For Trump voters, comes the reckoning

For Trump voters, comes the reckoning
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With Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Has Trump beaten the system? MORE’s second impeachment trial underway, Trump’s voters have a reckoning to perform.

Trump was elected as a middle finger to the face of government-as-usual, of politicians who line their pockets with lobbyists’ lucre while offshoring working class jobs, of a judiciary that legislated from the bench, of a trigger-happy but blundering series of prior Commanders in Chief who endangered Americans in far-off lands, spending blood and treasure without any discernible benefit to those at home.

So it’s shocking, if not surprising, that a president who never thought much of acting presidential, who never pivoted from verbal bomb-thrower to grown-up, would slink out of office after Congress, under siege, held him accountable for perhaps the single worst action any American President has ever taken.

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Those of us who supported Trump — or at least supported many of the actions he took — now must come to a reckoning: Was it all worth it?

Was it worth having a mercurial, vengeful president who did good things and terrible things, as opposed to being a mediocrity like most who preceded him? Or, to paraphrase Shakespeare, will the good that he did be interred alongside a trashed Congress and a shattered Republican Party?

The positives, from a conservative perspective, are many. Domestically, the Supreme Court; the federal courts; prison reform; tax reform; a surging stock market; lowest levels (pre-pandemic) of minority unemployment since the 60s; rapid COVID vaccine development; the return of due process to college campuses. In foreign affairs, standing up to China; the demarche with North Korea; exiting the Iranian accord and the Paris treaty; resetting North American trade and immigration; defeating ISIS (which Obama had cravenly called the “junior varsity”) and bringing new peace accords to the Middle East.

Virtually any other incumbent would have been guaranteed a second term — but Trump defeated himself at the polls in November.

The only fake news was the stuff that Giuliani, a disgrace to the New York bar, the inexplicable Sidney Powell, and other bizarros put forth. The assertion that the election had been stolen had so little evidence no court could support it. But the president could not countenance the idea that he was a loser — which led to the last two months of ill will, the ill-fated rally, the assault on Congress and impeachment.

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Trump has now been impeached twice, once for spite and once for cause.

On the other side of the accounting ledger, there was the wink-and-a-nod condemning of white supremacists; the crazy uncle-style re-tweeting of racist or otherwise bigoted tropes and imagery; the name-calling; the trashing of former aides whose only crime had been to serve the president well. The swamp creatures never left. The ‘Trump revolution’ was just one more turn of the revolving door between government and K Street, between military leaders and military contractors. What changed?

Trump leaves behind a divided America, a shattered Republican party, and an army of horribles who have crawled out from under their rocks, bearing hockey sticks and zip ties, wrapped in Kevlar and the flag. People who beat police officers with flag poles and fire extinguishers, one of them to death.

And that’s the reckoning.

Would a more traditional candidate like Jeb Bush (remember Jeb! ?) or Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioBipartisan congressional commission urges IOC to postpone, relocate Beijing Games Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Senators introduce bipartisan bill to secure critical groups against hackers MORE have accomplished half of the positives of Trump’s term? Doubtful. But would they have left the nation in shambles? Even more doubtful.

So now it’s up to every Trump supporter to ask, in the quiet of the night, was it worth it?

Would we have voted for the good stuff if we’d known what bad stuff would also come? Were our liberal friends right from the start, that when someone tells you who he is, believe him? Or is it possible that no one — not even Trump himself — could have imagined what he might do if he went truly unhinged, as he finally did?

The evil that men do lives after them, wrote the Bard. The good is oft interred with their bones. The quote comes from Julius Caesar. But given how Trump’s administration dissolved, perhaps it should have come from King Lear.

New York Times bestselling author Michael LevinMichael (Mike) Ted LevinLawmakers spend more on personal security in wake of insurrection Overnight Health Care: Fauci clashes with Paul - again | New York reaches .1B settlement with opioid distributors | Delta variant accounts for 83 percent of US COVID-19 cases Abortion rights group endorsing 12 House Democrats ahead of midterms MORE runs a book ghostwriting firm, www.MichaelLevinWrites.com.