Trump Good and Evil

The Stossel TV Studio is just a block from Trump Tower.

Today, noisy helicopters hover, and sidewalks are pointlessly blocked by the usual politics/media excess: too many barricades manned by too many bored police officers.

The predicted “big demonstration!” and “possible violence” are not visible.

Donald Trump left for the courthouse around 1 p.m. to turn himself in. He was booked and fingerprinted at the courthouse. He then pled not guilty to the 34-count charge of falsifying records to hide hush money payments.

Presidents should not be above the law, but neither should they face politically motivated charges.

Manhattan district attorneys campaigned on opposing Trump, bragging, “I have sued Trump more than a hundred times!” He suggested he would be best choice to get Trump before he even saw the evidence. That’s just wrong. Federal prosecutors did see the evidence and decided against charging Trump.

Using campaign funds to pay someone to keep silent about sex may well violate the rules, but most campaign finance rules are useless, and no serious person thinks this case would ever be brought against anyone other than Trump.

This is a slippery slope to banana republic.

On the other hand, Trump definitely is a horrible person.

In his real estate business, he cheated the little people, cleverly using our slow and expensive justice system to avoid paying what he owed.

As president, he was unpresidential and childish. He’s vain, selfish and mean. He doesn’t read or listen to advice from smart people, and he lies again and again. I hate him.

Yet it would be better for America if he were president today, instead of Joe Biden.

Nothing is more important to more people, especially the poor, than a solid dollar and a growing economy.

Trump’s presidency brought us closer to that than today’s Democrats ever will.

Trump knows how government can kill growth. He criticized “job-crushing regulations,” saying he’d eliminate two of them for every new one passed. He didn’t, but he did repeal some big ones: allowing more oil drilling, reducing the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate waterways that are barely waterways, ending Barack Obama’s regulations forcing automakers to make “greener” cars (Biden reimposed them), and allowing internet service providers to charge different rates for different services (repealing the destructive net neutrality).

His words alone sent a message: “Not everyone needs welfare. You can work!”

Under Obama, people stopped looking for work. Democrats’ message was: Poor people are victims of an unfair system; you need handouts.

Under Trump, people started working again. Six million Americans were hired.

Unemployment dropped to a 50-year low.

Trump signed the First Step Act, reducing long prison sentences for drug-related offenses.

He launched Operation Warp Speed, speeding production of Covid vaccines.

He appointed judges who believe in free speech and limited government.

Hooray for President Trump!

But then there’s the evil Trump.

He lies and breaks promises.

Trump promised he would “cut spending, big league” and then increased spending.

Biden’s been worse; this administration’s crazy spending is why inflation is killing your savings. But Trump was little better. He increased spending from an already astounding $4.1 trillion in 2017 to $6.55 trillion in 2020.

Trump promised to end America’s wars. He didn’t. In fact, he signed a massive $738 billion defense bill, bragging that it was “an all-time record!” At least Trump, unlike his predecessors, didn’t start new wars.

Trump imposed tariffs on China, ignorantly claiming they’d protect American consumers. Instead, the tariffs punished American consumers and businesses. So Trump then gave billions of your dollars to farmers and others hurt by his tariffs.

Finally, Trump refused to accept the results of the election. For 224 years, our democracy has had a peaceful transfer of power. Trump ended that.

He lied about voter fraud. He told his supporters, “Fight like hell.”

On Jan. 6, he did tell them to “peacefully” march to the Capitol, but when things got ugly, he did nothing. Only hours later did he post a video asking protesters to go home.

Today he shows no remorse for any of the nasty things he did.

Because of Trump, Biden will probably be reelected.

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John Stossel is author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed."