A casual friend of mine recently expressed shock upon learning that I was voting to re-elect President Trump. Since we know each other pretty well and she thought I was a decent human being this caused her much consternation, because she is convinced that Trump is evil. Sorry, I should have typed EVIL.
To her credit, after expressing her shock she asked how I could do such a thing. I started with his economic record (I’ll touch on a couple of other issues in additional articles). Before the pandemic and lockdowns were visited upon us, we had:
1. The lowest black unemployment rate ever recorded
2. The lowest Hispanic unemployment rate ever recorded
3. The lowest unemployment rate for women in 70 years
4. The lowest poverty rate in 60 years
5. The stock market was at record highs
6. We were energy independent for the first time in 60 years
7. Blue collar wages were rising faster than white collar wages
That last point is particularly significant politically – one reason President Trump got elected in 2016 is the perception (at least partially true) among many Americans that politicians don’t care about them or their communities. If Silicon Valley and Wall Street are prospering and the lobbyist money is flowing in, who cares about what’s happening in rural Ohio or Pennsylvania? You may believe that this is largely a misconception, but politically it’s powerful. If you’re unfamiliar with it, you might want to read about “Abracadabra MF”, it’s Exhibit A of what this is about.
She, of course, had not heard any of this. I told her to look it up, please let me know if she finds any if it wasn’t true. She did let me know a couple of days later that as far as she could tell none of it was false, although she did find a lot of “yes, but” responses. As in, “sure, President Trump has improved the economy, making life better for millions of black people, but…”. FWIW, I don’t know how much this changed her thinking but she definitely learned a bit.
So, my first point in favor of re-electing President Trump is his economic performance – or more accurately, the performance of the U.S. economy under his administration. I readily concede that he’s off base in some areas (“fair trade” versus free trade, for example). However, the alternative is far, far worse.
About a year into Trump’s presidency another friend stated that he’d be a one-term President. “You don’t think the great economic news will matter?” I asked. He muttered (a bit surly, I must say) “the economy is a bubble”. I ran into him a couple of weeks later, he had just been to one of our local shopping centers & noted that every shop had Help Wanted signs in the window. I didn’t bother to ask him what this might say about the state of the economy, I really didn’t want to annoy him, but it underscores the significance of bullet point #7 above. People in middle America were seeing the benefits of an Administration that wasn’t antagonistic to businesses.
Under Hopey McChange the U.S. economy never grew by 3% in a single year. Not one. Zero for eight. First President since WWII to pull that off. Even Jimmy freaking Carter – Captain Malaise – got there once. A couple of years into Hopey’s first term Democrats started explaining that things have changed and low economic growth was the “new normal”, those old days were gone forever, forget the campaign promises about good times coming, embrace the suck – it could be worse, etc.
Honestly, I’ve been a little surprised that U.S. economic growth hasn’t been even stronger, but still, the choice is a booming economy or “embrace the suck”.