I must confess to some depression about our upcoming election.
I favor Donald Trump, but he’s probably doomed by his flawed personality. Stylistically, he’s an egotistical, pugnacious fabulist. Yet his policies — the substance of his presidency — have been mostly beneficial to us. Less regulation and lower taxes are critical to restoring democratic ideals and the economy. Textualist judges are certainly preferable to ones who will rewrite our Constitution to their preferences. School choice should be a parental right. And energy independence beats the alternative.
Mr. Trump’s biggest error has been using tariffs to tax Americans’ foreign purchases. That’s against his overarching view that the people should rule their government rather than the other way around.
Then there’s Mr. Trump’s bombastic, unpolished, in-your-face personality. Joe Biden is certainly more polished and easier-to-take. (But he’s had a half-century of practicing.) Undoubtedly, Mr. Biden wins on style.
His policies, though — the likely substance of a Biden presidency — are either empty or socially and economically destructive. Much of his campaign seems to be hollow pandering — paternalistic government promises supported by little more than belligerent verbiage. That appeals to people who forget that “We the People” are the government: that if the “government” is going to do something, we the people (and our families) will have to shoulder that burden and pay those bills.
I’ll hold my nose and vote for substance over style. But I think we’re going to lose.
Those who’ll vote for style over substance had best prepare for a lot more disappointment and taxes.