January 5, 2018
By Karin McQuillan
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
We have Trump. We are winning.