THE POWER OF TAKING A STAND
Are you a people-pleaser? If you’re not, I bet you know one.
You know the person I am talking about, right?
That person in almost everyone’s life who tries to make sure that everyone is happy – or that no one is disappointed. It’s the person in your life that intervenes whenever something is wrong and tries to make peace wherever there is conflict.
And we tend to vote for “peoplepleasers,” too.
Our government is filled with them. These are the candidates that promise everything to everyone.
And while we may differ significantly on our opinion of President Trump (pick any subject), virtually every presidential tracking poll confirms he is not a “peoplepleaser,” at least when it comes to his job approval rating by most Americans. Nearly 54 percent of Americans “disapprove” of Trump’s job performance as president, and the polling shows it’s because he’s taken a stand on so many politically incorrect issues.
For clarification, though, what does it really mean to take a stand? It means that one must take a firm position on an issue. For example, the demonstrators in Tiananmen Square who protested for greater freedom in China, or Martin Luther King Jr., who sought to end racial discrimination and segregation in our country.
Well, President Trump has definitely taken a stand on the issues, and it’s making a difference.
He took a stand against illegal immigration, and within 60 days after he was inaugurated, the number of people apprehended while crossing from Mexico fell to its lowest level in 17 years (according to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly).
He took a stand for “America first” and that he would create good jobs for American workers, and the jobless rate is now the lowest since 2001. In fact, our country is almost at full employment today (the best in 16 years), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
He took a stand that he wanted lower tax rates for Americans in every tax bracket, and to simplify the tax code for businesses, and now the stock market has hit record highs. In fact, the market has hit new closing highs 23 times during the Trump administration.
He took a stand to defeat radical Islamic terrorism, and now ISIS has suffered severe losses recently, including the recapture of the Iraqi city of Mosul by Iraqi government forces, plus the U.S.-led coalition forces have now regained close to a third of the territory previously controlled by ISIS in Syria.
Trump also took a stand against wasteful government spending, explaining in his inaugural address that the days of “reap[ing] the rewards of government” were over. And today, regulatory costs imposed on Americans has been reduced by $70 billion.
The bottom-line to all of this is that sometimes in life you just have to take a stand and say “no.” “No” to continued deficit spending by the federal government, “no” to government-run health care, “no” to higher and higher taxes, “no” to the redistribution of wealth by the government, etc.
Taking a stand may be hard for peoplepleasers. Or the optimists who see the glass as half-full and that every cloud has a silver lining. I get it.
But I figure it like Martin Luther King Jr. put it: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” And whether that’s immigration policy, or an election, or deciding whether your town will build a multi-million-dollar sports arena, it all matters. After all, as they say, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman and attorney. He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in The Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.