By Dov Fischer
His demeanor makes some of us wince. His language makes many of us uncomfortable. Presidents in democracies reflect something about the people who elect them. In some cases, as with the aptly named House of Representatives, people sometimes even vote to be reflected by an assortment of lowlifes. Ilhan Omar reflects her district, as does Rashida Tlaib, as does [O-]Cortez. Hillary lost because even Democrats were revulsed by the thought that she reflects them.
Trump, too, reflects his electorate: we who put him there. In balancing all that he comprises, we focused in November 2016 on greatness. Eight years of Obama — incompetence, weakness, economic malaise, societal decay — left us focused on restoring greatness. Thus, even Christian pastors, devout Catholic theologians, and Orthodox rabbis vigorously support Donald Trump. The free world’s last great hope is America, and she was in peril.
What about his language, some of his dishonorable private deeds, flaws in his character?
Yes, excellence of personal character is desirable. A Mike Huckabee, a Mike Pence might offer an interesting successor model in 2024 after the Democrats manage to impeach Trump into an impeccable second full term. Yet we will look back on Trump’s presidency wistfully decades hence as we today look back on the Ronald Reagan years. The man, whatever his flaws, has proven to be a great president of historic dimensions.
Those who complain about Trump’s character invariably are the same “deplorables” who voted for the lying, cheating, false-faced Hillary. They had no problem with an ethical deviant who had committed felonious spoliation of evidence, lied about her emails (yoga and wedding dresses?), lied about Benghazi (an incoherent YouTube video with few views?), lied about her very name (named for a guy who became famous only after she was born?), lied about her trips abroad (landing amid gunfire in Bosnia, when in fact she was greeted by schoolgirls presenting her flowers), lying about and defaming the women whom her husband sexually assaulted, even lying and joking in a fake Southern drawl (back when her husband was Arkansas governor) about successfully defending a guy who raped a 12-year-old girl. They likewise had no compunction voting for her better half despite his raping Juanita Broaddrick, assaulting Kathleen Willey, exposing himself to Paula Corbin Jones, manipulating a gullible Monica Lewinsky — later explaining, “because I could.”
John Kennedy in fact was an unabashed serial cheater in the White House. Lyndon Johnson was an egomaniacal narcissist who expected staff to have meetings with him while he sat on a toilet. Franklin Roosevelt was a racist and the incredibly intense Woodrow Wilson was perhaps the worst of all racists ever elected to high office. The Left has no problem with their characters or whether or not they were “presidential” — because they were leftist, “progressive” Democrats.
Even now, as the “deplorables” select their candidate to lose to Trump in 2020, do they weigh character? Robert O’Rourke (“Man, I was born for this”) is a Scottish-Irish child of White Privilege, a hit-and-run driver who was part of a computer-hacking crowd, who masquerades as Beto the Hispanic, sort of a skateboarding Zorro. Elizabeth Warren lied baldly for years about her lineage just to take advantage of the “affirmative action” rules that got her a job at Harvard at the expense of an authentic minority candidate. Native Americans should sioux her and without reservations. And more Elizabeth Warren biographical lies emerge every day. Joe Biden, even if he were not a despicable crook who leveraged his vice presidency to get his son and himself personally wealthy overnight, already had staked out a long and extinguished reputation for plagiarizing speeches, fabricating stories of pseudo-heroism amid wartime peril, and just making things up. And if the measure of the man is character and whether he comports himself as “Presidential,” have we forgotten Biden’s puerile and maniacal laughing display during the Vice Presidential debate with Paul Ryan in 2012? Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders, who now finally is finished as aorta be, endorsed Communist Russia and its bread lines that forced millions to stand for hours for a loaf of bread, and he himself probably would be home-ridden or dead now if he had his socialized medicine. Kamala Harris slept her way shamelessly into public life as the very public consort of Willie Brown, even as Brown’s wife Blanche publicly told the media, “Listen, she may have him at the moment, but come inauguration day and he’s up there on the platform being sworn in, I’ll be the b***h holding the Bible.”
So that’s how important character is to the “deplorables.”
What makes Trump a man of historic greatness is that he wakes up every morning and continues doing his job with strength in the face of the worst character assassination imaginable, led by the Corrupt Journalist Corps. He still booms the economy. He still dares and stares down China on tariffs and trade. He still shows North Korea that he will not be hoodwinked as Bill Clinton and Obama were by promises devoid of results. He stares down the Iranian Ayatollahs and tightens the vise, despite their bombastic threats and tactical efforts to get the weak-kneed, yellow-livered, gutless and cowardly Europeans to beg Trump to lay off. He stares down those Europeans, insisting mercilessly that they cough up the money those cheap and lazy skinflints never before would pay to support NATO. So, unlike Obama and Arafat, no Nobel Prize for him. On Trump’s watch, Vladimir Putin no longer extends Russian hegemony into other countries. On his watch, Abu Mazen (Arafat’s henchman, Mahmoud Abbas) finally got cut off for allocating 7 percent of his annual budget — as much as $300 million, coming from monies sent by America and Europe — to support families of terrorists and to make convicted terrorists among the highest-income earners in “Palestine” under their “Pay to Slay” program.
Trump faces 24/7/365 lies, slander, and libel, and he just keeps going. He continues advancing novel approaches to solving the southern border mess that generations of Republicans, including Reagan, failed no less than did Democrats to address. With a porous border, deadly opioids have swamped us for years, brutal criminal animals like MS-13 have slithered in, and the most despicable of villains have smuggled in women and children for sex slavery. Yet, until Trump, no one took tough steps to secure the border. Then, faced with Obama judges in states of the federal appellate Ninth Circuit who routinely strike down his every lawful initiative, he has taken to filling not only two Supreme Court vacancies but also dozens of open federal appellate seats and even more federal district court benches with judges committed to the rule of law and the primacy of the Constitution.
Trump has done all this in the face of the most unbearable personal onslaught. He has had to deal with House Democrats trying to catch him on Russian collusion, Ukrainian collusion, taxes from decades earlier when he was a private citizen in the fields of casino and hotel construction and development. His lawyer, Michael Cohen, turned out to be a criminal who secretly taped clients like him. Trump gave Omarosa a chance to rehabilitate her reputation, and she betrayed that trust. He demonstrated personal loyalty by trying to repay Jeff Sessions for having been the first senator to endorse his presidential candidacy by naming him attorney general, and that loyalty backfired. The service, brilliance, and true grit of William Barr demonstrates what that job entails in this unfortunate era of personal destruction, and Sen. Sessions was ill-suited for that role. Trump allowed Paul Ryan to gain his misplaced trust on how and when to push for funding a southern border wall. He initially deferred to Republican insiders by appointing Reince Priebus his chief of staff and Sean Spicer his spokesperson until he gained the experience to make better choices. His first Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, seemed to him uniquely suited to deal with Putin, but Mike Pompeo’s tenure as Tillerson’s successor shows the difference between the early mistake of a newcomer to the game and the lessons Trump has learned on the job.
Most of all, Trump has survived and remained unbowed. Kathy the CNN comedienne thought it would be a laugh to hold a bloodied decapitated head depicted like the president’s. Madonna spoke publicly about blowing up the White House. A public Shakespeare Festival in Manhattan staged a suggestive assassination. Yet he goes on, even stronger. The Democrats try to tie up his entire administration with one bogus investigation after another, subpoenaing family, friends, and government officials trying to get work done. And yet he goes on. He recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moves the American embassy there from Tel Aviv, recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, throws the PLO out of Washington, pulls the U.S. out of the phony UN “Human Rights Council,” pulls the U.S. out of the disastrous Iran Deal, pulls the U.S. out of the self-destructive “Paris Climate Accords,” stops the nonsensical Trans-Pacific Partnership, brings jobs back to America, secures the nation’s aluminum and steel industries, reduces unemployment to its lowest in 50 years at 3.5 percent and likewise reduces Black and Hispanic unemployment to their all-time lows.
He opened new vistas in hydraulic fracturing in Alaska and expanded energy production in other ways that transmogrified America into so great a net exporter of energy that our economy is not impacted when half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production is closed down. He fights Democrat initiatives to extend abortion into the ninth month and even their policies to make newly born babies “comfortable” while mother and doctor decide whether or not to kill the newborn.
Nothing breaks him. Not libel and not slander. Not accusations by the likes of John Brennan, who voted for communist Gus Hall to be president, that this most patriotic of Americans is a traitor. Not endless state initiatives to keep him off ballots. Not attacks on his wife, his daughter, even the public mocking of his youngest boy. He wakes up every day and does his job with determination and gusto. At press conferences with world leaders, as the Corrupt Journalist Corps strike at him with embarrassing questions while his foreign visitors look on awkwardly, he stands his ground. He does not give an inch. He hits back twice as hard as they do.
Most of us never have had a job in which the personal attacks, the daily venom, create a pervasive and severely toxic atmosphere. But some of us have. Some people in those situations are driven to suicide. Others sustain breakdowns or get so flummoxed daily that they make severe mistakes or burn out. Others are driven to resign. But Donald Trump feeds off it and responds by campaigning vigorously and energetically for reelection.
The great irony is that because he is such a lifelong dealmaker, odds are that, if the Democrats had treated him with a modicum of civility instead of “Resistance,” he would have made “deals” with them that would have infuriated the ideological conservatives among us who were sick and tired of one Bush betrayal after another. He might have appointed his sister to the U.S. Supreme Court. He might have made a deal with Planned Parenthood. But they would not let him. They announced The Resistance from day one, thinking that a bunch of political degenerates like Pelosi, Schumer, [O-]Cortez, Tlaib, Nadler, Omar, Schiff, and Maxine Waters could break him. They underestimated what history will declare: that Donald Trump actually was one of our greatest presidents, one who achieved more during his two terms than did most who preceded him, including Ronald Reagan.
Rabbi Dov Fischer, Esq., a high-stakes litigation attorney of more than twenty-five years and an adjunct professor of law of more than fifteen years, is rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California. His legal career has included serving as Chief Articles Editor of UCLry]