By Lord Ashcroft
This piece was first published in the Mail on Sunday
It is two years today since Donald Trump entered the White House. That means we are exactly half way between the last presidential inauguration and the next one; whether it also proves to be the half-way point in his presidency remains to be seen. Does President Trump have two years left in office – or six?
As my research has found over the last two years, those who voted for him positively, rather than as the only way of avoiding President Hillary Clinton, remain solidly behind him. They point to a thriving economy stoked by tax cuts and deregulation, two conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, a newly combative approach to international affairs, willingness to reshape global trade deals in the interests of American jobs, and a tough line on immigration and border security. They like that he continues to say exactly what he (and often, they) think, and the outrage this causes in some quarters only adds to their enjoyment. And if his statements sometimes fall foul of the fact checkers, they see him as honest in what they regard as the more important sense that he is authentic and has set about doing the things he said he would: rare enough traits in an elected official. After years of feeling ignored or even despised by the political class, believing a President is speaking and acting for them is an almost exhilarating experience. And if some Trump voters view his personal ethics with distaste and wish he would calm down on Twitter, they decided at the election that other things mattered more, and this still holds true.
Those who did not support Trump think he has been every bit as bad as they expected, and worse (more…)