January 20, 2025

Dear Diary,

In a few hours, I’ll be handing the reins of government over to Mike Pence. Good man. Quiet. He can afford to be after the tremendous job I have done making the country great again.

It was touch and go there for a while. My whole first term the fake news, the Democrats and even some terrible people in my own party tried to sabotage me. It seems like ancient history now, but the whole Trump-Russia hoax actually had me worried for a while, much more than that the preposterous effort to impeach me for talking to the president of Ukraine.

Funny how things happen. When John Durham — I wonder if anyone remembers him? — finally brought in his indictments, a lot of people were shocked. Not me. I knew that James Comey, Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe and Stefan Halper were crooked. It’s too bad that John Brennan wasn’t caught too. I guess he covered his tracks too well.

But I don’t want to dwell on those not-nice people or their friends in the media. They did all they could to wreck my first term. We had fired up the economy in a way nobody thought possible. Then the Chinese virus hit. It wasn’t until the end of September 2020 that things really started to turn around. But then things really took off. By November the stock market was back to 29,000 — seems low, now that it’s 35,000 — and unemployment was down to 9 percent and falling fast.

I still couldn’t really hold rallies like I used to. But it didn’t matter. Sleepy Joe Biden never had a chance. I took all the states I did in 2016 plus Nevada, Minnesota — that was a big one — New Mexico and New Hampshire. That’s 331 electoral votes. I was particularly happy that I got 20 percent of the African American vote. Everyone said it couldn’t be done. But then everyone said we couldn’t take back the House, either, and look what we did there.

What were my biggest successes? A lot of people talk about the courts. I got 450 Federal judges confirmed and four Supreme Court Justices. The Dems and the media made a huge fuss about Amy Coney Barrett when I nominated her to replace Ginsburg, but Barrett is tough and has been a terrific Justice.

To be frank, my second term was much easier than the first. My decisive win took the air out of a lot of my critics. The left stopped funding NeverTrump losers like Bill Kristol. Their publications collapsed in 2021. To tell the truth, I was not surprised. They say no one was reading them for years. I haven’t heard of any of them for years.

We finally got the big, beautiful wall on our southern border built and we’ve really gotten a handle on illegal immigration. That was really important to me. I promised I would do that and I did.

I also promised I would bring manufacturing back to America. After the Chinese flu, a lot of people really woke up about the many nasty things China was doing around the world. Over these past four years, we brought millions of manufacturing jobs back to the US. Cutting the corporate tax rate to 15 percent really helped. By the end of 2024, unemployment was back down to about 3.25 percent.

Way back in 2016, when I was first elected, I promised to cut at least two senseless regulations for every new regulation that was put in place. My people tell me the actual record is something like 20 to one: we’ve gotten rid of 20 counterproductive regulations for every new one. That is a big deal. It is a huge help to small businesses and entrepreneurs who don’t have the time or the resources that big corporations have to deal with all the red tape.

Looking back over my eight years in office, I think the two things I am proudest of are also the hardest to define. We’ve done a lot of great things. We kept a lot of promises. We rebuilt the military, which was in terrible shape when I came to office. We cut taxes for something like 90 percent of taxpayers. We made the country energy independent with big, beautiful coal and fracking.

But the two things I am proudest of are also maybe the most surprising. The first was improving the tone of politics. I was surprised by this, frankly. To tell the truth, I thought the that nastiness of the 2020 election — which was like the nastiness of politics throughout my whole first term — would just continue until I left office. But it didn’t. In some ways, I think my reelection was even more surprising than my first. No one thought I would win in 2016. In 2020, everyone knew it was possible, so they put everything they had against me. Really, that was what all those riots in the summer and fall of 2020 were about — stopping Trump, not protesting George Floyd’s death. But somehow our big win in 2020 threw a switch. It didn’t happen immediately, but within months the tone in Washington was less nasty. Fake news outlets like CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times are still very unfair to me, but somehow even the fake news has toned things down a little.

And I think that development, which as I say surprised me, is linked with what might be my biggest success. I mean ‘draining the swamp’, taking the government out of the hands of what they call ‘the deep state’, the administrative state, and handing it back to Congress and — thanks to all those cuts in regulation — to the people themselves.

There’s still more work to do, and Mike will have his hands full. But he should thank me for making his job so much easier. We’re at peace. We’re more prosperous than ever. There is a new respect for religious freedom and free speech. Political correctness went out with antifa in 2020. Mike’s job is to keep America great. I did the harder part and made it great again.

This article is in The Spectator’s September 2020 US edition.