John Perazzo, As America says goodbye to President Trump, Democrats are doing what they do best: pushing forward, to the very last moment, with their four-year crusade to discredit, smear, and punish one of history’s truly great presidents.
Having never given Mr. Trump so much as a moment of respite from their relentless torrent of defamatory lies, they have firmly secured their place in history as the pettiest, most lawless tyrants ever to defile our nation’s political landscape. Thus, it remains for the many millions of Americans who, with sober hearts and minds, are able to discern the monumental good that this president has done for the United States, to lay bare the magnitude of his accomplishments. Toward that end, let us examine his remarkable record.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, which shook economies worldwide beginning in March 2020, President Trump presided over a historic economic boom that dramatically improved the lives of Americans in all demographic groups.
In 2019, median household income reached $65,084 — the highest level ever recorded, and a gain of $4,144, or 6.8%, since the start of Trump’s presidency. By contrast, during the final 7½ years of Barack Obama’s presidency the median household income of Americans rose by a mere $1,043 (1.7%).
Between January 2017 and August 2019, the total number of people employed nationwide increased by 6.6 million.
The black unemployment rate in August 2019 was 5.4%, an all-time low. The Hispanic unemployment rate in September 2019 was 3.9%, an all-time low. The Asian unemployment rate in June 2019 was 2.1%, the lowest level since 2003. The female unemployment rate reached its lowest level in 65 years. And youth unemployment reached its lowest level in more than 50 years.
In November 2019, Chase Bank CEO Jamie Dimon said that Trump’s economy was “the most prosperous economy the world has ever seen.”
Key contributors to that prosperity were the unprecedented measures that President Trump took to cut the size and power of government. In January 2017, for instance, he signed an executive order that called for the cutting of two regulations for every new regulation proposed. In February 2017, he said that “every regulation should have to pass a simple test: Does it make life better or safer for American workers or consumers? If the answer is no, we will be getting rid of it and getting rid of it quickly.”
During the first year of Trump’s administration, regulatory activity declined by 74 percent from where it had been during the same period of the Obama administration. Curtis Copeland, a former specialist at the Congressional Research Service, said in 2017: “By any empirical measure, it is a level of [deregulation] activity that has never been seen. It is unprecedented.”
And President Trump was never bashful about praising the lone economic system that had benefited more people around the world, and had lifted more individuals out of poverty, than any other system ever devised. In his 2019 State of the Union address, he said: “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” Republicans stood in thunderous applause, while most Democrats remained seated and chose not to applaud.
The Trump Tax Cuts
On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 was signed into law by President Trump. As the Heritage Foundation reported: “The tax bill cut taxes for the vast majority of Americans—nine out of every 10 people saw a tax cut or no change in what they paid…. After actually filing their taxes with the IRS, Americans saw their average effective tax rates decline by 13% (or about 1.5 percentage points). Despite claims to the contrary, every income group benefited from the tax cut.”
The Trump tax-cut bill also raised the estate-tax exemption for single filers from $5.6 million to $11.2 million, and it reduced the corporate tax rate from 35%, which was nearly the highest rate in the world, to 21%. Almost immediately thereafter, some 500 major U.S. companies used their tax savings under the Trump tax cuts, to fund bonuses and wage increases for 4.8 million workers.
The tax-cut bill also created more than 8,700 separate Opportunity Zones in low-income, economically distressed, mostly-minority communities.
On September 17, 2020, President Trump announced the creation of a 1776 Commission to “encourage our educators to teach our children about the miracle of American history.” “Our mission is to defend the legacy of America’s founding, the virtue of America’s heroes, and the nobility of the American character,” said Trump. “We must … teach our children the magnificent truth about our country…. Our youth will be taught to love America with all of their heart and soul.”
By contrast, the Democrats have largely embraced the tenets of the so-called “1619 Project,” a New York Times creation which has made its way into the curricula of thousands of classrooms nationwide, and whose overarching theme is the claim that America is a racist nation that was born with the original sin of slavery and can never be redeemed. Kamala Harris, for one, has praised the 1619 Project as “a powerful and necessary reckoning of our history,” adding: “We cannot understand and address the problems of today without speaking truth about how we got here.”
Charter schools often serve as outstanding alternatives to failing, substandard public schools — particularly in poor urban areas. They operate as schools of choice and are exempt from many state or local regulations related to operation and management. President Trump strongly supports charter schools, calling them “the ladder of opportunity for Black and Hispanic children.” In July 2020, he signed an executive order to expand school choice for Hispanics and improve access to charter schools.
School voucher programs likewise allow low-income, mostly-minority parents to take the taxpayer money that is normally allocated for their children’s education in failing, substandard public schools, and to use it instead to cover the cost of tuition at a private school of their choice. “We’re fighting for school choice, which really is the civil rights [issue] of all time in this country, frankly,” says President Trump.
Biden and the Democrats, by contrast, have promised to ban federal funding for both charter schools and vouchers. Their allegiance is not to America’s children, but to the enormously wealthy and powerful teachers’ unions whose financial support is directed entirely toward the Democratic Party.
Abortion & Right-to-Life
In January 2018, Donald Trump became the first sitting U.S. President ever to speak at the annual March for Life, a massive pro-life rally held in Washington, D.C. Among his remarks that day were the following: “Right now, in a number of states, the laws allow a baby to be [torn] from his or her mother’s womb in the ninth month. It is wrong; it has to change…. Today, I’m announcing that we have just issued a new proposal to protect conscience rights and religious freedoms of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals.” Trump spoke again at the March for Life rallies in 2019 and 2020.
Trump’s position was a stark contrast to the Democrat stance. Joe Biden, for instance, has announced his unequivocal support for abortion “under any circumstance.” He and his party are also calling for repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which for the past 40 years has barred the use of public taxpayer money to fund countless millions of abortions. The difference between Trump and the Democrats on this issue could not be more dramatic.
Environment & Energy
On June 1, 2017, President Trump announced that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement into which the Obama-Biden administration had entered the previous year. The Daily Signal gives an overview of the key elements of the Paris accord:
- “[T]he energy regulations agreed to in Paris by the Obama administration would kill hundreds of thousands of jobs, harm American manufacturing, and destroy $2.5 trillion in gross domestic product by the year 2035.”
- “Even if every country met its commitments — a big ‘if” considering China has already underreported its carbon dioxide emissions, and there are no repercussions for failing to meet the pledges — the changes in the earth’s temperature would be almost undetectable.”
- “In climate negotiations leading up to the Paris conference, participants called for a Green Climate Fund that would collect $100 billion per year by 2020. The goal of this fund would be to subsidize green energy and … to get buy-in (literally) from those poorer nations for the final Paris Agreement.”
When announcing America’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, President Trump made the following remarks:
“As someone who cares deeply about the environment, which I do, I cannot in good conscience support a deal that punishes the United States — which is what it does – the world’s leader in environmental protection, while imposing no meaningful obligations on the world’s leading polluters…. The agreement is a massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries…. Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree … Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100.”
In stark contrast to Trump’s position on the Paris accord, the 2020 Democratic Party Platform states emphatically: “We will rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement … on Day One” of the Biden presidency.
In January 2018, the Trump administration announced a five-year plan to open up all offshore drilling areas — in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic coast, the Pacific coast, and the Alaskan coast — to leasing. Whereas under President Obama, 94 percent of the outer continental shelf was off-limits to drilling, the Trump plan opened 98 percent of the oil reserves in those regions to extraction. This was part of the Trump administration’s pursuit of “energy dominance” as a strategy for increasing national security by eliminating American dependency on OPEC.
In March 2017 President Trump issued an executive order that initiated an immediate review of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), which restricted greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. The president described the CPP as a “crushing attack” on workers, loaded with “job-killing regulations.” Trump also lifted an Obama-Biden moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands.
Heritage Foundation scholar Stephen Moore pointed out the inevitable futility and uselessness of imposing economy-crushing regulations on the U.S. coal industry, as the Democrats sought to do: “[E]ven if the U.S. cut our own coal production to zero, China and India are building hundreds of coal plants. By suspending American coal production, we are merely transferring jobs out of the U.S.”
President Trump is an avid proponent of hydraulic fracturing — commonly known as fracking — the horizontal-drilling technology that allows oil and gas to be extracted from shale rock thousands of feet below ground. Fracking has been a vital component of America’s ability to finally achieve energy-independence. Contrary to claims that fracking pollutes drinking-water sources, scientific evidence now shows that it is a safe, clean process that has no effect on water.
In September 2018, the U.S. overtook Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s largest oil producer. According to the Institute for Energy Research: “U.S. energy production in 2019 was higher than U.S. energy consumption for the first time in 62 years. Thus, the U.S. attained the long-held goal of ‘energy independence’ … One can thank the oil and gas industry and its use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling for that milestone.” “We’ve made OPEC relatively irrelevant,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance.
While Democrats contend that radical restrictions on all fossil-fuel-based energy sources are crucial to the promotion of a clean environment, America’s air quality has in fact been improving dramatically for years, thanks mostly to environmental innovations developed by the free market. In 2017, Heritage Foundation scholar Stephen Moore pointed out: “Emissions of lead, sulfur, carbon monoxide, and other air pollutants from coal plants [in the U.S.] have fallen by more than half, and in some cases 90%, in recent decades.”
In February 2020, the International Energy Agency reported that while CO2 emissions in China and India were growing at a rapid rate, the United States in 2019 saw the largest decline in energy-related CO2 emissions of any country on earth.
Guns & the Second Amendment
President Trump strongly supports the Supreme Court’s 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller decision, which ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to possess firearms that are “in common use at the time” — independent of one’s service in a state militia — and to use those firearms for lawful purposes such as self-defense within one’s home.
In April 2017, President Trump told a National Rifle Association gathering: “The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end. You have a true friend and champion in the White House. No longer will federal agencies be coming after law-abiding gun owners. No longer will the government be trying to undermine your rights and your freedoms as Americans. Instead, we will work with you, by your side. We will work with the NRA to promote responsible gun ownership … And we want to ensure you of the sacred right of self-defense for all of our citizens…. Our police and sheriffs also know that when you ban guns, only the criminals will be armed.… As your President, I will never, ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
By contrast, Joe Biden has said the following regarding Heller: “If I were on the Court, I wouldn’t have made the same ruling.” Hillary Clinton has likewise called Heller “a terrible decision” and stated that “the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment.” Biden has called for banning the sale of semi-automatic firearms and “clips that have multiple bullets in them,” which would effectively amount to a ban on nearly all firearms. He and Kamala Harris aim to “institute a national buyback program” for semiautomatic firearms. And Biden’s point man on gun control, Rep. Beto O’Rourke, has repeatedly conflated automatic and semiautomatic weapons while warning: “I want to be clear: That’s exactly what we’re going to do [buyback programs]. Americans who own AR-15s and AK-47s will have to sell their assault weapons. All of them.” “Hell yes,” O’Rourke emphasizes, “we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47 …”
In October 2017, President Trump signed an executive order allowing Americans to buy health insurance from out-of-state providers. “The time has come to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines, which will create a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring costs way down and provide far better care,” the president stated.
In May 2018, Trump signed “right-to-try” legislation allowing terminally ill patients to access experimental medical treatments not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Said the president: “Thousands of terminally ill Americans will finally have hope, and the fighting chance, and I think it’s going to … be able to be with their families for … a longer time.”
- signed the most comprehensive legislation ever written to advance childhood cancer research and treatments
- expanded short-term, limited-duration health plans
- cut Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty, which imposed heavy fines on people who failed to purchase health insurance
- signed legislation repealing Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, a.k.a. “death panels”
- proposed a Title X rule to help ensure that taxpayers would not be required to fund the abortion industry
- reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy to keep foreign aid from supporting the abortion industry in other countries
- oversaw the Department of Health & Human Services’ formation of a new division to protect the rights of conscience and religious freedom
- signed an executive order to help ensure that religious organizations would not be forced to violate their religious beliefs by complying with Obamacare’s contraceptive/abortifacient mandate
- signed four executive orders on drug pricing, directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take several key steps to deliver lower costs on prescription drugs for Americans
The Democrats, by contrast, advocate a government-run system of “single-payer,” “universal” health care that would cover every person in the country, including illegal aliens. In its assessment of such a plan, the Cato Institute writes: “In countries weighted heavily toward government control, people are most likely to face waiting lists, rationing [of care], restrictions on physician choice, and other obstacles to care.” Moreover, evidence shows that in terms of caring for people who are seriously ill, government-run health care systems are significantly inferior to free-market systems.
When Donald Trump ran for the presidency in 2016, he laid out a 10-Point Plan on Immigration, in which pledged to:
- construct a wall along the southern border
- end the “catch-and-release” policy that permitted illegal border crossers to request asylum and then be automatically released into the American interior with instructions to appear for an asylum court hearing at some time in the distant future
- employ a zero-tolerance policy for criminal aliens, a policy that would entail the hiring of many additional ICE deportation officers and Border Patrol agents
- end funding for sanctuary cities, whose governments refuse to work with federal immigration authorities that seek to identify and process illegal aliens who have committed crimes
- cancel unconstitutional executive orders and enforce all existing immigration laws
- suspend the issuance of visas to people from nations where adequate screening for such variables as criminal history, terrorist ties, or communicable illnesses cannot take place
- require other countries to take their people back when they are deported from the U.S.
- complete the implementation of a biometric entry-exit visa tracking system
- demand the widespread use of E-Verify, a web-based system that allows enrolled employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States
- reform America’s legal immigration system to serve the best interests of the U.S. and its workers
In a January 2018 speech, President Trump put his immigration philosophy into very plain language: “The United States is a compassionate nation. We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world. But as President, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers, and America’s forgotten communities.”
In an Oval Office address a year later, Trump attempted to make his case for border security directly to the American people. He stated, among other things: “Some have suggested [that] a barrier is immoral. Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences, and gates around their homes? They don’t build walls because they hate the people on the outside but because they love the people on the inside. The only thing that is immoral is [for] the politicians to do nothing and continue to allow more innocent people to be so horribly victimized.”
In 2019 the Trump administration — reasoning from the premise that immigrants to the United States should not impose social or economic burdens on the American taxpayers — announced that it would expand the list of government benefits that it took into consideration when defining a person as a “public charge.” That designation would count against an immigrant seeking to upgrade or extend his visa status, or to apply for citizenship.
President Trump understands that it is impossible to adequately screen potential refugees from certain countries that are chaotic hotbeds of terrorism and extremism. Indeed, high-ranking Obama administration officials like FBI Director James Comey, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and CIA Director John Brennan had made this same case years earlier. In light of this reality, Trump sought to find ways of helping refugees without risking the lives and safety of the American people.
In January 2017, for instance, Trump persuaded Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to join the U.S. in supporting the creation of safe zones in Syria and Yemen, where refugees from the Middle East could be housed and sheltered when fleeing war and terror. Trump also persuaded Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to support safe zones for refugees displaced by war and terrorism in the region.
Trump’s So-Called “Muslim Ban”
By now, virtually every American has heard about President Trump’s infamous “Muslim ban.” In January 2020, Joe Biden characterized that “ban” as a “morally wrong” manifestation of “anti-Muslim bias” that constituted “a betrayal of all our foundations of American history and American freedom, religious freedom.”
The term “Muslim ban,” as employed by Biden and fellow Democrats, refers to the fact that President Trump, professing a desire “to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America,” issued a 2017 executive order calling for a temporary suspension of almost all travel and refugee admissions to the U.S. from seven nations that were hotbeds of Islamic terrorism and/or civil war: Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Syria. The order also mandated the implementation of an “extreme vetting” process for any and all immigrants and visitors to the U.S.
And how did President Trump select the seven aforementioned Muslim-majority countries as targets for his executive action? Actually, he chose precisely the same seven countries that had been named in the Visa Waiver Program Improvement & Terrorist Travel Prevention Act, which passed easily through Congress and was signed into law by President Obama in December 2015.
Trump’s Remarkable Success in Improving America’s Disastrous Policy on Asylum Applications
In recent decades, only a small percentage of asylum seekers from Central America chose to present themselves to U.S. authorities at any of the 330 official ports of entry along the southern U.S. border. Instead, they elected to breach the border at locations somewhere between those ports of entry, in the midst of an arid desert, where, as soon as they had planted their feet firmly on the American side of the border with Mexico, they would actively seek to get taken them into custody by U.S. border personnel.
Why? Because they generally understood that in most cases, they had no legitimate basis for applying for asylum — i.e., protection from potential “persecution” by authorities in their homeland — and would likely be denied entry to America.
By contrast, if aspiring asylees could somehow manage to sneak into U.S. territory before making their asylum requests, they were unlikely to be sent back to Mexico right away. Rather, they stood a good chance of being released into the U.S. interior, along with a notice instructing them to report for a formal asylum hearing at some date in the very distant future, given the massive backlog of cases in American immigration courts. This of course would give such people plenty of time to simply disappear, never again to be seen by U.S. immigration authorities.
Seeking to end this absurd, lawless, and dangerous practice, the Trump administration announced in April 2018 that the U.S. would pursue a “zero-tolerance” policy whereby every adult caught illegally crossing the border — or even attempting to do so — would be subject to criminal prosecution.
In response to this announcement, the Democratic Party launched a vicious propaganda campaign accusing Trump of pursuing a policy of forced “family separation.” Joe Biden denounced “this administration’s policies that literally rip babies from the arms of their mothers and fathers” as “one of the darkest moments in our history.”
The origin of the so-called “separation” policy dates back to 2015, when California federal district court judge Dolly Gee, an appointee of President Obama, ruled that all children apprehended while crossing the border illegally, whether or not they were accompanied by an adult, could not be detained for more than 20 days.
The government’s only alternatives, then, were to either: (a) “separate” the family members by releasing the children after 20 days but continuing to detain the adults, or (b) release the entire family into the American interior after 20 days. The Obama-Biden administration usually chose to release the families.
The Trump administration deviated from the Obama-Biden policy and implemented its new “zero tolerance” standard — which kept adults in detention while releasing children as required by Judge Dee’s 2015 court order.
As families were being “separated” under Trump, the Democratic and media condemnations were relentless. On June 20, 2018, Trump, under mounting political pressure from Democrats and Republicans alike, signed an executive order ending the practice of separating children from their parents at the border, while keeping the zero-tolerance policy intact. In other words, it would now be permissible to detain adult migrants and their children together indefinitely.
Democrats were not at all mollified by Trump’s gesture. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi charged that President Trump’s executive order merely “seeks to replace one form of child abuse with another” by means of “long-term incarceration of families in prison-like conditions.”
Notwithstanding President Trump’s stated intentions, in practice it became impossible for the government to keep migrant families together in detention centers for any extended period of time, simply because their numbers were far greater than the capacity of the detention centers to hold them. Thus, many of them had to be released.
In May 2019, Trump implemented the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), stipulating that certain foreign individuals seeking admission to the U.S. from Mexico without proper documentation, could be returned to Mexico where they would wait for the duration of their immigration proceedings. In short, U.S. border agencies would no longer have to release migrants into the United States prior to their asylum hearings.
In May 2019 as well, President Trump announced: “On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP. The Tariff will gradually increase [to as much as 25%] until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied, … at which time the Tariffs will be removed.” In response to this threat of economic sanctions, the Mexican government implemented a new policy which made it more difficult for migrants from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to pass through Mexico on their way to the United States.
On July 15, 2019, President Trump announced a plan that would bar most migrants from applying for asylum after illegally crossing America’s southern border, unless they had first been unsuccessful in seeking asylum in one of the “safe” countries that they traversed on their way to the United States. In other words, would-be asylees from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, or Nicaragua would be ineligible for asylum in the U.S. unless they had first applied in Mexico and been rejected. This was in keeping with existing American law. In the summer and early fall of 2019, the Trump administration signed such asylum agreements with the governments of the four aforementioned countries.
While Attorney General William Barr affirmed the legality of the Trump policy, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it the policy of a “cruel and anti-immigrant Administration.” But in fact, Trump had single-handedly figured out a way to circumvent the relentless obstructionism of the Democrats. What Congress had failed for decades to get done, President Trump achieved on the diplomatic front, with no help from Congress whatsoever. It was one of the most extraordinary political accomplishments in modern American history.
Iran Nuclear Deal
On July 14, 2015, the Obama-Biden administration — along with the leaders of Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany — together finalized a nuclear agreement with Iran. Its official name was the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The key elements of the deal were the following:
- Iran was permitted to keep and operate more than 5,000 nuclear centrifuges, machines necessary for enriching uranium to the degree necessary for the production of nuclear weapons.
- Iran received $150 billion in revenue from sanctions relief, even though Obama-Biden acknowledged that Iran would likely use some portion of that money to fund its military and terrorist activities.
- Iran was prohibited from purchasing weapons from other countries for five years, and from buying missile technology for eight years. But there were two enormously significant exceptions: Russia and China could continue to make weapons deals with Iran.
- Iran was given the discretion to block international inspectors from its military installations.
- Only inspectors from countries that had diplomatic relations with Iran would be given access to Iranian nuclear sites. Thus, there would be no American inspectors.
- Sanctions were lifted on critical parts of Iran’s military, including a previously existing travel ban against Qasem Suleimani, leader of the terrorist Quds force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
- Iran would not be required to renounce terrorism against the United States, as the Obama-Biden administration deemed such an expectation “unrealistic.”
- Iran would not be required to affirm its “clear and unambiguous … recognition of Israel’s right to exist” — a requirement that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had pleaded for.
- Whatever restrictions were placed on Iran’s nuclear program, would expire — due to so-called “sunset clauses” — at various times over the ensuing 5 to 11 years.
Joe Biden took on the role of being the Obama administration’s leading public promoter of the Iran deal. He casually dismissed the concerns of critics who warned that the sunset clauses for key parts of the agreement would “pave Iran’s path to a bomb.” Those people, Biden said, simply “don’t get it, they’re wrong.”
Senator Kamala Harris characterized the deal as “the best available option for blocking Iran from developing nuclear weapons capability and to avoid potentially disastrous military conflict in the Middle East.” Rep. Nancy Pelosi called it “a diplomatic masterpiece.”
President Trump, however, recognized the potentially catastrophic ramifications of the Iran Nuclear Deal. Thus, he withdrew the U.S. from the agreement in May 2018. Upon announcing his decision, Trump made the following, monumentally significant remarks:
- “The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for very weak limits on the regime’s nuclear activity, and no limits at all on its other malign behavior … all around the world. In other words, at the point when the United States had maximum leverage, this disastrous deal gave this regime — and it’s a regime of great terror — many billions of dollars, some of it in actual cash — a great embarrassment to me as a citizen and to all citizens of the United States.”
- “At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program.”
- “Last week, Israel published intelligence documents long concealed by Iran, conclusively showing the Iranian regime and its history of pursuing nuclear weapons.”
- “In the years since the deal was reached, Iran’s military budget has grown by almost 40 percent, … After the sanctions were lifted, the dictatorship used its new funds to build nuclear-capable missiles, support terrorism, and cause havoc throughout the Middle East and beyond.”
- “The agreement was so poorly negotiated that even if Iran fully complies, the regime can still be on the verge of a nuclear breakout in just a short period of time. The deal’s sunset provisions are totally unacceptable.”
- “Making matters worse, the deal’s inspection provisions lack adequate mechanisms to prevent, detect, and punish cheating, and don’t even have the unqualified right to inspect many important locations, including military facilities.”
- “Not only does the deal fail to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but it also fails to address the regime’s development of ballistic missiles that could deliver nuclear warheads.”
- “Finally, the deal does nothing to constrain Iran’s destabilizing activities, including its support for terrorism.”
- “Therefore, I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal…. America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail. We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction. And we will not allow a regime that chants ‘Death to America’ to gain access to the most deadly weapons on Earth.”
Joe Biden characterized President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal as “a self-inflicted disaster” that would make “another war in the Middle East” much “more likely.” In the same vein, the Democratic Party’s 2020 Platform states that “returning to mutual compliance with the [Iran] agreement is … urgent.”
Trump & Israel
Donald Trump has very demonstrably been a more loyal and stalwart friend to Israel and the Jewish people, than any other president in American history. Consider just a few salient facts:
- Nikki Haley, Trump’s American Ambassador to the United Nations, stated at the very start of the Trump administration, that “I am here to underscore the ironclad support of the United States for Israel…. [T]he United States is determined to stand up to the UN’s anti-Israel bias.”
- In May 2017, Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall.
- The Trump administration has increased American financial aid to help Israel expand and improve its missile-defense program.
- In December 2017, Trump announced that in fulfillment of a campaign promise — and also in fulfillment of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which had passed overwhelmingly in both the House and Senate 22 years earlier — he would move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and would officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Several previous presidents — Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama — had made that same campaign promise and broken it.
- In May 2018, President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal of 2015, which constituted an existential threat to Israel.
- On March 25, 2019, President Trump, in a major shift in U.S. policy, signed a proclamation officially recognizing the Golan Heights as part of Israel. Praising Trump for his “historic” and “invaluable” move in support of Israel’s national security, Prime Minister Netanyahu told the president: “Israel has never had a better friend than you.”
- In November 2019, the Trump administration announced that the United States would no longer take the position that Israeli civilian “settlements” — i.e., cities — in the West Bank were “inconsistent with international law.”
In August 2020, the Trump administration brokered a landmark peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a deal that established a “full normalization of relations” between the two countries. UAE became only the third Arab country in the Middle East — after Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994) — to recognize Israel since its founding in 1948. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed released a joint statement saying that the “diplomatic breakthrough” had occurred at “the request of President Trump.”
In September 2020, the Trump administration brokered a peace agreement between Israel and the Gulf state of Bahrain, a deal that would fully normalize diplomatic relations between the two states.
That same month, President Trump oversaw the signing of a peace agreement between Serbia and Kosovo, in which Kosovo agreed to formally recognize Israel’s right to exist, and Serbia agreed to move its embassy to Jerusalem. Prior to this, Kosovo, a mostly Muslim country, had steadfastly refused to recognize the legitimacy of Israel’s existence. And Serbia since 2009 had refused to recognize Kosovo as an independent state.
On October 23, 2020, President Trump announced that Sudan had also agreed to normalize its diplomatic relations with Israel. “It’s peace in the Middle East without bloodshed,” said Trump. Netanyahu praised Trump for the vital role he was playing in the process: “We are expanding their circle of peace so rapidly with your leadership.”
For his role in brokering the aforementioned peace deals, Trump was nominated for three Nobel Peace Prizes.
In December 2020, the Trump administration facilitated yet another peace deal between Israel and a formerly hostile Arab League nation – this time, Morocco.
Military, National Security, & NATO
On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed a memorandum authorizing the expansion and rebuilding of the U.S. military. This was vital because in the latter years of the Obama administration, the military had faced a severe shortage of ammunition. As Col. John Venable, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said: “By the end of fiscal year 2020, the Trump administration will have acquired more than four times the number of GPS-guided munitions than were acquired during the eight years of the Obama administration.”
Also during the course of his presidency, Trump:
- mandated a department-wide review of military training requirements, eliminating political-correctness exercises that relied on the leftwing Southern Poverty Law Center’s perspectives on Islamic extremism
- took a strong stance on reducing financial waste in the military
- mandated a government-wide review of the U.S. defense industry and supply chain, for the purpose of strengthening national security
- called for expanding U.S. nuclear capabilities and developing low-yield nuclear weapons
- re-established the Navy’s Second Fleet in response to increased Russian activity in the North Atlantic Ocean
- ordered the implementation of a new comprehensive biodefense strategy
- released the first-ever plan to protect the U.S. from an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack
- enacted restrictions on nuclear technology exports to China
- created a task force to protect the U.S. defense supply chain from having technologies stolen by China, Russia, and other nations
- instituted a new Justice Department program clamping down on espionage and intellectual-property theft by China
- signed a memorandum officially creating the U.S. Space Force as a sixth branch of the military
- signed an executive order to improve America’s cybersecurity workforce
- signed an executive order blocking foreign technology companies from operating in the U.S. if they pose a threat to national security
In July 2017, the Trump administration agreed to sell Patriot missile-defense systems ― designed to detect, target, and destroy incoming missiles and aircraft ― to Poland. This move countered the Obama-Biden administration’s decision to break its pledge to provide Poland with those systems.
In 2018, the U.S. allocated a record $11.5 billion for the Missile Defense Agency. In a January 2019 statement, President Trump said: “As President, my first duty is the defense of our country…. I will accept nothing less for our nation than the most effective, cutting-edge missile defense systems…. We are committed to establishing a missile defense program that can shield every city in the United States. And we will never negotiate away our right to do this.”
Throughout 2017 and 2018, President Trump pressured European leaders to contribute more money to NATO’s defense capabilities. He noted that NATO members had failed to live up to their pledges to contribute at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product to NATO’s defense and anti-terror capabilities. Trump’s pressure campaign proved to be very effective. Of the 27 NATO countries other than the U.S., 26 increased their NATO defense spending between 2017 and 2019.
Trump Destroys the ISIS Caliphate
In January 2014, when journalist David Remnick asked President Obama to square his claim that al-Qaeda had been “decimated,” with the fact that its bloodthirsty, genocidal outgrowth — ISIS — was now in control of Fallujah, Obama replied: “The analogy we use around here … is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”
On June 29, 2014, ISIS announced the existence of what it called a new Islamic caliphate. Six months later, an ISIS spokesman ceremoniously announced his group’s genocidal intentions: “We will conquer Europe one day. It is not a question of [whether] we will conquer Europe, just a matter of when that will happen…. For us, there is no such thing as borders. There are only front lines…. Our expansion will be rapid and perpetual.”
As of January 1, 2015, ISIS controlled at least 45 separate cities and towns across northern Iraq and eastern Syria.
The Obama-Biden administration greatly hampered the American military effort against ISIS by imposing highly restrictive rules-of-engagement on U.S. bombers capable of striking terrorist targets from the air. Obama-Biden’s weakness in dealing with ISIS had horrific consequences for millions of people in the Middle East. In January 2016, NBC News reported that “at least 18,802 civilians have been killed in Iraq in ISIS-linked violence in under two years,… with millions of others forced from their homes and thousands more held as slaves.”
But the American assault on ISIS intensified dramatically after Donald Trump became president. Within five months, the number of bombs that were dropped each month by the U.S. military onto ISIS strongholds and assets, more than doubled. Moreover, as CNN reported: “Trump decided to equip the anti-ISIS Syrian Democratic Forces — a largely Kurdish militia — with mortars, anti-tank weapons, armored cars and machine guns.”
The Trump administration also gave U.S. military commanders authority to carry out their missions without micromanagement from Washington, a move that played a key role in America’s military advances against ISIS. As Defense Secretary James Mattis said, President Trump had “delegated authority to the right level to aggressively and in a timely manner move against enemy vulnerabilities.”
On December 26, 2017, Fox News reported: “ISIS has lost 98 percent of the territory it once held — with half of that terror group’s so-called ‘caliphate’ having been recaptured since President Trump took office less than a year ago.”
By taking a strong approach in dealing with ISIS, President Trump saved countless thousands of Muslim lives — a reality that thoroughly contradicts the Democrats’ depiction of Trump as “anti-Islamic.” The defeat of ISIS, which could not have happened without President Trump, was one of the great achievements of modern military history.
Trump & the Killing of Major Terrorist Leaders
Under President Trump’s command, U.S. forces in August 2019 killed Hamza Bin Laden, a high-ranking al-Qaeda member and son of the late Osama Bin Laden, in a counter-terrorism operation in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region.
In October 2019, President Trump authorized a special forces operation that targeted and killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria.
In January 2020, Trump ordered the Central Intelligence Agency to launch a drone strike that killed Qassim al-Rimi, the leader of al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen.
That same month, Trump ordered a drone strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, the notorious general who: (a) headed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps; (b) had long been considered a terrorist by American officials; (c) headed Iranian-affiliated terrorist operations that trained Iran proxies who were responsible for more than 600 American deaths; and (d) was believed to be in the process of preparing additional attacks on U.S. diplomats in the Middle East.
When Trump first entered the presidential race of 2016, he pledged to appoint only originalists to the Supreme Court — i.e., judges who would strive to discern the original intent of the Framers of the Constitution. Toward that end, he subsequently named Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett to the nation’s highest Court. Trump also applied this same originalist standard to his appointments of 300+ additional judges to the federal bench nationwide
Biden and the Democrats, by contrast, reject and repudiate the concept of judicial originalism. Instead, they seek to appoint activist judges who can be counted upon to rubber-stamp the party’s leftist agenda items. During an October 2018 public forum, Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that if Democrats could gain control of Congress and the White House, they should “pack the Supreme Court of the United States of America.” “Packing” the Court would entail increasing the number of Justices — from 9 to perhaps 13 or 15 — with all the additions being activists who could be counted upon to rule in favor of Democrat agendas. The issue gained additional traction in October 2020, when President Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett for a seat on the Supreme Court.
During the 2020 presidential campaign, Joe Biden repeatedly refused to give his opinion on Court-packing: “You’ll know my opinion on Court-packing when the election is over,” he told reporters in early October. When a reporter asked Biden, “don’t the voters deserve to know [your position on Court-packing]?” Biden answered: “No, they don’t.”
President Trump imposed various tariffs and sanctions against China in retribution for transgressions such as China’s theft of U.S. intellectual property, its purchase of fighter jets and anti-aircraft missiles from Russia, and its efforts to help North Korea evade American economic sanctions. The Trump tariffs and sanctions had an enormous impact on the Chinese economy. Reuters reported that by August 2019, “growth in industrial production [in China was] at its weakest in seventeen-and-a-half years.”
In October 2020, the Washington Times wrote the following about President Trump’s highly effective dealings with China:
“Donald Trump is the only president to meaningfully confront China’s abusive trade policies…. The groundbreaking U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement he signed in January stops forced technology transfer, protects our intellectual property, promotes U.S. financial services, removes barriers to trade, and creates long-term market access for American exports in manufacturing, agriculture and more. For the first time, these commitments from China are in writing and are fully enforceable.
“Mr. Trump is also maintaining pressure on China through tariffs on $370 billion in exports to the United States, including nearly all Chinese-made high-tech products….
“China is finally taking action to address numerous and long-standing intellectual property concerns….
“Of the 57 regulatory and structural changes that China committed to make in agriculture, China has already completed 50. This has led to significant new market access for U.S. poultry, beef, dairy, grains, seafood and more….
“[E]xports of U.S. manufacturing products to China have increased, and China has removed discriminatory barriers to open up its financial services sector to U.S.-owned enterprises, including life, pension and health insurance, securities, fund management and futures services. This allows U.S. companies to compete on a more level playing field in China.”
In an effort to improve relations between the U.S. and Russia, President Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But Trump was tough on Russia in many ways. In August 2019, the Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty because Russia had been violating its terms for a number of years. Trump also approved the export of lethal small arms to Ukraine, to aid that nation in its low-grade conflict with Russia-backed separatists. And in response to increased Russian activity in the north Atlantic Ocean, Trump in 2018 resurrected the Second Navy Fleet, which had been disbanded by Obama-Biden seven years earlier.
Trump placed sanctions on Russia and certain Russian citizens for human rights violations, transgressions vis-à-vis Ukraine and Crimea, cyber-attacks against the United States, and violations of UN restrictions against dealing with North Korea.
Trump’s sanctions against Russia had an enormous effect. As National Interest reported in September 2018: “The Russian economy is crumbling.”
According to the official Democratic Party Platform of 2020: “President Trump’s abject failure to respond forcefully and capably to the COVID-19 pandemic — his failure to lead — makes him responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans.” “If the president had done his job … from the beginning,” said Joe Biden, “all the people would still be alive.” And in the 2020 vice presidential debate, Kamala Harris characterized Trump’s response to coronavirus as “the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country.”
Contrary to the foregoing remarks, however, President Trump’s response to the pandemic stands as one of the most impressive demonstrations of political leadership in living memory. Let us examine the facts.
As early as September of 2019, Chinese medical authorities first noticed a new, unfamiliar type of coronavirus in a number of patients in the city of Wuhan. But those authorities kept this discovery a secret for more than three months, during which time they continued to discover new cases of the virus on a regular basis. A University of Southampton study estimates that the number of coronavirus cases worldwide could have been reduced by 95%, had China taken steps to contain the virus, and to alert the rest of the world about it, just three weeks sooner.
On January 21, 2020, the U.S. confirmed its first known case of coronavirus in a young man who had recently traveled to Wuhan. Eight days later, President Trump created a White House Coronavirus Task Force to coordinate the federal government’s response to the virus outbreak and to keep the American people as informed about it as possible.
At that time, congressional Democrats were giving precisely ZERO attention to the coronavirus threat. They had not held even a single hearing — for even a single moment — about the matter. Instead, they had spent the preceding four months entirely obsessed with one agenda item: impeaching President Trump and trying to remove him from office. The Senate impeachment trial, which had commenced on January 21, was still in high gear. Coronavirus was, quite literally, the last thing on any of their minds.
On January 31, President Trump formally declared coronavirus to be a public health emergency and became the first national leader in the world to implement a ban on incoming travel from China. There had not yet been a single known American death from the virus.
But on February 1 — the day after Trump’s announcement of the China travel ban — Joe Biden depicted the president as an anti-Asian racist: “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia — hysterical xenophobia — and fearmongering,” he said.
On February 24, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited San Francisco’s crowded Chinatown area and encouraged people to come and patronize its various shops and vendors. “[W]hat we’re trying to do here today,” said Pelosi, “is to say everything is fine here. Come because precautions have been taken. The city is on top of the situation…. [W]e think it’s very safe to be in Chinatown and hope that others will come. It’s lovely here. The food is delicious, the shops are prospering, the parade was great. Walking tours continue. Please come and visit and enjoy Chinatown.” Within a few weeks, Pelosi would be claiming that President Trump — and not she — had failed to take the lethality of the virus seriously enough.
Meanwhile, President Trump announced further restrictions on incoming travel from certain global hot spots where coronavirus was becoming increasingly widespread — namely Iran (February 26), South Korea (February 29), and eventually, all of Europe (March 11 & 14).
On February 29, a patient near Seattle was believed to be the first person to die of coronavirus in the United States.
In March 2020, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, a lead member of the Coronavirus Task Force, noted that “the very timely decision on the part of the president to shut off travel from China” had “absolutely” gone “a long way” toward limiting the number of coronavirus infections in the U.S. “We did it early,” said Fauci, adding: “When the infection burden shifted from China to Europe, we did the same thing. We shut off travel from Europe, which again was another safeguard to prevent influx from without, in.” Moreover, Fauci stated that the Trump administration’s “coordinated response” to the crisis had been “impressive.” “I can’t imagine that, under any circumstances, anybody could be doing more,” said the doctor. Fauci also made it clear, in March 2020, that Trump “has never overruled me” vis-à-vis following the science, rather than political concerns, in combating the virus.
Over the next several weeks and months, President Trump and his administration worked around the clock to:
- accelerate the development of coronavirus diagnostic capabilities, treatments, and vaccines
- dramatically cut the bureaucratic red tape that traditionally had stood in the way of swift action in the development of therapeutics and inoculations
- sign legislation securing trillions of dollars for coronavirus response efforts
- meet with industry executives and nonprofit leaders to develop action plans and forge public-private partnerships
- permit Medicare Advantage and Part D health plans to waive co-payments for coronavirus tests and treatment
- instruct the Small Business Administration to make available many billions of dollars in low-interest disaster loans for businesses impacted by the virus
- swiftly create large military hospitals aboard ships and in land-based facilities to help support areas impacted by coronavirus
- temporarily suspend foreclosures and evictions affecting families whose mortgages were insured by the Federal Housing Administration
- dramatically expand access to telehealth services
- recruit auto manufacturers to re-purpose their assembly lines for the mass production of ventilators
- meet with distributors such as FedEx and UPS to discuss ways of getting necessary medical supplies to state and local governments
- invoke the Defense Production Act to direct the 3M Company to produce a vast quantity of additional N95 respirator masks
- make the United States the world leader, by far, in its capacity to test for coronavirus
On March 21, the FDA announced that it had approved a rapid coronavirus test that would require no training to administer and would yield results in less than an hour.
In early April, the Trump administration launched “Operation Warp Speed,” a Manhattan Project-style effort to dramatically reduce the amount of time needed to develop a coronavirus vaccine. As Bloomberg News pointed out: “There is no precedent for such rapid development of a vaccine.”
On July 27, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that a Phase 3 clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine had begun. Speculation arose that a vaccine could be available by the fall of 2020. And indeed, two separate vaccines were authorized for use in late 2020, representing one of the fastest, most extraordinary achievements in the history of medicine.
In 2005, a landmark report by the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, known informally as the Carter-Baker Commission, advised all U.S. states that in order to guarantee free and fair elections, they should: (a) increase voter ID requirements; (b) minimize the use of mail-in ballots, which “remain the largest source of potential voter fraud”; (c) disallow ballot harvesting by third parties; (d) purge voter rolls of all ineligible or fraudulent names; (e) allow election observers to monitor ballot-counting processes without restraint or obstruction; (f) ensure that voting machines are accurate in their tabulations; and (g) encourage news organizations to “delay the release of any exit-poll data until the election has been decided.” President Trump has spoken out frequently and forcefully in favor of all these recommendations. But the recommendations were widely ignored in the elections of November 2020, chiefly because of Democrat efforts to circumvent and change existing election laws by unconstitutional and illegal methods.
Those Democrat efforts were wholly consistent with the 2020 Democratic Party Platform’s pledge: “We will make voting easier and more accessible for all Americans by supporting automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, early voting, and universal vote-from-home and vote-by-mail options.” Every one of those Democrat proposals dramatically increases opportunities for voter fraud, particularly in light of the fact that state voter rolls already include at least 24 million ineligible or inaccurate voter registrations.
Trump & Welfare Benefits
In April 2018, President Trump issued an executive order requiring able-bodied adults on food stamps to work, train or volunteer for at least 20 hours per week. His goal was to move healthy people from welfare to work while saving taxpayers billions of dollars and ensuring that a safety net remained in place for the truly needy, not for those who wished to exploit taxpayers.
After eight years of President Obama repeatedly smearing police officers as racists who habitually mistreated black criminal suspects and offenders, it was a refreshing change for millions of Americans to finally have a president who, from the moment he took office, made his high regard for police officers crystal clear. “I will always support the incredible men and women of law enforcement as much as you have always supported me,” he told officers in 2017. His obvious respect for those officers was repaid at the polls. In the 2020 presidential election, America’s major police organizations unanimously supported Trump. These included such notables as the National Association of Police Officers, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the International Union of Police Associations.
By contrast, Joe Biden steadfastly maintains that there is “absolutely” systemic racism in law-enforcement which must be “root[ed] out.” Kamala Harris, similarly, laments that we “have two systems of justice in America” – one for whites, and another for nonwhites.
The overwhelming consensus of empirical evidence in the criminal-justice literature exposes the Biden-Harris claims as fabrications. Indeed, for many years, the rate at which blacks and whites respectively have been arrested for various crimes, has correlated almost perfectly with how victims and witnesses have identified the perpetrators of those offenses. As bestselling author Ben Shapiro puts it: “For literally decades, studies have demonstrated that there is statistical parity between crime reports and arrests.”
Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter has spent the past seven years telling us that African Americans living under our nation’s “white supremacist system” are routinely targeted for “extrajudicial killings … by police and vigilantes.” But hard data exposes BLM’s claim as a monstrous lie. For example, each and every year, without exception, whites who are shot and killed by police officers in the U.S. far outnumber blacks and Hispanics who meet that same fate. Black Lives Matter and its credulous adherents, however, are entirely uninterested in anything as quaint and irrelevant as facts.
The 2020 Democratic Party Platform boasts that “Democrats will vigorously enforce the … Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing [AFFH],” a policy which aims to empower cities to annex their surrounding suburbs. Stanley Kurtz, a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, explained AFFH when President Obama and Joe Biden first began to implement it in 2015:
“AFFH obligates any local jurisdiction that receives HUD funding to … remedy [any racial or ethnic] imbalances [among its residents]…. [T]hose suburbs could be obligated to nullify their [own] zoning ordinances and build high-density, low-income housing at their own expense. [They] would have to direct advertising to potential minority occupants in the [neighboring urban] region…. Even with no allegation or evidence of intentional discrimination, the mere existence of a demographic imbalance in the region as a whole must be remedied by a given suburb. Suburbs will literally be forced to import population from elsewhere, at their own expense.”
This Obama-Biden policy was enormously significant from a political standpoint, because it sought to move, from the cities to the suburbs, people who were disproportionately Democrats, thereby increasing the number of majority-Democrat suburbs and Democrat Congressional Districts.
President Trump mostly gutted the AFFH rule soon after he took office in 2017, and in July 2020 he officially repealed what was left of it. But now, Biden and the Democrats plan not only to reinstitute AFFH, but to expand it.
Joe Biden flatly called Donald Trump a “racist” during the first presidential debate of 2020. In a similar spirit, Senator Bernie Sanders has stated: “We have a president who is, in fact, a racist and a bigot.” These are just two of countless examples where leading Democrats have smeared President Trump as a racist.
The most famous and noteworthy charge of “racism” that has been leveled at the president is the allegation that Trump issued racist remarks in the aftermath of the August 12, 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In terms of laying bare the modus operandi by which Trump has routinely been painted as a racist, Charlottesville is the Rosetta Stone. What we learn about the veracity — or inveracity — of that particular racism charge, will teach us a great deal about how much, or how little, credence we should give to other accusations.
First, a bit of context: The Charlottesville event was originally organized for the very explicit purpose of protesting the proposed removal, from a local park, of an equestrian statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. According to various reports, the protesters were composed of two very distinct and dissimilar contingents of people: (a) aggressive and hateful white supremacists with neo-Nazi sympathies, and (b) others who had no racial or anti-Semitic animus and simply wished to voice their disapproval regarding the Lee statue’s removal. It is difficult to ascertain with any precision the relative numbers of people in each contingent.
Meanwhile, a large group of counter-protesters likewise included two very distinct and dissimilar contingents: (a) those who supported the statue’s removal and wished to make their feelings known in a nonviolent public forum, and (b) hundreds of people who were affiliated with Antifa, a revolutionary Marxist/anarchist militia movement that explicitly advocates the use of violence to raze America’s existing society to the ground.
On the morning of Saturday, August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, the most radical and combustible elements on both sides of the Lee statue debate began to engage in violence against one another. Then, at about 1:40 p.m., a deranged white supremacist rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters who were still in the vicinity, killing one white woman and injuring several other people.
Just hours after the deadly violence of August 12, President Trump issued a short statement saying: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides — on many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. It’s been going on for a long, long time.”
On August 14, President Trump made a televised statement in which he said:
“No matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God. We must love each other, show affection for each other, and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry, and violence. We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans. Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans…. Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.”
On August 15, President Trump held a televised press conference where he spoke at greater length about the events of August 12 in Charlottesville. His most relevant remarks were the following:
- “[Y]ou had a group on one side [the neo-Nazis] that was bad, and you had a group on the other side [Antifa] that was also very violent, and nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now. You had a group — you had a group on the other side [Antifa] that came charging in without a permit [to assemble and protest], and they were very, very violent.”
- “I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. But not all of those [pro-statue] people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch.”
- “I think there’s blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either.”
- “[Y]ou have some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. You had people in that group … that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue.”
- “And you had people, and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. OK? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers [Antifa] and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats. You’ve got—you had a lot of bad—you had a lot of bad people in the other group.”
- “[I]t looked like they had some rough, bad people—neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. But you [also] had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest.”
Above all else, Trump’s detractors zeroed in mainly on his assertion that there had been “blame on both sides,” as well as some “very fine people on both sides,” at the site of the August 12 protest. The critics maliciously misrepresented what Trump had said, to make it seem as though he had referred to neo-Nazis as “very fine people.” Joe Biden, for example, has repeatedly claimed that Trump’s “very fine people” remarks were what caused him (Biden) to run for president.
But Trump explicitly, unmistakably, and repeatedly denounced “neo-Nazis,” “KKK,” “white supremacists,” and “white nationalists” — by name — in the course of his remarks on August 14 and August 15, 2017. He openly described them as “rough, bad people” who “should be condemned totally.” Nevertheless, it is quite evident that his critics very much want—and very much need—to believe that the president somehow endorsed the racist impulses of such human filth. For without willfully misrepresenting what Trump so clearly said, it would be impossible to read racism into his remarks.
A major New York Times piece titled “Donald Trump’s Racism: The Definitive List” charges that “during a White House meeting in 2018, [Trump] referred to some undocumented immigrants as ‘animals.’” Leading Democrats, too, have complained vocally about Trump having equated immigrants with “animals.”
- At a town hall meeting in South Carolina, Joe Biden lamented that Trump had maligned “migrants seeking refuge in America” by saying “these aren’t people, these are animals.”
- Nancy Pelosi said solemnly that Trump’s comments made her wonder whether or not the president believes “we are all God’s children.” “When the president of the United States says about undocumented immigrants, ‘these aren’t people, these are animals,’ you have to wonder,” added Pelosi, “does he not believe in the spark of divinity, the dignity and worth of every person?”
- Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer tweeted: “When all of our great-great-grandparents came to America they weren’t ‘animals,’ and these people aren’t, either.”
- In April 2019, Democrat presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke likened Trump to Hitler, saying that in the president’s view, “Asylum seekers are ‘animals’ and an ‘infestation,’ which is the way I would describe cockroaches in my house. Not human beings. It’s a term you would expect to hear in the Third Reich in the 1930s.”
From reading or hearing the foregoing characterizations of Trump’s comments, one would have absolutely no idea that the president’s reference to “animals” was actually made in direct response to Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims’ complaint that immigration-law restrictions were preventing her from informing federal authorities that certain deportable, illegal-alien members of the brutally violent and murderous MS-13 gang were being housed, at that very moment, in a Fresno prison. “There could be an MS-13 member I know about — if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE [Immigration & Customs Enforcement] about it,” said an exasperated Mims.
It was in response to that statement, that Trump made his famous “animals” remark. To any honest observer, it would have been quite obvious that Trump was not referring to “undocumented” or “unauthorized” immigrants generally, but to MS-13 members specifically.
Trump’s Critics Turn a Blind Eye to His Laudable Words and Deeds
While Democrats and the American news media were intent on portraying President Trump’s every word, every action, and every breath as “racist,” they dutifully avoided reporting on events that might have contradicted their carefully scripted narrative.
To cite one example, consider some of the profoundly positive things that Trump said in his speech to the Young Black Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., where he was received with enormous warmth and enthusiasm, in October 2018. “[I]t is my great honor,” the president stated, “to be with so many brilliant—and that’s what you are, brilliant, courageous, patriotic and proud Americans. Seeing all of you here today fills me with an extraordinary confidence in America’s future, and the great, great future of our country…. You are true leaders on your campuses, in your churches and in your communities.”
Don’t feel too badly if you never heard about the Young Black Leadership Summit, or about Trump’s remarks there. News reporters must have scarcely had a moment to mention the event, given the fact that they were so busy chronicling the president’s “racism” on a minute-by-minute basis.
It is also unlikely that you ever heard about President Trump’s September 10, 2019 address at the annual Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) Week Conference in Washington, D.C., where he said things like this:
- “For more than 180 years, HBCUs have strengthened our country and called America to greatness…. My administration is deeply devoted to advancing this amazing legacy of success, commitment, and contribution to our nation…. You’re amazing people in this room. Incredible people. And I congratulate you for it.”
- “Every day of my presidency, we’ll strive to give every child, of every background and every race, religion, and creed, the best chance to reach that beautiful American Dream.”
- “The fierce dedication to strengthening HBCUs is a core part of my administration’s unwavering focus on the project of national renewal.”
At that same event, Trump proudly announced that he had: (a) signed legislation to increase federal funding for HBCUs by a record 13%; (b) directed the entire federal government to develop a strategy to help HBCUs “receive [the] resources and support that you deserve”; (c) instructed NASA as well as the Departments of Labor and Education to recruit HBCU students and to increase apprenticeship opportunities for them; and (d) opened a White House office to coordinate and oversee these various initiatives. “Our federal budget also prioritizes HBCUs in our plan to give more students access to state-of-the-art training in high-demand fields, such as science, technology, engineering, and math,” the president noted as well.
But as National Review contributing editor Deroy Murdock points out: “All three evening-news shows entombed this [HBCU] story. Instead, ABC spent 15 seconds on the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders doubling their pay. CBS delivered 22 seconds on the medical benefits of twice-weekly naps. And NBC broadcast one minute and 34 seconds on a 9-year-old Ohioan who was ‘lunch-shamed’ at his school.”
In September 2019 as well, President Trump made the following remarks at a Hispanic Heritage Month reception at the White House:
- “This evening, we come together to honor the devotion, and the drive, and the faith, and genius, and exceptional achievements of our incredible Hispanic American community.”
- “Hispanic Americans have been a big part of our national story from the very, very beginning of our country. You work hard. You raise your strong and beautiful families. You care for your neighbors. You start businesses, you create jobs, and you teach your children to love our country and to cherish our God-given freedom. Hispanic Americans enrich America in countless ways…. Thank you for your contribution to our culture. And thank you for helping make America greater than ever before.”
The media, however, were mostly unwilling to mention anything positive that Trump may have said at the White House reception. An opinion piece in The Hill, for instance, condemned “Trump’s bigotry” and pronounced that “the president’s antipathy towards Latinos is well-documented.”
At a September 22, 2019 event at Houston’s NRG Stadium, where some 50,000 immigrants from India gathered for “a community summit” in honor of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Trump told the crowd that he and Mr. Modi “have come to Houston to celebrate everything that unites America and India—our shared dreams and bright futures.” Despite the fact that U.S. citizens of Indian ancestry had voted overwhelmingly against him in 2016, Trump declared: “I’ve also come to express my profound gratitude to the nearly 4 million amazing Indian Americans all across our country. You enrich our culture, you uphold our values, you uplift our communities, and you are truly proud to be American. And we are proud to have you as Americans. We thank you. We love you.”
“This occasion in Houston was a high-water mark in relations between Earth’s two most populous republics,” Deroy Murdock observed. “Regardless, Trump and Modi’s love-in received zero minutes and zero seconds of coverage on that evening’s NBC Nightly News, [which] devoted two minutes and 35 seconds to correspondent Sam Brock’s report on the 25th anniversary of The Shawshank Redemption. Likewise … ABC’s World News Tonight totally spurned Trump’s Indo-extravaganza [but] focused for one minute and 45 seconds on Katie, a border collie that was lost in Montana and found, alive, 57 days later.”
President Trump showed Americans what it means to be a courageous and principled leader; to publicly and clearly articulate his principles — without euphemism or deception — and then fight for them in the political arena. He reminded us what it is like to have a president who genuinely loves his country, and who cannot be intimidated into submission or silence by his critics. Such individuals are exceedingly rare. Donald Trump was a magnificent president, and there are many millions of us who will always, always understand that.