Greetings my fellow Americans!
I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend amongst “conservative” writers and readers toward increasing division between those who express any criticism of President Donald Trump, and those who seem to be growing increasingly intolerant of it. President Ronald Reagan famously quoted an 11th Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican;” at the risk of sounding like President Bill Clinton, I’m going to caveat this with, “it depends on what you mean by speaking ill.” I consider Reagan to be one of, if not, the most effective and influential U.S. presidents of the modern age; while I wholeheartedly agree that personal attacks of political allies should be avoided, I question the demonization of any critical thinking regarding official action or policy just because someone is “on our side.”
Full disclosure: Ted Cruz was my first choice for the 2016 presidency, though I did vote for Trump in the general election, both then and in 2020; to me he was the best of the options available in each of those elections. That said, Trump 2020 was badly tarnished by his, and their, handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which, after two years, has yet to be officially declared “over.” I do believe there were obvious shenanigans in the latter voting process, facilitated in no small way by the antics of those claiming to be merely enforcing the guidelines being issued in response to an election-year public health and safety crisis.
As I’ve publicly stated several times already, I’m willing to give Team Trump the benefit of the doubt on the “15 days to flatten the curve” which began the great undoing of the American economy (and Trump presidency). Though skeptical myself (based on the convenient timing), I understand that much was unknown at the outset about with what we were dealing, and to completely ignore what we were being told, by both the Chinese government and U.S. and world health “experts”, about its potentially devastating effects on the global population, was probably impractical. However, I find it hard to believe that nothing could have been designed in the seven months before the 2020 election, other than “30 days to slow the spread,” a second countermeasure which, as far as I know, is still the one upon which all public and private response to COVID-19 is still premised.
At the very least, those who were clearly showing not only a lack of empathy and understanding for the real consequences of their decisions, and in many cases a political and/or crony capitalist bias (like Anthony Fauci), should have been fired or replaced on the so-called task force. And Operation Warp Speed should have been more thoroughly vetted and scrutinized. Trump has been asked recently, by at least two people in whom he appears to regularly confide, why he didn’t fire Fauci; both of his answers suggested fear of inciting the Left and the media into “going ballistic.” OK, but when had Trump ever previously seemed to care about this?
If Donald Trump is the Republican nominee in 2024, I will be voting for him, because, despite his uncharacteristic weakness and seeming lack of resolve to trust American principles and the people to do what was best for themselves in the last seven months of his presidency, much of what he enabled in the previous 41 of holding that office was, I believe, pulling us closer to the foundation which made America the leader of the free world. And he will likely be superior to anyone offered by the Democrat Party. But I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a clearer explanation from him on how he would handle a presumed crisis situation like COVID-19 differently were he to hold that office again.
A free and open exchange of thoughts and ideas in the public discourse has been one of the hallmarks of American exceptionalism. If conserving that America is what we who oppose the actions of the government during the pandemic, as well as the current actions of the Canadian government against the trucker convoy, is what we are truly working to do, then the last thing we should be doing is shouting each other down for deigning to question the actions of anyone—even Donald Trump. As long as he, and other fallen humans, are holding offices or positions of great public power in our society, then critical thinking and scrutiny are essential from the electorate who enable that power, even of those with whom we politically agree. No one should be completely above, or immune from, reproach.
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