I agree with very little that Trump says, the policies he proposes, or his style as a whole. Despite that, I will unhesitatingly vote Trump at the ballot box in November and, if given the opportunity, in the Electoral College in December.
Many Americans understandably have both intellectual and visceral hesitations about a Trump Presidency, given the course of the campaign. It seems like quite a bold step to elect someone who has never held public office before, who has faced so much unprecedented backlash from certain societal institutions, and whose statements and actions on their own sometimes shock our sensibilities and conscience.
Yet let’s seriously evaluate what the real results of a Trump-Pence administration would look like. Imagine it’s 2020 and we’re deep into an America shaped and led by Trump-Pence, likely accompanied by a Republican Congress.
It would be an America where regulatory burdens have been lessened and our businesses permitted to flourish once again.
It would be one where our foreign policy is guided less by what we think are the feelings of foreign leaders, but rather by cold hard realpolitik. This would finally put us on an even playing field with foreign governments who are already operating under pure realism and exploit our idealistic naivety without hesitation.
It would be an America where the excesses of the extreme left’s political correctness and thought police have been scaled back, hopefully permanently.
It would be an America where the Constitution, our rights, and federalism are all upheld without hesitation. It would be an America that all Americans could finally feel proud of once again.
These hopes must certainly resonate with many here in the Commonwealth, as many of us have seen firsthand a suffocated coal industry, political games in the General Assembly, and our place as a microcosm of this nation’s polarization.
We ought to remember though that under our system of government, the President is but one figure in the administration. The President isn’t sitting there reading irrigation grant applications or monitoring cash flow for government operations. We have countless federal agencies and commissions with millions of officials and employees and varying levels of authority that work in tandem with, but sometimes also independent of, the occupants of the White House.
Furthermore, our Congress and Supreme Court provide incredibly strong policy checks that would allow beneficial policies to come out of a Trump administration. Lastly, let us not forget that the Founding Fathers’ vision of state and local governance remains strong with us. Trump would be but one participant in this system that has countless different yet equally essential nodes of power.
Trump’s rhetoric and actions over the course of the primary and general campaign have been at many times disappointing. Yet these more resemble the characteristics of someone who is new to the rigors of running for public office, and who has been more used to the style of appearances fitting for the WWE and the “Celebrity Apprentice”, rather than someone mad or intentionally destructive.
When evaluating the actual process of governing and the place of the President as a uniting figurehead for our nation, as dutiful citizens with such immense civic responsibility and power, we ought take the larger picture into account and not get bogged down in ultimately irrelevant, even if distasteful, distractions. Furthermore, it is clear Trump has improved greatly over the course of the campaign in terms of how to deal with the political limelight. This ought to give us greater confidence that, as President, he will act with the right kind of leadership style.
We have to put country above the petty. Our country right now is desperately in need of a Republican administration. It wasn’t my choice for that standard-bearer to be Trump, but that’s the way it is.
On November 8th, we Virginians, and especially those in political bellwether Loudoun County, will be given a special place in deciding who moves into the Oval Office next year. Even the most liberal among us certainly must agree that a revolving door of power is something naturally American and beneficial in keeping the excesses of one party in check. The Democratic Party has been able to deeply shape the course of this nation over the past decade. Maybe now it’s time to give the Republican Party a turn.
Erich Reimer is one of the Republican Party of Virginia’s two statewide Electoral College nominees. He served on Governor John Kasich’s Virginia team during the 2016 presidential primary.