I have a little confession to make.

I didn’t vote for President Trump in 2016.

John Balentine, a former managing editor for the Lakes Region Weekly, lives in Windham.

Yep, this conservative columnist who defends Trump didn’t even vote for the guy for whom he willingly and routinely goes out on a limb.

(I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, either. I wrote in Mike Pence’s name, because, simply put, he’s a statesman.)

Nevertheless, four years later, I’m still kicking myself for not realizing Trump was exactly what the country needed after the economic doldrums and leadership failures of the Obama presidency.

My only defense is that I didn’t believe Trump was a real social or fiscal conservative. I didn’t know what he was. But, as president, he’s proven himself. And, in 2020, he’s once again the best choice for the country.

So you don’t make the same mistake I did in 2016, I’ll explore this week and next the basic truths about Trump that may help guide your thinking this Nov. 3:

The first foundational truth about Trump is that, with Trump, “great” is good enough.

Trump uses the word “great” (especially on bright red ball caps) and sticks to basic vocabulary that every kindergartner knows. Some demean Trump for his lack of linguistic talents. They yearn for the professorial Obama. But Trump employs the language of the simple man, because, at heart, Trump’s a simple man.

Trump is real. He tells you what he’s thinking. Obama never told us what he was really thinking. Neither does Biden. We never knew what Obama meant by “hope and change.” Biden flip flops on fracking and defunding police and refuses to tell us if he’ll pack the Supreme Court. Trump communicates his intentions in plain language and that’s a good thing for open government.

Second, Trump’s actions, a.k.a. policies, speak for themselves. And he’s kept his campaign promises, which most candidates never do.

He has built sections of the border wall, defeated ISIS by reclaiming the would-be caliphate’s land holdings and killing their leaders, cut taxes, cut regulations, filled judges’ seats using nominees he listed prior to the 2016 election and more.

Third, to truly understand Trump and some of the things he says, you need to realize he’s a funny guy. Watch a Trump rally and you’ll see the range of his sense of humor – from subtle and cutting to sarcastic and knee-slapping.

The media have deliberately chosen to take him literally at every turn, even when he’s obviously being funny. This is an ironic injustice by the communications industry, since humor is a legitimate and effective method of communication.

Fourth, Trump is a modern Job. Job from the Bible was set upon by one calamity after another. So, too, has Trump.

Trump has battled an organized and well-funded “Resistance” from Day 1 and remained relatively chipper through the whole thing. As part of that unjust effort, he was ultimately impeached for an easily forgettable trespass.

He’s been conspired against. For two years, FBI and Obama administration officials said Trump colluded with Russians to “hack” the 2016 election. He was called a Russian operative and traitor. And Democrats won the midterms based on this false narrative.

Last (fifth), but not least, Trump was dealt one of the worst pandemics since 1918. To top it all off, he contracted the virus himself. Thankfully, he perseveres through all of it, inspired to do right by the American people.

Check back here next week for more Trump truths, including Trump’s prowess on the world stage, his running mate and his defense of America as founded.

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