National political life revolves around President Donald Trump. Seemingly everything in or concerning Washington – every conversation, hearing, debate, interview, event, article, op-ed or funeral – features, mentions or alludes to President Trump, usually negatively.
Blogger Steven Hayward pondered an “equation that postulates that the probability of all conversations leading to Trump over time is 1.0,” and the phenomenon as “…the Trump Outrage Apparat…” Apparently, there are no iniquities the man hasn’t already committed or isn’t plotting.
The two-party Washington establishment’s opprobrium of Donald Trump is grounded in embarrassment and frustration over its 2016 electoral repudiation and the jaw-dropping progress a political neophyte has made at exposing and rectifying ruinous decades-long policy failures America’s self-superior political elites own but are loath to admit.
In 2000, President George W. Bush’s America enjoyed a robust economy, (later hobbled by a federal policy-driven mortgage crisis), no significant military competitors, and substantial technological advantages. Since then, federal debt has doubled; China emerged as a military and high-tech competitor; household income and America’s productivity languished; manufacturing declined; and the labor force participation rate plummeted.
Today, the economy is on fire. American manufacturing is growing at its fastest rate in 14 years; business startups are setting records; household income is up; tax receipts are booming despite rate reductions; more originalist judges sit on federal courts; the military is rebuilding; trade agreements are being renegotiated on terms more-equitable to the United States.
Government is shrinking. Less than a year into his presidency, the Washington Post reported that “all Cabinet departments except Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs and Interior had fewer permanent staff than when Trump took office… with most shedding many hundreds of employees…” Americans haven’t noticed their absence. Indeed, unemployment, including minority unemployment, is at historic lows.
President Trump has issued far fewer major, costly regulations than his predecessor. The American Action Forum calculated that, in less than a year, the Trump administration saved $560 million by cutting regulations, while exceeding by eight times its promise to eliminate two old rules for every new one.
Consequentially, international respect for America has been restored.
Victor Davis Hanson framed Donald Trump’s simple message to the world: Treat us the way we treat you, and keep your commitments – on trade agreements such as NAFTA, on defense treaties like NATO and on immigration enforcement. No more “leading from behind,” President Trump demands symmetry from America’s friends and allies and respect from everyone else.
Left-wing Democrats’ opposition is unsurprising, but only distaste for his personal “aesthetics” and/or unwillingness to concede their own failures explain “NeverTrump” Republicans’ opposition to a president who already has more positive policy accomplishments than the last three presidents combined — results Republicans promised for years, but never delivered.
“Instapundit” Glenn Reynolds wrote, “Trump’s superpower is his ability, just by existing, to bring out the deep and pervasive rot in America’s institutions and the people who run them.”
Trump isn’t “presidential”? Regrettable, maybe, but only Democrats and establishmentarians whose fecklessness and failures enabled a Trump presidency ultimately care. Results matter.