WASHINGTON, Febuary 23, 2017 — Conservatives widely disparaged President Trump’s conservative credentials during the Republican primary campaigns. He is prepared to speak to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this week, and after his speech, CPAC attendees are likely to conclude that he is a compassionate conservative with a strong fiscal discipline.
Not all conservatives will be happy. Trump’s views mostly follow the core principles of conservatism: low taxes, less government, an emphasis on individual responsibility and traditional values. But Trump’s view on some traditional values is less doctrinaire.
It may be good for the country to have a conservative in office who recognizes that cultures evolve, whether we wish it or not. In the 21st-century, some things are much different than they were in the last century. Some values have changed to reflect the realities of the day.
Trump is a “compassionate” conservative. That is, he is both pragmatic and has a heart.
Trump has been particularly vocal about illegal immigration. But even on this issue, he knows that there are people who have been in the country illegally for many years but who have become an integral part of society. He will probably offer them a path to legal status.
Trump’s pragmatic humaneness is exactly what the country needs right now. The rigid positions of the far right will never be reconciled with the rigid positions of the far left. If the country is to move forward, the great division in both the Congress and with the American people must end. The only way that happens is for each side to be less rigid, more compromising and willing to seek solutions rather than constantly trying to sell a position.
In business terms that means each side must be willing to make a deal.
Fortunately for the American people, we have an avid dealmaker representing us. To close the deal, Trump will stick to his core principles but will compromise on anything else he has to.
Perhaps conservatives will begin to understand Donald Trump, the man. His brash, politically incorrect and in-your-face style has so far turned off many establishment conservatives. George Will, for instance, recently predicted that conservatives will turn against Trump by mid-summer.
Conservatives will eventually appreciate Trump. His style simply reflects his background. He is a New Yorker. And while most New York politicians have learned to temper the straightforwardness, Trump has not. He retains the same mannerisms that millions of people walking the streets of Manhattan display daily. And this could be where he got his heart.
All conservatives will appreciate Trump’s sense of fiscal discipline. Unlike lifelong politicians, he had to earn his fortune in the difficult world of business. Every dollar is hard-earned. Every dollar spent is carefully evaluated to insure maximum return. His approach to government spending and taxation will reflect that business world education.
The mainstream media (MSM) have been unkind to Trump during his first month in office. Indeed, they have tried their best to display him in an entirely negative light, refusing to admit that he’s accomplished anything positive. But Trump has already managed to keep many of his campaign promises and is on his way to solving major problems like border security and the stagnant economy.
The MSM will be even more critical of Trump in the coming months when the budget for the next fiscal year is presented. Unlike traditional politicians, Trump will really reduce government spending, not just slow the rate of spending growth. Many socially visible, but ineffective or unnecessary programs will be cut, perhaps like National Public Radio.
The MSM will flip out once they see Trump’s tax plans. After negotiations with members of Congress from both parties, he will probably find a compromise to reduce taxes for all Americans. Obviously, the higher income earners who pay more in taxes will see larger absolute cuts.
For instance, a 10 percent tax cut for someone who pays $20,000 per year in taxes would translate into a $2,000 tax cut. For someone who pays $2,000 per year in taxes, that 10 percent cut would translate into $200.
If Trump cuts everyone’s taxes by 10 percent, the MSM and people like Robert Reich will say the plan is blatantly unfair and won’t accelerate economic growth.
Conservatives know better.
After Trump’s speech, conservatives will know him better.