Is There a Case for Trump?
• Neil Barro says he’s what Jews need.
By all accounts, I should be a Democrat. And until a few months ago I was. But I heard the trumpet call of change, and I decided to change, too.
Let me be clear: I am to the left of President Obama on health care. I believe Bernie Sanders represents the best instincts of public service, even though some of his views (and certainly some of his supporters) are anathema to me. I have spent most of my professional career in not-for-profit work around the country.
I am Jewish, and this election will be no different from past elections. A very high percentage of my fellow Jews — with
whom I have identified, lived and worked my entire life — will be supporting the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Yet, I will continue what has become a 21st-century electoral activity for me: proudly voting for the Republican at the top of the ticket during presidential years. At the same time, you should know, I continue my equally stubborn sense of independence down-ballot, and I have voted for at least one local Green Party candidate for Congress, though again I found some of his views utterly distasteful. A person’s ethics matter to me, especially when that person has a very long track record.
Donald Trump is a wild man and a populist. I believe both qualities are exactly what America needs. If anything, I hope he can fob off the corporate Republicans more worried about planning their taxes. I think he can; I know Clinton can’t shake off the yoke of Wall Street.
Trump has an insight not usually associated with Republicanism. His message is one of caring and concern for very average, ordinary people whose reality is so much less certain than his own comforts are.
He will succeed because that wild side of his ego will drive him to produce in order to achieve the acclaim he wants. Clinton is just too busy lining up the next country willing to donate to her favorite cause, which just happens to be her and her husband’s own foundation. Having spent many a year sizing up the big chair in the Oval Office, Clinton seems to me not to know what to do after she spins around in it a few times.
Trump wants to wheel and deal for America, and he has already stated clearly enough that winning is the goal. I believe that Trump will not forget that promise as his unmistakable face looks in the mirror. What he sees there says, “Donald, have you won for America today?”
What does Clinton’s mirror reflect? “Which group do I pit against each other today? How can I replicate Obama’s foreign policy, which managed to simultaneously anger friends and appease enemies? How many people lacking lawful status in America can I crowd into opportunities for jobs, health care and voting rights, among other impact areas? And can Bill replace me in receiving those $225,000 per hour speeches to people who can well afford to pay, except when it comes to the damage they did to the middle and working class?”
I have followed American politics virtually my whole life and continue to love it. I love American democracy. And no, I do not expect it or its practitioners to be perfect. But sometimes a candidate comes along and says, “You do realize the emperor is wearing no clothes, right?”
Both Sanders and Trump have had the temerity to speak truth to power. Because I believe the country in all its aspects is more important than any single issue or cause, I will vote for the candidate who comes closest to reflecting the great diversity of values and traditions in our nation.
I will vote, proudly, for Donald J. Trump, a man with a mission looking for people to trust him. I will give him my trust. Clinton has been cashing the check of trust — and every other kind of check — for way too long.
Neil Berro worked in Jewish communal service throughout the country for many years. He currently works mainly with entities that promote educational enrichment.
Sometimes a candidate comes along and says, ‘You do realize the emperor is wearing no clothes, right?’