Opinion: Trump is an accomplished conservative, and deserves to be renominated

While he’s obviously not perfect, the president has done plenty to earn a second term.


Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS

President Donald Trump makes a statement announcing that a deal has been reached to reopen the government through Feb. 15 during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House Jan. 25, 2019 in Washington, D.C.

Jason O'Day, Columnist

In a more perfect union, I’d be choosing between the reasonably moderate former Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., and deficit hawk Mark Sanford as the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees. Unfortunately, the republic is not Burger King, and I can’t have it my way. The best option on the menu is President Trump.

Free trade and austerity are the only two issues that would compel me to consider an alternative to the incumbent. Most Democratic policy pitches involve massively expanding an already bloated federal budget. Many, such as Medicare for All, are fiscally reckless and economically unwise.

Economist Milton Friedman used to say that politics is about getting the wrong people to do the right things. The Trump administration has accomplished many things that conservative think-tank scholars have been promulgating for decades. It would be irrational for someone of my political leanings just because I believe Trump personally is one of “the wrong people.”

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has made strides toward restoring due-process rights for men accused of sexual misconduct at universities. She did so by rescinding an Obama Administration directive that coerced the institutions into setting up kangaroo courts to punish the accused, who were often deprived of any recourse.

As of last month, 25 percent of all federal judges were Trump appointees. While President Obama appointed 55 circuit court judges over his eight years in office, Trump has appointed 50 in three. And thanks to the guidance of The Federalist Society, most of the new appointees are conservatives fiercely loyal to the constitution.

The framers of our constitution never intended for the president to be anything more than a glorified comptroller. Trump is proof that an imprudent and sometimes mercurial chief executive can still be successful.

If Trump is re-elected and the GOP maintains control of the Senate, it’s likely that he will put his third or even fourth conservative on the Supreme Court. I’m exhilarated just thinking about it.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has accelerated economic growth, boosted wages, and lowered corporate tax rates to levels that enable American firms to be more competitive abroad.

Equally important to growth, Trump has shredded a lot of red tape that was despotically imposed on the American people by his predecessor. While politicians aren’t truly job creators, the self-described “stable genius” should get credit for fostering a business-friendly climate conducive to hiring and raising wages.

This White House has been a staunch defender of the sanctity of the unborn. Last week, Trump became the first sitting president to attend and speak at the March for Life rally this year, a massive annual gathering of pro-lifers in the nation’s capital.

Although his lofty promises of a big and beautiful border wall have gone mostly unfulfilled, Trump has mitigated the problem of illegal immigration by working out agreements with Mexico in which they help the U.S. deter illegitimate asylum seekers.

Generally uncommitted to a political ideology, Trump has relied substantially on GOP think-tanks such as the Heritage Foundation for many of his staffing and policy decisions — which is perfectly fine with me. Based solely on policy — disregarding his childish Twitter antics — one might assume a more mainstream Republican such as Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, or Ted Cruz, R-Texas, were in the White House.

I wish every president could be a jovial exemplar of moral integrity like Ronald Reagan, but again, this isn’t Burger King. Trade-offs must be made, and executive policy is far more important than personality. The framers of our constitution never intended for the president to be anything more than a glorified comptroller. Trump is proof that an imprudent and sometimes mercurial chief executive can still be successful.

Compared with the extremism the Democratic primary field offers, renominating and reelecting Trump is the obvious choice. All I want is the freedom to work hard and earn wealth — unencumbered by the ambitious schemes from those who think they know how to manage my life.

That is why I will vote for Trump on Feb. 3, and why I plan to vote for him again Nov. 3. He’s the best choice conservatives have.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.