As Mr. Trump promised voters, he has ended 66 regulations for every one he has added. As he promised, he has withdrawn America from the Paris Accords on climate control.
A year into the new administration, I believe we can say: By the grace of God, or the Great Republic, Trump’s election came in the nick of time. That became apparent during the election; but elections, after all, expose extremes of rhetoric and emotion. Now, a year later, when government should be settling down to governing, isn’t it clear that the liberal-left politicians, the media (emphatically including Hollywood), academia, and, yes, the “deep state” federal bureaucracy—will stop at nothing to keep leadership out of the hands of a genuine opponent of their ideas and plans for America?
The tactics employed by Democrats and their liberal-left allies affirm that. The instantaneous response to the Trump victory was challenges to the legitimacy of the vote. Then came the “Russian collusion” probe dominating the focus of Democrats and the media ever since. Do you listen to the nightly (well, the 24/7) news and opinion shows? Literally hours and hours a day thinking and talking about nothing but opposition to President Trump. Do you read interviews with academics, Hollywood celebs, Broadway lights, TV big shots, and rappers who go on and on, often in vitriolic, filthy language about the President (see most recently the interview with Quincy Jones in Vulture).
The message: NOTHING in America—no problem, no issue—has any importance compared with repairing the unacceptable choice of the American electorate to move not only away from the liberal-left but toward active opposition to it. With every muscle and sinew, the liberal-left is straining against any reversal of the steady and accelerating trend toward what in Europe is forthrightly called Democratic socialism.
When assessing the continued agonized cries against what President Trump is doing to America, it is worth reviewing briefly the accomplishments of his first year in office. The seasoned journalist, Victor David Hanson, writing in the February 5 issue of National Review (an early and persistent opponent of the Trump candidacy), made a kind of concession speech about Trump’s first year in office. What awful havoc has the billionaire New York City real-estate developer (who really has no entrepreneurial talent, according to opponents, those who, in truth, believe all great wealth is ill-gotten), with no experience in political office, who somehow swept the Republican field and defeated what we now see is a frightening Clinton-Democratic machine—wrought during his first year in office?
As Mr. Trump promised voters, he has ended 66 regulations for every one he has added.
As he promised, he has enacted a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and capped state and local tax deductions.
As he promised, he has withdrawn America from the Paris Accords on climate control, removed climate change from the priority list of “national security threats,” and changed the entire perspective of the federal government on the climate crusade versus energy production.
As he promised, he has eliminated the Obamacare “individual mandate,” once a battlefield of the Affordable Care Act. That change alone, Hanson estimates, will “insidiously recalibrate the ACA into a mostly private-market enterprise.”
America is actively exporting oil. No, we no longer depend on Arab, Russian, and Venezuelan oil. The long-running scare of an approaching “peak-oil” production and precipitous decline is now a joke. As he promised, he has opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to gas, oil, and coal production. Now, there is fracking on federal lands.
As he promised, domestic oil production has increased and in 2018 will exceed the record in 2017, heading toward an unimaginable 11 million barrels a day. Yes, America is actively exporting oil. No, we no longer depend on Arab, Russian, and Venezuelan oil. The long-running scare of an approaching “peak-oil” production and precipitous decline is now a joke.
As he promised, he has opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to gas, oil, and coal production. Now, there is fracking on federal lands. The pipelines needed to carry the new fuel are finally being completed—mostly to get energy to ports for exports.
As he promised, illegal immigration has declined, by some metrics, around 60 percent and now is the lowest in the 21st Century.
As he promised, the ISIS “caliphate” is extinct: that is, ISIS no longer controls territory. Its members have not ceased to exist, but territory it held has been liberated. This began in 2015 and 2016, but President Trump seems to have finished the job. His secret? Turning the job over to his defense secretary who freed ground commanders from the restrictive Obama-era rules of engagement.
An order has gone out to the responsible cabinet members in Defense, State, Homeland Security, Energy, and others to restore American deterrence.
The “strategic patience” of the Obama administration has been replaced by the toughest trade sanctions in history on North Korea. Have you noticed that silly idiot who “leads” North Korea is daily making hysterically petulant comments about Trump?
Although the trend began in 2008, since Mr. Trump took office, unemployment, including among black Americans, has declined to historic lows.
This is Mr. Trump’s first year in office. No one need accept that what he has accomplished benefits America. There are those who believe in coming climate-change catastrophe. Believe that tax cuts for corporations are “obscene.” That any energy exploration in the gigantic arctic is criminal. That toughness with North Korea is risking nuclear war. That every regulation eliminated makes Americans less safe. Democrats sat in stony silence, mourning for America, during the State of the Union address as President Trump reviewed his fulfilled campaign promises.*
But are the disagreements over these positions behind the cries of apocalyptic alarm, rage, desperation, and (it is impossible to deny) hate that fills the news and opinion pages of the New York Times and all legacy media both print and electronic? No, the substantive changes recited above have not provoked the kill-or-be-killed opposition to the President.
Donald Trump is the first president to respond in full, blow for blow, to the unbridled liberal-left partisanship of the press and TV. Not for one moment has he appeased them. He saw from the outset (how could he miss it!) that they are a creature of the Left. Of course, that has been increasingly obvious since at least 1964, when the media joined the Democrats in flat-out campaigning against Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. It was that election and books such as Capable of Honor by Allen Drury and The Kingdom and the Power by Gay Talese that lay bare the “new journalism” as sheer postmodernist politicking.
Donald Trump is the first president without a tinge of fear of the media. He perceived how they were playing the game and made countermoves. Nothing excites the anger of the mainstream media more than the way this 70-plus-year-old President has mastered the new social media, using Twitter to twist the noses of opponents who were confident that they control the media and thus public opinion. That a U.S. President with an agenda challenging the liberal-left must resort to Twitter to reach the American people over the heads of the nation’s press suggests that his victory was in the nick of time.
Like no other candidate or President that I can recall, Trump has challenged the motives of his media critics. He seems unshaken by their attacks on his character, intellect, patriotism, and family. He identifies his attackers as “haters” and, in many cases, it is obvious that they are. I need not cite examples for those who have followed the media during the past year. No gutter language is excluded. It doesn’t matter if it is the New York Times or Rolling Stone or Vulture or some Hollywood celeb or TV host, the discourse is riddled with epithets and ad hominem arguments.
That he has broken through to challenge it all has the quality of a miracle. A liberal-left establishment has been building for decades. A little video now making the rounds of the internet points out that every living president—G. W. H. Bush, Jimmy Carter, William Clinton, G. W. Bush, and Barrack Obama—opposes Trump. Now that is a political establishment. In effect, the liberal-left had come to count upon political battles all in the family—and all drifting leftward.
No longer is it acceptable to govern America if you are not within the (liberal-left) “mainstream.” Even George W. Bush played the game that way. He was loathed for the war in Iraq (of course, many Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, voted for it), but he was still a mainstream player.
Jettisoning all balance, perspective, and even decency, the President’s liberal-left assailants are united around one message: No longer is it acceptable to govern America if you are not within the (liberal-left) “mainstream.” Even George W. Bush played the game that way. He was loathed for the war in Iraq (of course, many Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, voted for it), but he was still a mainstream player. He never made an issue of regulation in principle; he did not oppose the crusade against “global warming”; he did not call out his ideological opponents because he had no ideology. He accepted that the media was the media.
But every word Mr. Trump utters is cause for panic and bitter scorn. He won’t be bullied. He will not be shamed at the bar of standards not his own. And he has built an enormous personal following who hear his positions directly, not interpreted by a media. For all the surreal atmosphere of shrill alarm, where are Democrats head-to-head with the President? DACA. Should these young men and women who grew up in our country by no decision of their own be held to standards of “illegal immigrants” and, although this is the only country they have known, be “sent back” to the country of their parents? It is one of those “borderline cases,” where principles seem to clash. It sounds as though if the proponents of DACA would accept the principle of stemming illegal immigration, President Trump would be flexible on DACA. The problem is that advocates of DACA are merely utilizing their best, most plausible case at this moment for winning this round of the illegal immigration battle.
The confrontation over DACA seems the only point at which the liberal-left is in adamant opposition to the Trump Administration. Recently, Nancy Pelosi completed an eight-hour ersatz filibuster in the House on this issue. Really, where else are the sparks flying?
And yet … the tone of the daily assault on President Trump is virtual anathema. What is really the basis for this? In policies, programs, and initiatives of the President there isn’t a basis. The news programs and editorial pages are preoccupied with the latest phraseology of the President. The latest innuendo. It is extraordinarily difficult to recall, a few hours later, what the columnist was wailing about.
The wailing is about a sudden challenge to “the kingdom and the power” of the left that seemed so secure, and growing, during the eight Obama years. That had come to feel, to the left, like the new normal—and a foundation upon which to move further toward socialism. The real candidate of the left in 2016 was Senator Bernie Sanders, but it became clear with the triumphal march of Trump that something new was happening.
Only later, it became clear that a challenge not only to a Democratic White House but to the liberal-left consensus itself—and the politically correct way of viewing the world—had found a remarkable leader in Donald Trump. And it became obvious that he would have no part of the game of wooing the media to his candidacy and point of view—of pretending that in any sense they represented the public questions and standards and conscience. They didn’t; they represented their own political agenda.
The Presidency of Donald Trump has shaken the hold, the kingdom, and the power, of the liberal-left establishment. He has raised questions never raised about motives and professionalism. He has given voice to the Americans—an unexpected electoral plurality—that the liberal-left establishment had been able to ignore. Those Americans may never again be as docile and resigned as they had been. By 2020, if his opponents have not driven him from office, President Trump may have restored our two-party system, so that liberal-leftism no longer defines the permissible limits within which America’s future can be discussed.
If 2016 had begun four years, or eight years, of Hillary Clinton, the power of the liberal-left establishment might have consolidated so much that only the trauma of war, depression, or wide-spread civil disorder could accomplish what Donald Trump accomplished at the polling booth.
Together, they are on track for a trillion-dollar plus annual deficit. The traditional Republican role of budget responsibility has been superseded by the “culture wars.” Unless President Trump can reverse the plunge toward national insolvency, little else he accomplished may matter.
However, at this writing (February 22, 2018), Republicans and Democrats in Congress have come together to pass a budget that blasts through the “ceiling” earlier enacted and tosses aside the “caps.” Mr. Trump promptly signed the bill into law. The Republicans are willing to bust the budget for the military and homeland security; the Democrats are willing to bust the budget for welfare state programs. Together, they are on track for a trillion-dollar plus annual deficit. The traditional Republican role of budget responsibility has been superseded by the “culture wars.” Unless President Trump can reverse the plunge toward national insolvency, little else he accomplished may matter. The Republicans are not helping his cause by wanting to spend more—just more on something else. Now, if the economy crumbles, the media has a convicted villain in place.