Essay: What Trump voters got right

April 24, 2019

Originally published in The Hill

Debilyn Molineaux, The Hill

No one is 100 percent wrong. Neither is anyone 100 percent right. If we are scorekeepers, we value our ability to be more right than wrong. And we watch our favorite news analysts to confirm our “rightness” in thinking. This is how we decide who is winning. It’s confirmation bias at it’s finest — each side in our political narrative keeping score of who is right and who is wrong.  

I am not a fan of the president and have negative opinions of his leadership. My challenge is that many of my intelligent and thoughtful friends support him. So I ask myself, what did Trump voters get right?

I recently reviewed a list of the Trump voter motivation, and his subsequent policies enacted or repealed. It occured to me what the biggest thing Trump voters were right about is their belief he would be faithful to their values in leading our country. I would not have expected Trump to exhibit fidelity in any way. But he has. And they love him for it.  The rest? Many Trump voters believe it’s just showmanship and nonsense. They pay no attention. Maybe we shouldn’t either.

What have Trump voters been right about? They correctly predicted he would stop the progression of globalist policies — and a re-focus on our country as the guiding north star. Things such as:

Remember, about 40 percent of our country wants this shift in policy and governance. This is a power struggle between nationalist and globalist worldviews. For now, the nationalist, anti-federal view has control of government, with a promise of accountability from the House of Representatives.

The world, as we know it, will not end. So what are the advantages?

Perhaps we can use this time of hyperpolarization to restore our personal and national integrity.  Let’s create a standard of WYSIWYG. (What You See Is What You Get). In computer terms, this is a designation used to say what appears on a screen editor is how it will appear on a website. 

In politics, we are the opposite of WYSIWYG. As we point out the hypocrisy of “those people”, we should listen to them, too. They can see our hypocrisy better than we can. We can shore up our own standards–think free speech on campus, Bill Clinton (#MeToo) and Obama’s immigration policy, just to name three.

Do you remember the song “American Pie” by Don McLean?  It’s been my earworm for several days. The wistfulness and symbolic lyrics suggest that the coming of age or changing culture is a loss that should be mourned. From a traditionalist perspective, our culture shift is not welcome and people are fighting like hell to keep their values. Even in the unlikely persona of Donald J. Trump.

No, I have not changed my overall orientation to the world or my opinion of the man in the White House. But I have expanded my understanding of other worldviews. As we wrestle in the political game for power, we are missing something important — a shared sense of who we are as Americans. My heart longs for peace and harmony that comes with knowing we belong.

Let’s create a shared dream of what it means to be American and then live into it. It’s our turn to re-examine the legacy of our founders and move closer to a more perfect union.