It’s no secret that Donald J. Trump is a very popular person around Coweta County.
He carried our county with nearly 70 percent (69.3 to be exact) of the vote, and I dare say would come close to that total if an election were held today.
I am among those more than 90,000 Coweta County Trump supporters. His ideas, his goals, and his policies are appealing, and he’s had some success.
But this column is not to rehash the 2016 election. It’s to take stock of where Donald Trump takes our nation from here, how he leads, how he positions the conservative movement for victory in 2020 and how he earns – or doesn’t - re-election from the American electorate.
Unquestionably, his path to a second term is littered with potentially deadly political landmines. For example, the Mueller investigation – justified or not – is a major stumbling block. The appearance of having so many people very close to you indicted creates a negative atmosphere that he may not be able to dodge completely, particularly with crucial middle of the road independents.
In addition, his trade policies and tariffs continue to be a major factor in the stock market’s rapid decline, and our economy is naturally softening. Each of these factors contributes to a political environment filled with combustible instability.
Sounds ominous, right? Should we be worried? Absolutely, we should. And here’s the single most important reason why.
The genius of Donald Trump that earned him the White House in 2016 is being overtaken by a persistent, childish petulance that is destroying his ability to lead. Bless him for all that he’s done, but why, why, does he have to insult the entire world on a daily basis?
What worked on the campaign trail is wearing thin now that he’s president. His penchant for constant personal confrontation is only serving to drive the political wedge that divides our nation deeper into our collective psyche.
There are many, many examples, but here’s a recent one that struck me. Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – who Trump hired – turned out to be “dumb as a rock.” Mr. President, in my world, that’s on you, not Mr. Tillerson. He was your man!
We all know that part of the attraction of Donald Trump in 2016 was his unique approach and personality. We were drawn to the renegade, to the fresh approach, to the possibility of draining the Washington swamp. In fact, I still like those things about him to this day.
But it’s becoming more and more clear that in order to succeed in 2020, Mr. Trump is going to have to change. It is imperative that he shows some real personal growth and development, to demonstrate an ability to lead, not just cajole and tear down and to begin to unite all Americans.
In short, he must be, well, presidential. That’s a tall order for the maverick president. He’s used to having his way. But I pray that he’s first, smart enough to know he must change, and two, capable enough to pull it off.
With the funeral of President George H.W. Bush, we heard much about the 41st president’s humanity and humility. Tellingly, some used it as an opportunity to bash our current president for his lack of those qualities.
Of course, those comparisons were unfair and were clear examples of how disrespectfully the president has been treated by the press. But I’m hopeful good will come from those comparisons. I’m truly hopeful they struck a chord with him that prompts the kind of outward change that I believe is so essential to his future success and his ability to be a two-term president.
To this day, millions of us still believe in Donald Trump and the direction of many of his policies. We believe he has greatness within him.
Now is the time for him show it.