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Donald Trump was not my preferred candidate in the 2016 Iowa Caucus. Not even close. Like not even in consideration.

It was not that his words or his positions hurt my feelings. I was concerned about his past. He was a Democrat for many years. He had a flimsy record on abortion — at best. He held a rainbow flag on stage at a campaign event. He said he had never asked God for forgiveness.

But by the time the 2016 general election rolled around, after having endured eight years of Barack Hussein Obama, and considering America’s affinity for incumbents, 16 years of Obama/Clinton control seemed like more than America could take.

I voted early in 2016. It was one day before the Access Hollywood tapes came out. I actually had my second oldest son with me. I took my time. He looked at me and said, “Dad, we can’t have Hillary as President.”

With that, I filled in the bubble next to Donald J. Trump.

In the four years that followed, I was genuinely surprised.

To be clear, President Trump isn’t and hasn’t been a perfect President. I still have concerns about his seemingly public embrace of LGBTQ issues even though his policies have been anything but LGBTQ friendly.

I do not think there is any doubt that President Trump is the most pro-life President in history.

I could list off accomplishments — the economy, the Middle East peace deals, moving the embassy to Jerusalem, destroying ISIS, etc. — but none of it encompasses what has made President Trump so special to his supporters.

There is a unique affinity between President Trump and his supporters that will never be matched or duplicated in my life when it comes to a President and his voters. Ever. Not even close.

He has stood up to those who bully his conservative base like nobody else has or will. He has actually sacrificed to be President. He has actually given up an extremely comfortable life to serve. He has given a voice to the forgotten men and women of America.

He has put America First.

And that is what has made President Trump so special. That is why millions of men and women will stand with him until the bitter end — no matter what.

See, it is likely President Trump will be the only President in my life to actually lose something when he becomes President. Every other President will gain something — prestige, wealth, book deals, etc. President Trump, though, had it all prior to becoming President.

He had wealth. He had properties. He has a beautiful wife. He has a family. He had a huge platform. He was a TV personality.

He had it all.

He did not need to become President.

He chose to because he believed he could help his country.

He did it out of duty, out of love for the United States of America.

Now, fast forward four years, and look where it has all gotten him.

His family has endured investigations and attacks. He himself has been mocked, ridiculed and ripped apart a thousand times over by a hostile media that, in some weeks, present 97 percent of all Trump stories negatively.

And last Wednesday, Trump’s supposed allies, those politicians who practically all relied on his help to win their campaigns, stabbed him in the back.

Heck, some of them straight up stabbed in the front.

Then they piled on, claiming that President Trump incited the protest at the Capitol.

Trump knew when he came down the escalator to announce his candidacy he’d find out real quick who his friends were.

And, as it turns out, he hasn’t made many new additional friends as President. Because when many of them had their first chance to knife him in the back, they took full advantage of it.

He has done more to help salvage the Republican Party — a Republican Party that was fledgling along after nominating John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 — than anyone else since Ronald Reagen.

And the crazy thing is — he didn’t have to do a darn thing.

He had just about everything a guy needs in life.

There are still reservations I have about Trump. Again, he isn’t perfect.

In fact, I think he could use a little more spiritual guidance yet. But I do believe in his four years he has grown in his faith. I say that because of conversations I’ve had with individuals close to him as well as what I’ve seen and heard from him.

My guess is that at this moment, President Trump feels like a pretty lonely guy. He is a man who isn’t used to falling short in life either, so it’s likely difficult as well.

He has stood for our nation’s founding, for our nation’s heroes and our nation’s heritage throughout the last four years.

He has taken unpopular position after unpopular position. He has taken beating after beating from the mainstream media.

Yet while he is undoubtedly wounded, he is still standing.

Four years ago I never would have guessed I’d feel empathy for Donald Trump. I never would’ve guessed I would feel sorry for him.

But here I am.

Again, the man hasn’t been perfect, but in my opinion he has done far better than I ever expected.

And with less than two weeks left in his first term, his allies are abandoning him.

I hope President Trump knows that his supporters still stand with him. That no matter how history books slander him, millions of us will tell our kids and grandkids just how much he gave up to serve us.

Nobody will ever again give up what President Trump gave up to become our President. To fight for us. To speak up for us. To push back against the media for us.

And he didn’t have to do it.

While he gave up so much for so many in the GOP, they are rewarding him with so little.

It is a betrayal like no other. And it is a betrayal not just of President Trump, but of all conservatives within the GOP.

The next weeks and months will serve as a time to do much soul searching.

The future is questionable at best for the Republican Party.

Author: Jacob Hall