We vote not just for a president, but for a presidency. Trump’s presidency has been, by-and-large, a success.
I know. Many of you loathe US President Donald Trump. He triggers your contempt, disdain, scorn and various Trumpian synonyms still to be coined. You find him vulgar, narcissistic, dishonest, ignorant, bigoted, divisive, uncouth, misogynistic, racist, nativist, Islamophobic and antisemitic, not to mention a fraud, con man and tax cheat.
You “sat shiva,” mourning his unimaginable election – your revulsion has only snowballed since. You disbelieve his every word, including “and” and “the.” Evidence or not, you remain convinced that he colluded with Russia to unfairly defeat Hillary Clinton. His lack of moral compass and coddling dictators and white supremacists sickens you.
And, embarrassed as you are that he is president, you are even more appalled by his voters. (Did I leave anything out?) Understood. I may disagree, but I certainly understand where you are coming from. I respect that this is how you not-unreasonably see things. I won’t try to convince you otherwise. For real.
Now, take a deep breath. Hold your nose. And vote for Trump anyway. For real.We vote not just for a president, but for a presidency.
Put aside, momentarily, your visceral hatred for the president; you might grudgingly concede that this presidency has been, by-and-large, a success. Particularly for voters concerned about Israel’s security and American Middle East policy, it’s hard to argue with his accomplishments — too many of which we already take for granted.
First, this administration truly values Israel as a loyal and helpful ally, and won’t publicly project any annoyance, disagreement or frustration (“daylight” in the Barack Obama-Joe Biden parlance) with Israel. Such shoulder-to-shoulder loyalty to an embattled ally pays dividends: it’s noticed in Tehran, Moscow and Abu Dhabi even more than in Jerusalem.
Rather than browbeating Israel into formulaic never successful land-for-peace concessions, the Trump administration turned conventional peacemaking on its head: it recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, fulfilling US law that other administrations pushed off for decades; recognized the Golan Heights as Israeli territory and recognized Israel’s legal and historical rights in the West Bank, including repudiating the Carter administration’s malicious Hansell Memorandum declaring settlements illegal. All, remarkably, in three-plus years.
While every one of these moves was criticized by Washington’s wise-men for “inevitably” angering the Arab states and streets, the Trump administration was busy brokering unprecedented peace accords between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, with others states soon to follow. It strengthens both the US and Israel when countries understand that better relations with Israel help put them in America’s good graces.