Four years ago, Republicans gathered in Cleveland to nominate the most unconventional presidential candidate of our lifetime.
Four years later, as Republicans nominate him for a second term, it’s a good time to reflect on what he’s done and hasn’t done, and why we want to see him reelected.
To begin, for the first time in many decades, in Donald J. Trump we have a president who puts America and Americans first. This isn’t just a poll-tested line, or even a single policy; it is a comprehensive, foundational theme underlying his entire presidency. It colors the way he sees the world and undergirds everything he does as president.
Second, to a degree much greater than his predecessors, he is determined to actually keep the promises he made on the campaign trail. This is more significant than many Washington swamp-dwellers might realize — they are used to new presidents coming into office, being confronted with the “realities” of the restrictions on the presidency, and then limply backing off their promises when they realize that keeping them would cause political difficulty.
Not Trump. Move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem? Done. Withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord? No sweat. Pull out of the disastrous Iran nuclear deal? Check. Remove the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, dump NAFTA, and negotiate a new USMCA? No problem.
On the foreign policy side, Trump has let America’s allies and America’s enemies know that the government of the United States is now prioritizing American interests. He has pursued withdrawal from “endless” wars, as he promised, and has rebuilt America’s armed forces.
By following through on his pledge to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel, he showed world leaders he was a reliable ally, and a man of his word – and the result was an historic peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, much to the chagrin of Iran.
Moreover, his recasting of the U.S.-China relationship promises to bring an end to China’s taking advantage of the U.S., and will reestablish a more equitable trade relationship as well.
On the domestic policy front, too, his kept promises have benefited the American people greatly.
For instance, remember his deregulation promise? For every new regulation put on the books, he said, there would be two old regulations removed from the books. That actually turned out to be an undersell: in 2017, the ratio wasn’t 2 to 1; it was 22 to 1. Even in 2018, it was 4 to 1, still twice as good as the promise.
And the result? Along with enactment of the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act (another campaign promise, to lower taxes for individuals and corporations across the board), America saw a booming economy, with the stock market soaring to record highs, and so much job creation that prior to the pandemic-induced shutdowns, the jobless rate had fallen to historic lows.
Another of his most famous campaign promises was to build a wall on the southern border to stem the flow of illegal immigration. That’s important for multiple reasons — not just to reestablish the rule of law, but also to protect the livelihoods of American citizens whose jobs are threatened by the importation of low-wage illegal immigrants.
Through court fights and funding fights, he has found ways to move funds to pay for construction of hundreds of miles of new wall in key high-traffic areas. The result? We no longer read about hordes of would-be illegal immigrants massing across the line and storming our borders.
And, speaking of the rule of law, Trump also promised in the summer of 2016 to select solid, conservative judges to fill vacancies on the federal bench, from the Supreme Court on down. During his first three-and-a-half years in office, he has fulfilled that pledge and then some. He’s selected two excellent Supreme Court justices — Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — and has filled more vacancies on the federal bench than any prior first-term president.
That’s 200 district court and appeals courts vacancies filled, and he’s got more where they came from.
It’s not just about what President Trump done, though; it’s also about what he is going to do.
As we make a choice for the next four years, look at his rival for the presidency and contrast the two on the fundamental issue facing us today — the coronavirus pandemic, and how to deal with it.
Joe Biden said over the weekend that he would shut down the country if that’s what the “scientists” told him to do. Leaving aside the constitutional question of whether or not a president even has the authority to shut down the country, we’ve already seen what happens when we shut down the country — all we did was hurt ourselves economically, without stopping the spread of the virus. It did not work. So why would we elect someone who’s already told us that if he were told to do so, he would hurt us to no good end?
Even if there were not a pandemic to deal with, Biden has promised to raise taxes (not a good thing to do when trying to grow out of a recession) and break the bank by adding another $4 trillion in new government spending.
Trump, on the other hand, is itching to get the economy growing again, wants to lower taxes to create more jobs, and has a second-term agenda that will lead to even more and faster economic growth.
Elections are about choices, and campaigns are about contrasts. In the election before us, the contrast could not be clearer.
For the good of our country, it’s time to reelect Donald Trump.