In what would seem to be good news for President Trump, a recent Gallup poll found that 56 percent of registered voters believe they are better off today than they were four years ago.
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That’s the highest percentage for any president in the years since Gallup first asked the question in 1984. Gallup also found that on the issues that matter most to voters, 49 percent agree with the president, while only 46 percent agree with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Yet, in the Real Clear Politics average of the polls, only about 42 percent of voters choose Trump over Biden.
So, why are some voters who admit to being better off today than at the end of the Obama-Biden era and to agreeing with Trump rather than Biden on the issues that matter most to them nonetheless saying they will vote for Biden?
Some would blame the polls for the disparity but here is the likely reason. Despite his accomplishments, some voters believe Trump is not the kind of person they want to sit in the Oval Office. That same Gallup poll found that 49 percent of voters believe Biden “has the personality and leadership qualities a president should have," versus 44 percent who feel the same way about Trump.
The president is certainly not a perfect person. As with most of us, he has done and said things I’m sure he regrets. Every president has and every future president will. Few of us, and even fewer politicians, could cast the first stone.
But there’s another side to Donald Trump that the media doesn’t present. Watch the video of a reporter informing the president of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death.
There were no prepared remarks, no teleprompters, and no one shouting provocative questions at him. You can watch it without the media interpretations, distortions, and rewording that so often follow his remarks.
You will see a respectful reaction by a decent and honorable man obviously touched by the death of someone on the other side of the political fence who had been sharply critical of him.
It’s the same Donald Trump who sent his plane across the country to pick up a sick child, stopped the auction of a widow’s farm whose husband had committed suicide, paid off the mortgage for a couple who helped him when he had car trouble and has devoted so much personal time and attention to bringing home Americans held hostage by foreign governments.
Most people who know the president have an uplifting story. Mine involves a visit to the Oval Office, where I told him my 98-year-old mother wanted him to know that she prays for him every morning. He immediately asked her name and wrote her a note on the brim of a MAGA hat, ending with “Love, Donald Trump.”
She cried when she got it.
Perhaps the best evidence of President Trump’s character lies with his children. The president’s children are all decent, intelligent, hardworking individuals. Not a ne’er do well in the bunch.
His eldest daughter and her husband are his top advisers. His sons run the family business. His youngest daughter just graduated from law school at Georgetown University. His daughter-in-law plays a prominent role in the Trump campaign.
That’s not a coincidence. As all moms understand, you can fake a lot of things in life, but you can’t fake good kids.
None of us can really know national politicians or celebrities in any depth. Much of what we know is what the media presents to us and the media has deliberately presented an unbalanced view of the president.
Yes, Trump reacts very strongly and sometimes intemperately when attacked -- and he is relentlessly attacked. But ask yourself what the public would think of Trump if the press had liked him. They could easily have presented the president as a fighter for the common man and woman against the entrenched Washington establishment who shows his temper when his critics treat him unfairly – as a man with a thin skin but a big heart. That’s who he is.
Bottom line: despite what you may hear in the media, it’s OK to vote for Donald Trump — he’s not only an extremely effective president, he’s also a good guy.
Andy Puzder was chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants for more than 16 years, following a career as an attorney. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy. He was nominated by President Trump to serve as U.S. labor secretary. In 2018, Puzder authored "The Capitalist Comeback: The Trump Boom and the Left's Plot to Stop It" (Center Street). His latest piece, a Broadside by Encounter Books titled, “It’s Time to Let America Work Again” was released on July 20, 2020.