Donald Trump represents something different for a broad swath of America that is serious about wanting a less intrusive government, a more robust economic recovery and leadership that protects our interests around the world.
This citizens’ agenda includes a greater focus on law and order at home and a more aggressive response to the global threats posed by ISIS.
The rise of Trump on the political scene is an expression of these views and a product of the choices available. Whether the vote is for Trump or against Hillary Clinton, millions are prepared to make this choice in behalf of a better future.
We endorse Trump for president in the belief he can bring about fundamental change — not alone, but in partnership with his party and a coalition of others drawn from every walk of life who think we can do better than what government has offered under eight years of President Obama.
This is far from a blanket endorsement of the Republican Party but recognition Trump will need help and will benefit from counsel and partnership with others who share his core values.
No one will suggest Trump is without flaws and a personal history that is best left in the past. Coarse and even crude behavior on one’s record is nothing to be proud of or to put forward as a model for young people. But these matters do not rise to the point of disqualifying him in a race against a candidate who has done so much over the last 30 years to abuse the public’s trust.
Clinton’s dismal record includes her early advocacy and continuing defense of government-mandated health insurance — a version of socialized medicine that helps some while harming others. This includes the accompanying restrictions on personal choice and the cost shifts that are hitting many working-class Americans.
This list also encompasses her State Department’s failure to protect U.S. consulate personnel who repeatedly asked for additional security support before dying during an attack from Islamic militants in 2012 in Benghazi, Libya. For a time, the government falsely contended this attack was not predictable.
We later learned Clinton violated both government policy and common sense by having a private, unsecure email server set up in her home while secretary of state. This led to an FBI determination she was “extremely careless” with classified information — a finding rendered without the opportunity to examine 33,000 emails Clinton maintained were personal and she said were inadvertently deleted after a subpoena was issued for them.
There also is the issue of the hundreds of millions of dollars she and her husband have taken from speaking to private interest groups — $153 million since 2001 — and the multiple instances where she has been found to be less than truthful with the American people about how this money influences her actions.
A news story this past week from Mercer County, Missouri, on the eastern edge of our region, quoted a citizen as noting local residents “fail to see how the Clintons have made $100 (million)-$200 million while supposedly functioning as honest public officials.”
This sentiment resonates.
Another resident said, “She calls us ‘deplorables.’ A person like that can’t connect with middle-income or lower-income Americans.”
It might seem unlikely, but Trump — a candidate who brags of his wealth — has done much more than his opponent to identify with the needs and interests of people who are struggling and striving for something better for their lives and their children’s lives.
Many recognize his business successes far outweigh his failures, and he could use his knowledge and insights to accelerate our historically slow recovery from the recession.
Among Trump’s welcome strategies would be a focus on lower taxes to spur investment and growth. A byproduct of this approach is his interest in repealing the estate tax that Clinton wants to raise. Throughout rural America, farm families understand how this would help them pass land from one generation to the next.
Trump also is enlightened about the Obama-Clinton war on coal and the need to balance climate change concerns with an energy policy that is not devastating to both industry and consumers, especially those in the Midwest. He promotes secure borders and more-equitable trade policies as a way to boost the economy at home and strengthen our hand in international affairs.
The GOP nominee also understands the first step in addressing the ills of the inner cities is to acknowledge we have a problem. He correctly points out policies promoted by Obama and supported by Clinton have failed these neighborhoods where violent crime, poor educational outcomes, and limited jobs and economic activity have conspired to perpetrate racial disparities.
Donald Trump became relevant due to the glaring failings of an entrenched governing bureaucracy defined by Obama and Clinton. A vote for Trump is a vote to change this dynamic and to cast our lot with a movement that is bigger than Trump alone.