Why I Was Wrong About Donald Trump

In December of 2015, I published an article in Forum Magazine titled “The American Hitler,” in which I viciously attacked Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. I did so because I found frustrating the political landscape that existed, but I was directing my frustrations toward the wrong groups. Over the course of the past few months I have come to several conclusions about Donald Trump and today I am writing to freely admit that in some respects I was wrong. I was wrong about Donald Trump and my comparison was unjustified. I say now that I see quite clearly that Donald Trump is not only qualified for the presidency, but that he is the candidate that will receive my vote in today’s primary.

Such a change of heart is indeed surprising and is certainly not one I would have expected three months ago. In October, I wrote a piece in the Collegian attacking the culture of political correctness that exists on this campus after a student went out of her way to feign offense at a statement made by Ohio Governor John Kasich; this exchange would subsequently make national news. The absurdity of this event represented for me everything I hated about political correctness, the same hatred that has been a cornerstone of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. However, when I wrote “The American Hitler,” I was encouraging censorship and political correctness and that was simply hypocritical. Donald Trump is waging the same war that I waged against PC culture and I cannot possibly fault him for doing so. Instead, I feel that I must applaud him for taking the stand that I asked people to take when I voiced my own opinion.

I genuinely believe that political correctness is destroying the fabric of our nation and that it must be stopped at all costs. The left wastes so much time and effort trying to find ways to restrict speech and actions so that they do not offend anyone in the slightest capacity. They have turned us into a nation where people are more concerned about the race of Oscar nominees than the national debt and where college students are encouraged to protest because the food served in their dining halls is not culturally sensitive enough, whatever that means. There are many real problems that need immediate attention, and these are not such problems. Donald Trump is focused on the right problems. Are some of Donald Trump’s statements offensive? Absolutely, but most are not. In fact, many journalists and their readers took many of his most famous “offensive” statements grossly out of context; I know because I am guilty of doing this as well. I failed to conduct enough of my own independent research and to think critically and thus arrived at an unsubstantiated conclusion. Instead I should have known what I know now: Donald Trump is a candidate who is legitimately capable of destroying this PC movement once and for all.

On February 13th, the world learned that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had died. When I heard this, I began to think about what this meant for the election and for the next President. While the Supreme Court was already an important issue for the 2016 election, its importance has now grown tremendously. The conclusion I came to is simple: the Republican Party must take back the White House so that the next Supreme Court appointments, perhaps as many as four, will be made by a conservative as such appointments will fundamentally alter the next 20 to 30 years of American politics. My preferred candidate, Carly Fiorina, had dropped out of the race shortly before this and I needed to pick a new candidate to support. Having supported Fiorina, I still wanted an outsider, but Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump failed to impress me so I chose Governor John Kasich. I did so because I believed that he was the unique combination of someone on the outside of Washington who could also win an election. To be completely clear, I believe Governor Kasich to be the best remaining candidate, but I now no longer see a path for him to winning the nomination. This realization has led me to the conclusion that Donald Trump is the candidate most capable of winning the nomination and the Presidency.

Before I explain why I believe this, I will first explain why I think the other four candidates cannot win. Ted Cruz looked like Trump’s strongest competition, but after a disappointing 3rd place in South Carolina, his so-called “southern firewall” is diminished leaving him with no path forward. This is fine with me as I fundamentally believe that Ted Cruz would be a far more dangerous President than any other candidate in the race. Ben Carson should have dropped out after New Hampshire or South Carolina, but for some reason remains in the race. I never could see myself voting for a doctor for President and my feelings remain unchanged. As I said, John Kasich is an excellent candidate who would make a stellar President, but he has too little support and no path to the nomination, which is disappointing. That leaves Senator Marco Rubio, who has seemingly become the establishment favorite. I once had high hopes for Rubio, but he never impressed me and I never could genuinely like him. I know many people who support him for President, but it is impossible for me to erase the image of him as the Republican Barack Obama from my mind. This was never clearer than in Chris Christie’s final debate where he effectively cut Marco Rubio off at the knees by making him repeat the same rehearsed line four times in a row. This was humiliating and made him look robotic and incapable of independent thought. After that moment, I knew I could never choose Rubio as my top candidate. This leaves me with one option: Donald Trump.

I know what many think of Donald Trump, especially regarding his experience. Many attacks against Donald Trump revolve around the fact that he has never held elected office and does not know how to run a country, but this is simply ridiculous. There is no set of criteria that determines if one is qualified for the Presidency and to argue that such a set exists is a pointless task. Donald Trump has spent his life building things and creating jobs. He understands the economy and how to foster growth better than any candidate on either side because he has lived within it for his entire life. Yes, he had four bankruptcies for four of his companies, but this was simply a business decision that left him with a profit. To put so much focus on four failed ventures while ignoring his hundreds, if not thousands, of successes is unfair; the man is a billionaire industrialist and I guarantee he knows more about business and economics than you do. I have no reservations in saying that, in terms of experience, Donald Trump is qualified to be President of the United States.

Donald Trump and I certainly have our differences, but I do not believe that this is a insurmountable problem. I have supported candidates who match my ideology before and they have either lost their election or failed to stand by their word once in office. I really do not believe that it matters what the candidate is saying if they cannot follow through. I feel that Trump will follow through on more of his promises than any other candidate. He will build the U.S.-Mexico border wall, which I think is a good thing. No, Mexico will not pay for the wall, and, to be blunt, thinking that they will is just stupid. This one absurd detail does not, however, undermine the fact that the wall is a good idea and that Donald Trump will build it.

Trump will remove or prevent our troops from entering pointless civil wars, such as in Syria, and will let nations in the region deal with regional problems; his assertion that Putin should handle the Syrian Civil War is fine with me, because an American presence there is pointless at this time and is only making the situation more complicated. Furthermore, the only candidate who is talking about how we treat our veterans upon their return is Donald Trump and he will actually fight to assist the people who have put their lives on the line to defend our freedom. Politicians seem to conveniently forget about the problems within the Veteran’s Administration, but the issue is severe and they deserve better. Donald Trump will ensure that they receive better.

Lastly, Donald Trump is completely correct in his assertion that the United States continually makes bad trade deals with countries like China and Mexico. While many groups have applauded NAFTA and the TPP, there is an underlying problem that such deals encourage American jobs and companies to go abroad. Our next President needs to incentivize companies to stay on our shores and to return jobs back to the United States that have been exported. The only candidate who seems to care about this problem and actually wants to not only negotiate more equal deals in the future, but also renegotiate current deals is Trump. All of these issues are important to me and when I look past the rhetoric and fighting, I find that Trump actually wants to do what I want on these issues.

But what about Donald Trump’s statements that have been accused of being racist, sexist or xenophobic? Yes, some of his statements are beyond inappropriate and they are exactly what sparked my outrage when I wrote my first article. Let me be clear, I do not condone Donald Trump’s proposals to ban Muslims from the United States, I do not support his ignorance of being endorsed by KKK officials, which is something he should immediately address and condemn, and I do not agree with his statements that Mexicans are rapists and murderers. Has Donald Trump said offensive things? Of course he has, but I believe such statements are part of a hyperbolic act to show how bloated and ignorant of the people both the Republican Party and the government have become. He is making a point through rhetoric, but I do not agree with his statements. I am not unaware of this issue, I find that I agree with Trump about 50% of the time so I will continue to speak out against things that he says with which I disagree. But the notion that all Trump supporters are racist is stupid and the idea that one automatically condones all aspects of a candidate they vote for is ignorant and offensive.

There is no denying that Donald Trump is the top contender for the nomination among virtually every age group and every demographic. His appeal is simple: Americans are angry toward a government that is corrupt and useless. Millions of Americans feel that their government has turned its back on them and that it no longer serves their interests and I am one of them. I share these frustrations and all Donald Trump is doing is saying exactly what most Americans feel. His anger is not unique rather it is ubiquitous. I am not alone in saying that I hate Congress and that I think the government is corrupt, because this anger exists in all genders, races, ages, religions, and cultures. Donald Trump is a leader because he is standing up for the silent majority. The status quo dictates that we must vote for the most standard candidate who can win the election and act as a placeholder for four or eight years. We have grown accustomed to this habit and Donald Trump is leading us to break it. The fact of the matter is that Donald Trump is the ultimate enemy of the status quo and that alone is reason enough to support him. America needs a wake up call, and it is coming from Donald Trump. The sad reality is that the United States is no longer the great nation it once was, but no one wants to admit it, because it is an uncomfortable truth. Donald Trump is speaking the truth and remarkably uniting people from all walks of life. If we are going to fix the problem that America is no longer great, we need to first recognize that the problem exists.

I have heard and contributed to the argument that Donald Trump will embarrass the United States on the global stage, but such claims are inherently weak. The United States has spent the past eight years being humiliated by Barack Obama’s attempts to kowtow to other nations in an attempt to make America more like the rest of the world. My belief is that the United States should never bow down to anyone and we should never apologize. The United States is not like the rest of the world, because it is better. I believe Donald Trump feels the same way. To those of you who feel that our reputation is at stake, I will say that our reputation is already damaged. We have spent years drawing red lines and then allowing our enemies to cross them. We deserve a President who will back up his threats and remind that the world that the United States means business. It is time that we stop worrying so much about what the rest of the world thinks and that we instead act like the unstoppable global superpower that we actually are.

If Donald Trump becomes the nominee, and I will state that I agree with those who are now calling him the presumptive nominee, I believe that he could very well be the next President of the United States. Assuming she has not been indicted by autumn, Hillary Clinton will become the weakest Democratic nominee in decades. She will try to attack Trump, but as with everyone else who has tried this approach, she will fail. Trump will build a Reagan-like coalition consisting of Republicans, independents, and Democrats and the results will be palpable. In January, a poll found that 20% of Democrats would abandon the party and would vote for Trump over Clinton should they win their respective nominations. I fully expect this to happen and I think that Donald Trump will win the Presidency, because he he has awoken the silent majority.

For these reasons and more, I hereby retract “The American Hitler.” I now see that I was blinded to the reality facing the nation and that I was overlooking key facts. I certainly do not agree with all of Donald Trump’s policies, however, I believe that he is exactly what our nation needs to fix our trade, immigration, and PC problems. I fully expect that I will receive criticism for my claims and I fully welcome such debate as I have in the past. I am willing to say and explain why I voted for Donald Trump today and that I am willing to consider voting for him again in November for President of the United States. Trump is igniting a renewed interest in government and getting millions of people involved. He will hold people accountable and will make Americans feel proud about their nation once more after the eight disastrous years under the Obama regime. His slogan is appropriate, because is he does things correctly and incorporates all Americans he could truly make America great again.

The opinions presented in this article solely represent the author and in no way represent the opinions of Forum Magazine or its staff. 

9 comments

  1. You literally went through every candidate, decided there was no one else, and took the scraps that were left: trump. This is article really highlights the lack of critical thinking skills you have tried so hard to improve upon. Next time you write a statistic, for example, cite the source. This is disgusting, embarrassing and really shows how trump supporters really do have one thing in common with their horrific candidate: blind self-absorption.

  2. The author took the time to intelligently put together his thoughts on an important, relevant issue and did it with humility and logic. But sure, feel free to attack the piece with a juvenile “this is embarrassing” followed by zero specifics, opposing arguments, or supporting facts. If you don’t agree, state your case. Don’t anonymously lob elementary school insults at someone who is actually putting forth effort to make a claim.

  3. This is a different person but I can provide various examples as to how this is embarrassing. First, this author frequently contradicts himself, like when he says “There is no set of criteria that determines if one is qualified for the Presidency and to argue that such a set exists is a pointless task” but beforehand he says “I never could see myself voting for a doctor for President and my feelings remain unchanged”. Additionally he leaves out key details about Trump’s war policy “Trump will remove or prevent our troops from entering pointless civil wars, such as Syria, and will let nations in the region deal with regional problems; his assertion that Putin should handle the Syrian Civil War is fine with me, because an American presence there is pointless at this time and is only making the situation more complicated” I would like to know why he believes that Trump will keep us out of Syria when Trump has said on other occasions “I would bomb the Sh*t out of ISIS” and critically”The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families”. I would sincerely like to know how Donald Trump is going to stay out of Syria while he will also utilize the United States armed forces to kill the children of ISIS fighters. Basically, how does one stay out of war while actively committing war crimes ? I could go on about this article

  4. It’s nice to know that the author, much like Trump, is willing to do a complete 180 on his beliefs in a matter of 8 weeks.

    “I garuntee he knows more about business than you” is a laughable line. I’m not running for president. And even if I was, this is such an ambiguous and sensationalist statement that it sounds like it came directly from Trump himself.

    It’s great that you hate status quo and PC Culture, but a guy who (a) only speaks in sweeping generalizations (b) changes his opinions and feeling (like you) drastically in short periods of time and (c) has a questionable track record full of unfulfilled promises, isn’t the solution.

  5. Dylan, I loved the article and felt you made many valid points, of which I am of the same mind. I too feel the global effect is what I am most concerned about. Keep writing. By the way, I am Keri-lee’s grandmother. gangan

  6. Who is your father and who did he pay off to let you go to UR? Echoing earlier points, you make contradictions, seem to give weight to superficial headlines rather than critically delve into the candidates history, qualifications as an international leader and/or his reputation as a bigot, liar, sexist, and racist.

  7. This is so incredibly stupid…it is hard to even know where to begin. From the non-sequitur about political correctness that has invaded the first quarter of this article, to trying to simultaneously argue that Trump will back up his threats but yet his racist statements are not to be taken seriously and are only “hyperbole”, to your incoherent point on experience, this article is devoid of all logic!
    Let me address that last point more specifically. You attempt to dismiss the argument that he has literally no experience by going on some tangent about how there is “no set of criteria that determines if one is qualified for the Presidency”. This is not a counter to that point in any way. Of course there are criteria that determine if one is qualified for the presidency, how else would anybody ever win over your vote? You may set your own criteria, but if qualifications don’t exist, then all candidates must be equal in your eyes right? So then there would be no reason for you to support Trump over any other given candidate, based on your own “logic”. You then proceed to dismiss his failures in business on some grand strategy, but do not address the ethics of that or the fact that you obviously can’t run a country that way. Also, he has failed at numerous other business ventures. Just Google “top trump business failures” and you will find lists of 10,12, even 16 failures! Running a business is not the same as running a nation. Tell me, what does building a hotel teach you about the amount of money that should be invested in schools, how much we should allocate to lunches for children in said schools, the needs of our infrastructure, the appropriate amount of military spending to remain competitive with other nations and yet be efficient, how much a human life is worth by expanding health coverage, or how much clean water is worth?

    There is more, but I’ve made my point. Richmond should raise admissions standards.

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