Trump Goes It Alone and Leaves 'Em in the Dust
“His presidency is a flop. He has not made even a single legislative accomplishment. His healthcare reform plan was knocked out three times, he has a really low approval rating, and he is getting nothing done.”
This is the message that the leftist (“mainstream”) media is feeding America, and most people eat it up with savor, no questions asked.
Coupled with Donald Trump’s personality, numerous White House personnel changes and the ongoing Russia investigation, one would think that Trump is doomed, counting the days until his failed presidency crashes down with impeachment or ends in grave defeat at the hands of a Democrat less than three and a half years down the road.
But alas, this “very reasonable” and seemingly “proven and compelling” prognostication (as the media presents it) is pure hogwash, as is so much else that is directed at the public in the name of truth.
While it is so that Donald Trump has not yet succeeded with major legislation, the golden key to his presidency is the executive one: executive actions and initiatives that lie within the exclusive jurisdiction of the President. It is here that the Trump presidency is a smashing success, in defiance of its innumerable detractors.
Every President operates on two levels -- the legislative and the executive -- and most Presidents do not easily succeed at both. Those Presidents who pushed through sweeping legislation without sizeable majorities for their parties in Congress were typically moderates who were wary of taking bold executive actions, and whose accomplishments were thus largely limited to the legislation they promoted. In contrast, those few Presidents with bold personalities and gutsy plans were often not well received by the majority on Capitol Hill, and they instead got things done on the executive level. The rare exception is someone such as Ronald Reagan, who was blessed with a personality that earned him the reputation as “The Great Communicator,” and who was able to shine both on Capitol Hill and in the Oval Office.
President Trump, whatever one thinks of him, has taken off flying on the executive level. As a result of aggressive deregulation, the economy is roaring -- record-low unemployment and a record-high stock market, plus an impressive rise in GDP, with new and major companies building and hiring. North Korea is being heavily sanctioned and dauntlessly confronted. (Imagine if Obama were President now; weakness is the last thing we need at this moment. Thank God that Trump is the Commander-in-Chief, rather than his predecessor, who left North Korea [and so many other totalitarian regimes] totally unchecked and enabled it to become a nuclear power.) Street gangs, such as MS-13, are being robustly prosecuted. Energy is on the move, including coal and the Keystone KL pipeline project. ISIS is on its deathbed, Taliban forces are in for a nasty surprise, and Iran and Syria have finally been shown that the U.S. means business. FEMA’s response to Hurricane Harvey was hailed and contrasted with the federal government’s response to disasters under previous administrations.
This progress is all the result of executive decisions, not legislation or anything related to Congress.
While it might be argued that many of those who ran against Trump for the Republican nomination would have met success on the legislative level, due to their character and popularity, one can imagine the lack of action on the part of many of these same people on the executive level. Rather than boldly canceling out countless Obama-imposed regulations that were suffocating the economy, it is easy to envision these challengers taking a far more cautious approach, establishing balanced committees and study groups to deliberate each regulation, and thus getting little done in comparison. When Kim Jong-un threatened Guam over a month ago, Trump stared him down and threatened back with unprecedented firepower, and the North Korean tyrant quickly reconsidered (despite starting up again now); would the President’s challengers have been so forceful and drastic? It is clear from the reactions of moderate Republicans that others would have shied away from the response of Trump -- and that would have been dangerously unwise.
It is the intrepid and maverick approach of the current White House that cuts through the red tape and rushes to get things done, indifferent to naysayers and the weighty forces of inertia on the part of career politicians.
Trump is America’s CEO, and his executive-level successes will create his legacy and leave detractors to grope in their comfortable cloud of bureaucratic dust.
Avrohom Gordimer is a senior rabbinic fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, a public policy institute reflecting traditional Jewish thought. He serves on the editorial board of Jewish Action magazine, is a staff writer for the Cross-Currents website, and is a frequent contributor to Israel National News, Yated Ne'eman, and a host of other publications. He is a member of the Rabbinical Council of America and the New York Bar, and he works as an account executive at a large Jewish organization based in Manhattan. The views expressed in the above article are solely those of the writer.