President Trump’s first year in office has just come to a close, and there have been some major accomplishments. While most people did not set their expectations too high, there is no question that the Trump administration has initiated policies that have substantially benefited the United States.
Economic growth has been the strongest and most consistent since the recession, and consumer confidence has now reached its highest level in 17 years. The stock market continues to hit record highs, with the DOW increasing by 28.5 percent since Trump took office. The stock market has not increased this much in a single year since the end of World War II, and over one million jobs have been created.
This success can be traced directly to the slashing of regulations and much needed tax reform, which have unleashed the previously stagnant economy. President Trump promised to cut two regulations for each new one, and he has far surpassed this by cutting 22 regulations for each new one. The recently passed U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the corporate rate from a daunting 35 percent to a much more competitive 21 percent. The Trump administration has rightfully burnt to the ground much of the red tape that was strangling the economy, igniting the innovation needed to keep America prosperous. The economic improvement in the United States has also led to an uptick in growth around the world, with the projected growth of the American and global economies increasing significantly due to the tax cuts.
Another key campaign promise made by Trump was to overhaul our immigration system. While immigration policy is still being hammered out by Congress, the administration has taken several big steps to address border security. President Trump ended the DACA program, began the process of defunding sanctuary cities, expanded deportation priorities, and added more agents to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. While a border wall is still a much needed aspect of broader immigration reform, these actions have led to illegal immigration crossings on the southern border to drop to a 45 year low.
Foreign policy has also seen massive successes under Trump and the brilliance of Defense Secretary James Mattis. ISIS has been defeated in Iraq and Syria, with very little territory and influence remaining in the region as a whole. American troops have been deployed into Afghanistan to prevent the nation from once again collapsing under Islamic jihadists. The United States has pushed China to reduce its collaboration with North Korea, while also leading the charge to impose further sanctions on the communist country. President Trump has also pulled the United States out of the environmentally ineffectual Paris Climate Accord, and approved the completion of the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines. The excessive energy dependence on foreign nations appears to be coming to an end, which will boost the American economy even more. Trump also recognized Jerusalem as the rightful capital of Israel, refusing to capitulate to the violent antisemitism of the Palestinian Authority and other terrorist-run governments. The U.S. embassy in Israel will finally be moved to Jerusalem next year, after the past few presidents have failed to follow through on the promise. Rather than continue the disastrous Obama doctrine of “leading from behind,” President Trump has established American leadership on the global stage, with Ambassador Nikki Haley affirming this vigorously at the impotent United Nations.
There has also been a major shift with regard to social issues under the Trump administration. President Trump reinstated the Mexico City policy, preventing taxpayer dollars from funding abortions in foreign nations. He also repealed the Obama era mandate that required states to fund Planned Parenthood, which is a big win for pro-lifers, libertarians, and states’ rights advocates. He also became the first sitting president to directly address the March for Life, showing solidarity with the pro-life movement and innocent unborn children. President Trump has also pushed for the Senate to pass a bill that bans abortions after 20 weeks, which would be another huge legislative victory.
President Trump has also successfully appointed constitutional originalist Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, along with 12 other originalist judges to the lower courts. There are likely to be many more judicial appointments under Trump, and his record so far shows major victories are on the way for restoring Constitutional rule of law in a nation that has been subjected to judicial activism for far too long. With pivotal cases such as the Masterpiece Cakeshop case being decided in the coming months, it’s important now more than ever that the judiciary protects the Constitutional rights of the American people.
The list of first year successes for President Trump is very impressive, yet his approval rating is a full 10 points lower than any of his predecessors after being in office for one year. This seems inconceivable on the surface, but there are a few key reasons as to why exactly this is the case.
First, Trump was an extremely polarizing figure on the campaign trail. If not for his opponent being the abhorrent Hillary Clinton, there is very little chance that he would have been elected in the first place. He made a habit of lying and exaggerating extensively while campaigning, although that’s par for the course given Trump’s persona. Trump’s notorious contention that a Mexican judge wouldn’t be able to fairly preside over Trump University lawsuits because of his ethnicity is a quintessential example of how his rhetoric deters the public. He has continued to espouse falsities, with obvious examples being his claims of unprecedented electoral dominance and wildly exaggerating the crowd size at his inauguration. All of this played a major factor in President Trump entering office with the lowest approval rating of any president in the modern era.
Second, Trump has a knack for getting in his own way in terms of forwarding policy and further alienating people against him. He often fails to push for coherent policy, which became apparent in the Obamacare repeal debacle. Trump’s endless contradictions result from his lack of policy knowledge, showing time and again on immigration, FISA legislation, and CHIP funding. His rhetoric becomes reckless at the most inconvenient of times, as evidenced by his comments following the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, and his recent “shithole countries” remark in a White House meeting. Contrary to what many of his sycophantic supporters argue, Trump’s Twitter usage continues to hurt him as 70 percent of Americans want him to stop tweeting from his personal account. Not all of his tweets are damaging, but the harm done far outweighs any potential benefit.
You get the point.
Trump also has a tendency to promote favorable poll numbers while conveniently ignoring others.
The Quinnipiac Poll referenced here also has some numbers that aren’t quite as flattering, which of course if why Trump omitted them. This same poll found that:
- 59 percent disapprove of Trump
- 69 percent believe he isn’t level-headed
- 65 percent say he doesn’t share their values
- 63 percent think he is dishonest
- 59 percent don’t think he cares about average Americans
- 59 percent say he doesn’t have good leadership skills
- 57 percent think he is unfit to serve as president
These numbers are troubling going into the midterm elections, especially considering Trump’s inability to reach voters outside of his base. It should also be noted that Americans tend to not be very politically adept. The poll also found that 49 percent credit the current state of the economy to Obama, and only 40 percent attribute it to Trump. This is simply delusional and ignores all economic trends over the past nine years. A recent Wall Street Journal poll asked economists who’s responsible for the current strength of the economy, and the majority agreed that President Trump deserves the credit. Obviously.
The fact is that many Americans are simply misinformed about even the simplest political matters. A Monmouth University poll conducted just before tax reform was passed found that 50 percent of the public thought that their taxes would increase as a result of the bill, and only 14 percent thought that they would receive a tax cut. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center concluded that 80.4 percent of Americans will see their taxes cut, including 91.3 percent of those in the middle class. Moreover, the bill will disproportionately benefit the lower income quintiles in terms of the percentage increase of their net income after taxes.
Finally, this all shows that while Republicans are winning on policy, Democrats continue to dominate the messaging war. The disgusting dishonesty from Democratic leaders has been on full display, and the media have seemingly made it their mission to legitimize the hysteria. The agenda of the media is clear, as analysis from the Media Research Center found that mainstream coverage of President Trump has been about 90 percent negative. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, given that a comprehensive study from the University of Indiana found that only seven percent of journalists are Republicans. The collusion between the media and high-ranking members of the Democratic Party is self-evident as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spent her time deceiving the public, screaming Armageddon and calling the bill a tax scam.
Although the tax cuts were initially unpopular as a result of severe media malpractice and ubiquitous lies from leading Democrats, the short term effects have proven to somewhat revive public support of the Republican Party. There’s a long list of companies that have announced special bonuses and pay hikes for employees as a result of the corporate tax cut. Some of these pay increases have been upwards of 10 percent, and many of the bonuses have been over $1,000. Pelosi has since responded to these crucial benefits as simply being “insignificant” and “crumbs.” While this may be the case for Pelosi, considering her net worth is just under $30 million, this added income is absolutely vital for millions of Americans. In fact, 57 percent say that they don’t have enough cash to cover an unexpected $500 expense. The notion that the tax cuts, pay raises, and bonuses are mere crumbs to most Americans is asinine. Perhaps even more unbelievable is that the media never cease to propagate these claims, and much of the public continues to buy it.
President Trump has achieved many victories during his first year in office, and has the ability to continue winning throughout the rest of his term. However, his toxicity is off-putting for virtually everyone outside of his base. The media and Democratic leadership are desperate to take advantage of any and all mistakes, so it’s incumbent for Trump to be much more careful with his rhetoric, whether it’s on Twitter, in the White House, or when addressing the nation. The public is easily persuadable, but it’s contingent on Trump to have the same success with messaging that he has had on policy.
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