Trump – the unconventional president

Trump – the unconventional president
November 10 12:36 2016 Print This Article

Lowcountry WatchdogAs 2014 ground to a close, I decided not to seek another term as Charleston County Republican Party Chairman.  I wanted to support a Presidential candidate, and the Chairman is supposed to remain neutral in party primary elections.  At the time, I didn’t know which candidate I would choose.  I had a beer with Ted Cruz and coffee with Rand Paul.  I had met most of the other candidates in meet-and-greet formats.

Then in January 2015 I heard Donald Trump speak at the annual South Carolina Tea Party Convention in Myrtle Beach.  I had never watched his reality TV show The Apprentice, but I heard his calls into the morning news show Fox & Friends every Monday.  Seeing him in person was intriguing.  He didn’t talk like a politician.  He had a very straight-forward speaking style.

Trump made the decision to stream all of his events live on the internet on Right Side Broadcasting Network, so I followed him for several months as he toured the country.  He showed a strong commitment to our military and taking better care of our veterans.  He clearly explained how multi-national trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were causing American factories to close.  He denounced federal control of education.  He explained how excessive federal regulations were harming American businesses.  Trump was steadfast in the need to secure our border with Mexico.  By May 2015, I jumped on the Trump Train.

I experienced a lot of pushback after endorsing Trump.  People questioned whether I was in my right mind.  I received hostile phone calls, e-mails, texts and Facebook posts from Republicans who supported other candidates and thought they could change my mind.  I would tell them that Trump was the only candidate who could stand up to Jeb Bush in the Republican primaries and defeat the Clinton Machine in November.  Bush and the Clintons have a lot it common.  They are globalists.  They support open borders and trade deals that favor multi-national corporations over American small businesses.  They also approve of the federalization of education through the Common Core curriculum, which mandates what schools much teach.

Trump went after Bush’s policies and tagged him with the nickname “Low Energy Jeb”.  It stuck, and despite spending more than $200 Million on the campaign, Bush dropped out of the race in February and Trump racked up big wins in South Carolina and throughout the country, attracting millions of new voters during the primary process.  Trump received a record-high number of primary votes for a Republican candidate and sewed up the nomination by May 2016, vanquishing 16 other candidates.

As co-chair of Trump’s campaign in Charleston County, I quickly recognized that Trump supporters were almost all political novices who had no connection with the Republican Party.  He attracted home-school families, single mothers, Vietnam veterans, small business owners and college students.  These folks were devoted to the candidate.  It became clear to me that Trump would expand the traditional Republican voter base.

Shortly after the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, the media narrative was that Trump was a longshot against Hillary Clinton.  Clinton had a big advantage in money and political organization, and Trump was branded as being intolerant and not having the “temperament” to serve as President.

Trump never worried about the unfavorable polls and media coverage.  He focused on his bread-and-butter issues of improving the economy, rebuilding our military, securing our border and keeping America safe against terrorists.  He did several rallies each day in front of thousands of passionate supporters.  He also had the strongest social media presence in political history and made a connection with his followers.

The polls and political pundits all pointed to a crushing Trump defeat on election day.  During the final weeks of the campaign, he was doing three or more large rallies per day.  He never looked or sounded like a candidate who expected to lose.  On election day, he out-performed all of the expectations of the political class.  He was declared the winner at 3 am on Wednesday, November 9 when Pennsylvania was called for him.  It was the first time since 1988 that a Republican carried Pennsylvania.  He attracted a lot of blue collar workers who traditionally vote for Democrats.

His statement after being declared the winner was resounding: “You showed the world that America will once again be a country of, for and by the people.”  He spoke about turning around our violent and impoverished inner cities and improving the lives of the “forgotten men and women” who have seen their standard of living reduced by the effects of globalization.  It fits in with his campaign theme – Make America Great Again.

One of Trump’s other closing remarks sums up why I supported him in the first place.  He said, “For far too long, we’ve heard Washington politicians give the excuse ‘It can’t be done.’  I refuse to accept that!”  Trump will push the envelope of what can be done to improve our lives.  He comes into office as a Washington outsider who won’t worry about what the media and the political elite think about him.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Lowcountry Source (LoSo).