2018 Has Been Very Good to Trump
In his final day of campaigning ahead of the 2016 primary in the state of South Carolina, then-Republican nominee Donald Trump held three different rallies. Feeding off the energy of the crowd, he delivered a classic Trump line.
“We’re going to win so much,” he told thousands of supporters in attendance. “You're going to get tired of winning. You’re going to say, ‘Please Mr. President, I have a headache. Please, don't win so much. This is getting terrible.’ And I'm going to say, ‘No, we have to make America great again.’”
It would become one of many classic Trump quotes from the 2016 campaigning season -- one that supporters would repeat with big smiles, and one that detractors would laugh about in dismissal as they mocked the real-estate tycoon’s chances of becoming president.
The notion of winning so much that people would get tired was obviously delivered tongue in cheek, but here we stand, just over two years removed from that rally, and supporters are beginning to enjoy a glimpse of what the now-president predicted back then.
“So Much Winning” in 2018
Everyone can agree that Trump had a unique strategy as a politician -- and now as president. Whereas most political figures use the same safe, cookie-cutter strategies, he goes against the grain.
He uses provocative tweets and tangential tales to send the media into a frenzy. Then, have gotten the media to yammer about issues that don’t really matter, he gathers his team and goes to work, unimpeded by reporters and commentators who are busy booking segments on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News.
While Trump’s strategy is genius, it has had at least one interesting side effect: when the Trump administration accomplishes something of substance, it often goes unnoticed. That’s because it seems far less sensational than the TMZ-like stories the media goes after in the moment.
The reality is that the Trump administration has strung together an impressive series of victories in 2018 -- many of which are surprisingly bipartisan. If most American liberals could slow down enough to push aside their personal hatred for the president, they would find that -- in the words of Trump himself -- there’s “so much winning” going on right now.
Since the media would rather talk about porn stars, conspiracy theories, and celebrity opinions on political matters, you won’t have a ton of opportunities to hear about these wins on cable news or in the major newspapers and magazines.
Dig around some, however, and you’ll find plenty of victories. Here are just a few of the accomplishments that have taken place in 2018 thus far.
1. Unemployment Reaching Historical Lows
When he was running for president, one of Trump’s big promises was that he would get the economy back on track, create jobs, and lower unemployment. The data show he’s doing just that.
As of last count, the national unemployment rate is hovering around 3.8 percent (which is down half a percentage point in comparison to this time last year). Even more impressive is the fact that African-American unemployment has shrunk from 7.8 percent at Trump’s inauguration to just 5.9 percent.
To put that in perspective, African-American unemployment was at 12.7 percent when Obama was inaugurated. It then swelled to 16.5 percent in April of 2011, before closing at 7.9 percent when he handed the reins over to Trump.
Some will argue he took office at just the right time, but it’s hard to ignore the impressive numbers Trump has posted. It’s also hard to discount some of the aggressive policies he’s enacted in order to put people to work.
Most recently, Trump signed into action an executive order that makes it easier for military spouses to find jobs in their area. Considering that the unemployment rate for military spouses is typically four or five times the national rate, actions like these have a big impact.
2. Progress on the Korean Peninsula
Most people are aware of the growing sense of optimism on the Korean Peninsula that denuclearization could actually be a reality, sooner rather than later. And though few approved of Trump’s “hardball” negotiating tactics at the time, it appears that his no-nonsense stance with dictator Kim Jong-un is working.
While it’s far too soon to make predictions -- and history shows that talks with the North Korean regime can deteriorate at any given moment -- the situation appears to be in much better shape now than it was one, three, or even five years ago. Time will tell if the recent summit was another interesting footnote or the start of something truly historic.
3. Historic Tax Reform
Depending on who you ask, there are certainly pros and cons to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but it’s hard to ignore the dollars and cents of an across-the-board tax cut. The typical family of four earning $73,000 per year will enjoy a $2,059 tax cut next year.
No matter how much Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman call these refunds “crumbs,” the fact is that the vast majority of Americans will see more money in their pockets over the next few years. Replace the Trump name with Obama and the detractors would be praising this tax plan as a historic reform.
4. Massive Regulatory Cuts
When Trump declared his intentions to cut regulations to pre-1960s levels, people laughed. But through a year and a half of his presidency, he’s made a lot of progress on that front, too.
Although it’s hard to calculate the exact number, The White House has reported that the Trump Administration has eliminated 22 rules for every new rule it’s enacted. In total, federal agencies have issued 67 deregulatory actions while imposing just three new ones.
The result is an estimated $570 million in savings per year... or $8.1 billion in lifetime net regulatory cost savings.
5. The Attack Against Sex Trafficking
Did you know that there are an estimated 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today? Or that as much as 80 percent of all human trafficking involves sexual exploitation? What about the fact that 600,000 to 800,000 humans are trafficked across international borders each year, with more than half of these victims being children?
The Trump administration has made it a point to tackle human trafficking -- and sex trafficking, in particular -- like no administration that preceded it. In April of this year, Trump signed a bill that gives federal and state prosecutors the power to pursue websites that host sex trafficking ads.
The legislation has already brought an end to Backpage.com, which laundered tens of millions of dollars and sold teenage girls on the site.
Winning Doesn’t Have to be a Partisan Outcome
President Trump is clearly an outspoken and brash character who likes to ruffle feathers. He also has an enormous ego and appetite for attention. The problem is that the noise often gets in the way and can cause many Americans to miss the reality.
There’s a lot of winning going on right now, and much of it is bipartisan in nature. People should be encouraged to do their own research and think for themselves. Many will like what they find.