I detest sycophants. I don’t even like fans. I don’t worship people. I love my children and my husband, but I don’t idolize any of them. I have never been star-struck meeting a Hollywood A-lister or even Charles Krauthammer or Phil Robertson!
I am ethnically Jewish, so traditions are sacred to me. I serve a living Savior, Jesus Christ, and I celebrate His birthday every day, and especially at Christmas time. I don’t care if it’s the “right day.” I got over legalism a long time ago, too.
All of that is why I hesitate to say what I want to say in this column: Thank you for restoring Christmas, President-elect Donald Trump.
One year ago, and for the last decade, I didn’t foresee a Christmas that felt like the Christmases of yore. I remembered Christmases under Reagan, and I even felt that way with a Bush or two, briefly. I remember feeling like this time with family was so uniquely hopeful, so patriotically American, so unexplainably magical – and then the left began to win the war.
A cloud of darkness overtook my hope, and it transcended even my faith.
I didn’t realize it then, but I couldn’t fully celebrate all that is the True Spirit of Christmas while I was obsessing over the loss of the freest country in the world, ordained by God Himself to be uniquely His own, uniquely American.
The regressive left had a choke-hold on my freedom of speech in ways that oppressed me and depressed me, and I saw the erosion of faith, freedom, hope and holiness. For some reason, the shine and color of Christmas made that darkness more obvious by contrast, and the more I tried, the more I failed to find that true Christmas joy.
Then Obama became president. That choke-hold on my spirit became a straight-up strangulation.
I moved out of my comfortable, suburban, dinner-hosting, charity-attending life and surrendered my life to being a full-time activist, which moved me from Missouri, to Alabama, to the belly of the beast: California. So much for the tennis-playing, carpooling, suburban professor and wife-of-a-politician life I had planned. I had a country to save, or die trying. I dedicated myself to that end.
When Mr. Trump began running, he was the only candidate I didn’t know and had never interviewed. He was the last person I wanted to run.
I had met him casually at events, but at the Las Vegas primary debate I covered, I interviewed him for the very first time:
I was shocked by his humility in person, and his thoughtful answer to my questions. But more than that, I was shocked that he stayed much longer than any other candidate to mingle with press and people. He didn’t limit his rope line to the elite media, like the rest did. He stayed until the last blogger got his question in, and until the last small-town radio reporter had his mic touched unknowingly by the breath of a future president.
It was in that moment that I had what was tantamount to a vision, as best I can describe it. I realized that any of the other primary candidates, no matter how much I liked them, would need to sell their souls to accrue the money it would take for the establishment elite to “let” them have it. As the wife of a former senator from Missouri, I knew the deviousness of the establishment all too well. Trump’s independent wealth could, well, Trump that.
Then I thought of the guttural honesty Trump seemed unable to avoid. How refreshing I found him to be, even when he made me bristle. Honesty was something I thought was lost on American politics forevermore. But he was saying what many were thinking, and even though his political neophytism was glaring, he seemed to be learning at breakneck pace. As a university teacher and a homeschool mom of five, I recognize a “teachable spirit,” and I saw it in Mr. Trump.
There were problems, though. My husband was on record and had given money and was even fundraising for Sen. Ted Cruz. But he wasn’t alone. So were my business partners and some of my friends. One of our closest family friends – our former nanny – had taken a high-level position with Cruz. The daughter-in-law of my network boss was doing Cruz’s communications, and my own pastor, who is a close family friend, was texting me almost daily to “discuss.” To defend Trump would be certain social and professional suicide. I had no choice.
I was one of the 100 founding members of the tea party. I founded the BUYcott movement that supported businesses when leftist regresssives tried to destroy them for their free-market free speech. I gave up my KitchenAid for a picket sign, a radio host’s microphone and, ultimately, to gaze into the dark eye of a camera day after day to do what I believed was the only thing that might save our country: No holds barred activism. Why would I stop now? How could I be so disingenuous to have come this far and to now use my platform to do what felt … comfortable? When has truth ever been comfortable?
I was all in, damn the torpedoes, those who would threaten me and all the rest of it. In my mind, I went head down. I stopped paying attention to haters on social media and elsewhere, and I tried to count each cut a medal for what I believed was a revolutionary battle.
But the time apart from my family took its toll.
There were the debates, the conventions, the constant media hits, taking constant social media hits, the speeches, the travel, missed baseball games and performances, the phone calls from home while running to the next city, the last-minute tissue just before the cameras went live, and poof! I had my footing.
I remember countless speeches where I implored that yes Trump is flawed! But that I believe God could, indeed, use this flawed man just as He had used all of us and many in the Bible, as well. I remember endless TV appearances where I gave my most forthright commentary, even when my voice was shaking because I was checking myself so hard at every turn.
I found my friends who felt even more persecuted than me. I focused on the prize. I watched as my candidate was put through a literal hell, and I realized my little piece of it wasn’t remarkable at all. And I counted the months, then the weeks, then the days, then suddenly – it was only hours.
New York beckoned. I was torn. My children, my husband and my neighborhood warriors we call the “Rebel Alliance,” who went door to door for weeks with no fanfare, shouldn’t I be with them to watch election night? There was my ever-loyal producer who first opened my eyes to take a second look at Trump and stood beside me through every single hit – the TV kind and the painful kind. There were my real friends who loved me no matter whom I supported – they would all be gathered at my favorite wine bar overlooking the Pacific Ocean in my cozy little beach village. How could I not be there with them?
A call from my friends in New York was all I needed, “Gina! You HAVE to come! We will make history tonight and you have to be here with us to celebrate!”
Katrina had a suite right by the victory hotel, and I could stay with her. I could do my hits in studio and that was only a couple of blocks from where Team Trump had decided to have the party. I would be with my battle-proven soldiers, the other Trump media surrogates who had taken the hits. No matter what happened that night, we would be together.
At first, we nervously mingled around the Hilton in Times Square, New York City, like grooms waiting to see if the bride would show at the altar. I met pastor Darrell Scott’s lovely wife. I did selfies with Omarosa, and Lynne Patton, Katrina and I compared notes on sleep patterns and shoes. I met Miss Wisconsin, who, though terminally ill, had a dream to live long enough to see Trump elected, and here she was! Judge Jeanine. K.T. McFarland, Laura Ingraham and I gauged the media fallout should the race go one way, or another. Nervous chatter to pass the time until the numbers would paint a picture we had been working tirelessly to see for more than a year of our lives.
I went over to see where I needed to be for my next hit. I was standing with one of my favorite Fox News producers when I looked into the press risers behind us. I saw the look of Carl Cameron’s face as he double took on his laptop screen sitting beside him. I can’t remember if I said it to Fran, or if she said it to me, “We just took Ohio. Oh my gosh, we are going to win this thing!” We hugged and cried and then looked at each other and did it again.
My phone rang in Facetime. I pushed the green button, tears streaming, as I looked into my phone and saw the face of my whole family, friends and fearless freedom fighters from my little beach village on the other side of the country. But a voice caught my ear … “Mama!”
It was my baby, Bo, who is a tiny 10 years old.
“Mama!!! Can you hear me? Mama? Mama are you there?” His sweet voice rang in my ear like rain on a cracked desert floor just as the first raindrop has fallen in full anticipation.
“I hear you, Bo! I love you! I … did you see? Did you see what is happening?”
“Mama! We are going to win! Mr. Trump won Ohio, and he is going to win, and all of our time apart and all of the things we fought for my whole life really mean something! Mama, we won! We won together, Mama!”
They had me on a movie screen to address the Rebel Alliance team at the West Coast victory party, but I couldn’t say a word. I was mesmerized that my little 10 year old, Bo, completely got it. He shared in his part of this victory. He felt it in his grasp. He saw what risk and sacrifice and selflessness and dedication to a cause bigger than self could mean. He believed in miracles that night, and a mighty God who sent His Savior to save our world, and a flawed businessman to revive our country this night.
“A bloodless revolution” was all I could utter through the tears of absolute gratefulness, “and I love you, Bo!”
This Christmas, there are a few Trump Tower shopping bags under our tree, and a special spring in our step as we celebrate a God so infinitely capable of moving His hand if we will only humble ourselves, and pray, and seek His face (II Chronicles 7:14).
That is our plan this Christmas. It has never felt so good to say Merry Christmas, because I believe now that the overreaching government won’t take it from us and replace it with something agnostic or satanic.
Thank you, Mr. Trump, and the Trump family and staff, and to all of you who sacrificed to elect this president to restore our hope this year. Thank you to my family and friends, who fought and waited and waited and fought. And thank you most of all to the One and Only True God, who uses the weak to confound the wise, and the flawed to reprove those who believe they are blameless.
“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Corinthians 26-29).
“For unto us is born this day, in the City of David, a Savior who is Christ the LORD!” (Isaiah 9:6). Amen.
Merry Christmas, in every way!