“Trump Kept his Promises” is Short Hand for something larger.

I continue to be dumfounded by people on the right, like Rob Long, who use the Wall to claim Trump did not keep his Promises. In national review today, Ramesh Ponnuru  continues that sort of attack:


When he had a Republican Congress, he did very little to attain the big, beautiful wall he kept talking about. He’s done almost nothing to build the “new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation” he talked about in his Inaugural address (and in campaign stops). He talked a lot about creating a paid-family-leave program in 2016. His administration has hardly made it a priority. He’s done less than nothing to eliminate the federal debt.

Trump never “had” a Republican Congress. What Trump had was a Congress unable to help him deliver on things such as a big wall and elimination of ACA. Why? Because the Republicans who were pro-establishment did not want to deliver for Trump. For the midterms, those same Republicans retired to help usher in the Democrats.

I guess it is a sign of reverse Trump derangement syndrome for a conservative voter to look at the conservative promises kept, and say “Yeah, Trump did what he said” while dismissing the clear “I have to get elected” stuff. And again, Republicans in Congress were not supporting Trump, except on judges.

Come to think of it, Trump has been under attack for his whole term by the left, and some on the right. He has had to use political capital to defend himself in ways unimagined. So, Trump has done great for America and Conservatism and done his clear best to keep promises.

John Podhoretz, on GLOP, once ridiculed GOP voters upset that Republicans broke their promises. The contempt in his voice was so clear, and so complete, it was the last GLOP podcast I listened too. It was obvious that as a voter, being upset I was lied to and promises broken made me out to be a moron for John. It must be nice to so wise. But, here, when the same deplorables are happy with Trump for trying to keep his promises, we are again cast as rubes.

Let’s make no mistake here. It is the trying part that is important. “Trump kept his promises” is shorthand for “Trump did not get into office and turn out to be one more elite who does not care at all about me”. That is Trump’s appeal. Oh, I know the Jonah Goldbergs of the world have a total disdain of anything that smacks of populism, and that Trump is a “nationalist” which is somehow different and worse than a “patriot”. Such nuance is lost on the middle American voter who feels that the bicoastal elite, of home of Rob, Jonah, John, and Ramesh, have somehow sold them out. Trump, unlikely as it seems, has taken up their mantel. And he did not get to Washington and Sell out. That is the point.

Mr. Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington lost. The only saving grace was the senior senator broke down with guilt. Without that. Mr. Smith would not be keeping his promises. But, the people back home would have understood he tried.

One man cannot do it all alone. It would have been nice in the last four years, for the likes of National Review to actually support the Republican President like they have every other, even when they took us into wars, instead of never fully giving Trump a chance. Since they failed at that, how about not trying to call out supporters for using a shorthand of support? Apparently, that is too much to ask.


Author: Bryan G. Stephens

Bryan G. Stephens is a former executive on a mission to transform the workplace. He is the founder and CEO of TalkForward, a consulting and training company, utilizing Bryan’s clinical and management expertise to develop managers and teams in a corporate environment. As a licensed therapist with strong understanding of developing human potential, he is dedicated to the development of Human Capital to meet the needs of leaders, managers, and employees in the 21st Century workplace. Bryan has an Executive MBA from Kennesaw State University, Coles School of Business, and both a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

8 thoughts on ““Trump Kept his Promises” is Short Hand for something larger.”

  1. Manual voting opened in California today, 30 October 2020.  Here in Orange County my polling place’s line was staggering  It was dotted with Trump red caps and Hispanics for Trump.  Trump is a force of nature.

    If the Donald takes California, that is 55 electoral votes filling the hole bottomed by Biden’s coffin.  If you lived in New York, would you vote for DemSoc riots, pillaging, looting, and arson? 29 electoral votes.  At worst, Trump will come in next to last in a two man race.

  2. Just gonna copy/paste my comment from the legacy site:

    Bryan, you’ve hit on it 100%. No, Trump has not delivered on all his promises. But I recall him at least trying to get them done. I suppose it was unrealistic to think the more controversial items would get to his desk, given the ability of the Senate Dems to filibuster. But enough republicans in the House and Senate refused to work with him that very little progress was made.

    I also freely admit that Trump’s “drain the Swamp” rhetoric didn’t endear him to many in Congress. But they’re all supposed to know that politics ain’t beanbag.

    Let’s hope the 2nd Trump Administration makes more progress.

  3. The “conservative movement” has conserved nothing and moved nowhere. Though grifters like John Podhoretz et al. have made quite a nice living for themselves under its auspices.

  4. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has real political accomplishments to his name, making the cruise-ship crowd green with envy and causing their cups of condescension to runneth over with disdain.

  5. I was very relieved in November of 2016 when I discovered that the NeverTrump pundits were much less influential than I had feared they might be.  Only about four percent of “conservative voters” followed their advice and voted for third party candidates.

    This time I think there will be about half as much actual voting support for the Nevers.  They have become a footnote.

  6. As for the Wall, when Trump had a Republican House, he still did not have the votes to actually move the Wall forward.

    Most of the QuislingCons either did not stand for re-election or were defeated.

    Even without the House, President Trump has brought about real border security.

    And, Mexico is paying for improved border security.  Just recently a couple of Soros-funded NGOs put together a new migrant caravan (remember those?) that crashed across the Guatemalan border with Mexico on a schedule that would have delivered them to our southern border this weekend.  But President AMLO halted the caravan and it broke up, with a majority of the participants going back to Guatemala.  AMLO remarked that he did not want Mexico to be a topic of conversation during the U.S. election season.  That is a victory for Trump.  It should be included in any conversation about the Wall.

  7. I have remarked before that President Trump has worked harder than any president in my lifetime to deliver on his campaign pledges.

    Anyone who faults him for failing to deliver, without taking into consideration the forces of darkness arrayed against him, is part of the Darkness.

  8. Precisely.  Completing the wall (or any of the other initiatives) is not the point.  Making progress against the entrenched resistance is the indicator that matters.  Would I like more border wall? Sure.  Is Trump to blame for the unfinished parts?  Hell, no.


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