I came across a meme this week on Facebook that summed up how I feel about this year’s presidential race. It goes like this: “A vote is not a valentine, you aren’t confessing your love for the candidate. It’s a chess move for the world you want to live in.” And let me add, it is only one move.
People seem to be surprised that I am voting for President Donald Trump given my feelings for him. They don’t understand that I don’t have to like him. I just have to support the things that his administration has accomplished. I believe there are more things from his administration that I will support than ones that would come from a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration. Biden has just as many moral detractors for me as Trump. The fact that Biden has chosen to ignore or not condemn the corrupt shenanigans of his son removes Biden from any suggestion that he is a man of great moral character. Not acknowledging the wrong-doing makes him complicit.
I might even suggest had the Democratic Party really wanted to get on the high moral bandwagon, it might have stuck with its only candidate who hasn’t waffled back and forth and wasn’t hiding the bad behavior of family members. Bernie Sanders, while a self-avowed socialist, is exactly what he says he is. I wouldn’t have voted for him but at least you know where he stands.
Returning to reasons I can vote for Trump policies for another four years, let me remind or introduce you to a few things that I see as victories and grounds to build upon. Many of these numbers are pre-COVID-19 and many have nothing to do with COVID-19.
For starters, there were the improved employment conditions. At the end of Trump’s first three years, his administration got credit for almost 4 million new jobs. The U.S. unemployment rate was at a 49-year low. Manufacturing jobs were at the highest rate in three decades with Latino, Asian and African Americans seeing some of the lowest unemployment rates in history. Women’s unemployment rates were the lowest in 65 years. The confidence in the stock market has seen phenomenal growth and I am pretty excited about how my 401(k) is looking today compared to four years ago.
The U.S. has replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement. In its place, the Trump administration has brokered deals with Canada and Mexico that are more balanced. Also, the trade deficit with China is no longer so lopsided.
Conservative judges have been appointed to circuit courts and two well-qualified judges were appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court with a third in the running.
The Trump administration pushed for and passed legislation that provided more than $6 billion for the opioid epidemic.
For the first time since the Eisenhower administration, the U.S. became an exporter of natural gas.
The creation of an anti-trafficking coordination team (ACTeam) has been able to double the convictions of human traffickers .
The Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research Education and Support Act signed into law under Trump allocated $1.8 billion during the next five years to help those people affected by the autism spectrum disorder.
For our veterans, Trump issued an executive order that requires the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense and Homeland Security to come up with a plan to help veterans to access mental health treatment when they return to civilian life. He also established a VA hotline to help veterans and their families.
Trump increased funding to historically Black colleges by 14 percent and, closer to home, he signed three bills to benefit Native peoples. One compensates the Spokane Tribe for loss of lands, a second funds native language programs and the third gives federal recognition to the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa in Montana.
In one of my favorite decisions, he moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and has been a true friend to that country.
These are no small accomplishments, and no doubt there were more players involved, just as there are on both sides. But these are things I can get behind and why I will continue to vote conservative on Election Day.
Agidius represented Latah and Benewah counties in the Idaho House. She lives in Moscow.