to be a great employee. But coaching fails when successes are denied and failures are excused. If we do that, we are encouraging him to ignore his flaws, and we are robbing him of the chance for greatness. If Donald Trump is as great as he claims, he'll take the criticism in the spirit in which it is offered.
John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho. He has written for American Thinker and American Free News Network. He can be followed on Facebook or reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.