Why Donald Trump needs to win in 2020

President Trump is the improbable common sense candidate.

Brian Brooks, Freelance Writer

(This story was originally published in print on Mar. 28, 2019).

On Aug. 6, 2015, the 10 highest-polling Republican presidential candidates stood on a stage in Cleveland, Ohio to face the nation. Among the candidates were five governors, three senators, one neurosurgeon, and a billionaire and reality star-turned-politician named Donald John Trump.

Trump had been polling unexpectedly high recently, and the media viewed this phenomenon with amazement. He bashed establishment politicians, trade deals and illegal immigration without scruples. While then-Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Rand Paul debated the finer points of government surveillance on stage, Donald Trump called Rosie O’Donnell a dog and turned moderator Megyn Kelly’s question on whether he respected women into a chance to rip on “political correctness.”

Of the 10 Republicans standing on stage that night, Trump was my least favorite. He epitomized everything I disliked about populism. He was boorish and rude. He demeaned people who were less powerful than him. His trade deals could be objected to by a high school economics teacher. I spent a few months stewing over my options until the primary, when a man I believed had no principles was chosen to lead my political party. Principled Republicans swore #nevertrump and some refused to vote at all in 2016. I remember feeling an enormous amount of conflict, but when the time finally came to choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, as a conservative, I cast a disillusioned ballot for Trump.


A lot has happened since 2016. Though he never stopped tweeting, he did begin leading, offering substantive policy proposals ranging from paid parental leave to criminal justice reform. His aggressive tactics against ISIS recently toppled a terrorist organization that his predecessor once called a “generational struggle,” and several fiscal quarters of economic growth above 3 percent have been reported.  He is working to end the decades-long Korean War, symbolically moved America’s Israeli embassy to Jerusalem and reinstituted the pro-life Mexico City Policy at the State Department. In short, the low expectations I had for a Trump Administration on Nov. 8 were greatly exceeded after he was inaugurated.


Next year, we must make the same decision we were forced to make in 2016, but this time with much different stakes. Democratic frontrunners seem to believe that our national distaste for President Trump’s rhetoric is based on a distaste for the even-handed policy proposals his administration has supplied. As a result, nearly every declared candidate has adopted far-left platforms.

Democratic front-runner Sen. Kamala Harris recently came out in favor of slavery reparations, once just the pipe dream of radicals and Bolsheviks. Beto O’Rourke, the failed Texas senatorial candidate, has refused to condemn third-term abortion, the termination of viable children in the womb, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren has pledged to end the Electoral College, thereby destroying the representation individual states have in the presidential process. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang has supported something akin to the Universal Basic Income program that just imploded in Finland. Even Sen. Amy Klobuchar, perhaps the most moderate of the Democratic presidential candidates, has endorsed the Green New Deal, a half-baked environmental proposal created in a single weekend by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s staff which, among other things, requires every building in America to be rebuilt in 10 years and for rail transit to replace air travel. Every declared candidate on the Democratic side has proposed something that only a sliver of the population would have supported four years ago. The era of the moderate Democrat is over.


In 2020, we will be faced with the same dilemma we faced in 2016ーforced to choose between a boorish, unthoughtful vulgarian and a radical Democrat whose opinions constantly change based on the whims of the furthest left constituents of their party. The only difference this time is that we will have seen four years of leadership under Trump.

Throughout his administration, the president has assuaged the worst fears of several of his critics and led this country to a period of genuine prosperity through tax cuts, the destruction of ISIS and the reduction of black and Hispanic unemployment to record lows. In his most recent State of the Union, he assured us that “America will never be a socialist country” and that he would work to end the barbaric practice of late-term abortion.

The choice in 2020 is clear. We can either elect one of many unfettered pro-reparations radicals or re-elect the imperfect vessel who has ushered in a period of stability and moderation. Had you told me in 2015 that Trump would not only win the White House but also serve as the voice of reason in 2020 politics, I would have wanted to check you into an insane asylum. Yet the choice has never been clearer. Trump is the only viable candidate whose policies are rooted in common sense and an appreciation for the American ethos. There is simply no alternative.

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