Those two words encapsulated my Election 2016 thought process, which led me to vote for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.
In these past four years, however, I’ve undergone a political epiphany of sorts: I will now be voting early next month to re-elect President Trump.
In Donald Trump, I’ve discovered a president who matches measured military restraint with conservative legislative policies.
With this president, opposing pre-emptive wars, defending the Second Amendment, and protecting the unborn are no longer mutually exclusive.
Furthermore, a vote for President Trump offers a peaceful means by which we everyday citizens can push back against the mob mentality of rioting and cancel culture.
In 2016, I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Trump because I was concerned that his boorish persona would seep into his foreign policy.
However, my concerns never came to fruition. In fact, the president’s Jan.8 address to the nation in response to Iranian aggression provided an unexpected sense of calm:
“The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean we have to use it. We do not want to use it. American strength, both military and economic, is the best deterrent.” –@realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/ChN7EPirXO
— GOP (@GOP) January 8, 2020
President Trump’s opposition to endless wars stands in stark contrast to this nation’s March 2003 invasion of Iraq.
And that’s a wonderful thing indeed.
In making the case for war, our elected officials employed rhetoric about weapons of mass destruction, a smoking gun, and, yes, even a mushroom cloud.
The historical fact of missing WMD will forever shape my GOP voting habits.
Look, part of me will always remain enamored of George W. Bush, our commander in chief in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
However, there’s nothing I want more for this country, including for the Republican Party, than a complete abandonment of anything that represents pre-emptive war.
My first noticeable encounter with the aggressive mob mentality came in August 2017. The Oakland Raiders played a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.
During the national anthem, Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch could be seen sitting on an orange cooler while eating a banana.
In my naivety, I engaged a sports journalist about the different approaches among players’ anthem protests. And, immediately, there was hell to pay. The journalist quote tweeted me with a sarcastic reply, and then it all just ensued.
My mentions exploded with hateful comments, memes, and GIFs. One group of particularly disgusting attacks repeatedly mentioned the term “tiki torches.”
Yes, you read that correctly.
For the high treason of suggesting nuance to the anthem protests, I was compared to the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville, VA.
The onslaught was so unrelenting that I eventually cleared my Twitter account to begin over again from scratch.
Entrepreneur Carol Roth’s recent tongue-in-cheek tweet brilliantly captures the relationship between outlandish accusations and reality:
It's 2020, so I want to make sure I have this straight… the supposedly "anti-Semitic" guy who is a "Nazi" just brokered historic peace deals for Israel…
— Carol Roth (@caroljsroth) September 15, 2020
But, you see, that’s exactly the end game for the leftist mob, isn’t it?
Compare well-intentioned dissenters to the worst of the worst, to the David Dukes of the world, and maybe they can discourage opposing views.
Harass people without mercy, and maybe the majority opinion abandons the free exchange of ideas and retreats into silence.
The current rioting in our nation’s streets contains this same intimidation: harassing neutral bystanders on the streets, in the stores, and outside the restaurants.
Finally, I’ve grown to appreciate that the Trump presidency defends the American ideal that we don’t vilify every law-abiding gun owner for the acts of evil people.
Andrew Pollack, the father of Parkland victim, Meadow, spoke at the Republican National Convention.
In his address, Pollack stated that President Trump was a man of action, creating a school safety board to reform harmful liberal policies.
Pollack concluded his speech with a call to action, asking viewers to join him in the effort to re-elect President Trump:
“I truly believe the safety of our kids depends on whether this man is re-elected. I hope you’ll join me in helping to make that happen.”
My dad's speech from last night's RNC convention.
It took a lot of courage and incredible strength to speak about losing Meadow and building a movement in her memory: safety and security for all! https://t.co/YEbOX5dyku
— Hunter Pollack (@PollackHunter) August 26, 2020
For us Floridians, early voting begins Oct. 19. Furthermore, voter registration ends Oct. 5.
Even though this election projects to be a nail biter, the enthusiasm gap tilts heavily in our favor.
You know it, and I know it.
Together, we can achieve one singular goal come Election Day:
270 electoral votes.