“I admit that I was wrong about Trump. He’s not a clown, and he is delivering on his promises.”
Gary Varvel, cartoonist and columnist for the Indianapolis Star, writes:
Over the years, my caricatures of Donald Trump have evolved but not as much as my opinion of him.
When Trump announced he was running for president, I admit that I didn’t take this millionaire, hotel magnate, reality TV show celebrity as a serious candidate. I doubted his ability to do the job. So I drew him as a clown. In fact, my cartoons were as critical of him as many of my liberal cartoonist friends.
Then Trump started a war with the news media, tagging major news outlets as “fake news.” Ahem, I’m in the media.
And while Trump promised to pursue conservative policies, this conservative cartoonist doubted his sincerity. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that he was on the left.
In the crowded primary field, Trump got the most attention by being the loudest. His tweets could not be ignored by the media and resulted in Trump dominating news coverage.
I found his personal attacks sophomoric. I mean, calling his opponents “Low-energy Jeb,” “Lyin’ Ted,” “Little Marco,” “Crazy Bernie” and “Crooked Hillary” was not presidential. It was childish, but it worked. He won and they lost.
In this braggadocios “I’m the greatest” culture, Trump became the Muhammad Ali of politicians. His claims of, “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created,” “I’m really rich,” “I’m very highly educated,” “I’m the best (fill in the blank)” stretched credulity but was certainly entertaining.
In one of the debates, Trump admitted that he was an entertainer but said that he was more than an entertainer, that he was “a businessman, and that’s the kind of mindset this country needs to bring it back.” Soon his rallies were filled with people who believed that he was the real hope and change America needed.
In 1992, millionaire businessman Ross Perot said that the country needed to be run like a business. He was great at listing the country’s problems, but he didn’t communicate how he would fix them.
Trump identified the problems and fixes. His political promises were simple, repeated often and easily remembered — build the wall, repeal and replace Obamacare, cut taxes, destroy the Islamic State group, renegotiate better trade deals and make America great again.
So how in the world did Trump change my mind? He started keeping those promises.