Year two of the President Donald J. Trump presidency doesn’t technically begin until later this month, but a quick look back at 2017 and ahead to 2018 is in order.
First, 2017. Many of those who have been working in the political trenches for a long time welcomed Trump’s candidacy and presidency. Why? Because we had witnessed close-up how so many good conservative leaders were failing decade after decade to successfully advance conservative policies. Trump is willing to fight — and a fight is what it’s going to take to succeed. As we’ve seen, Trump is not intimidated by the tactics of the Left and their allies in the media. (In Illinois right now, we have conservative Jeanne Ives running for governor demonstrating those same valuable characteristics. This bodes well for the future of conservatism in Illinois.)
Several pro-Trump op eds have been penned in recent weeks reviewing calendar year one of his administration. This makes it easy to cherry pick certain bullet points that I see as worth highlighting for the IFI audience.
For those preferring to read what the Leftist/NeverTrump Alliance is saying, just turn on the liberal news media.
For those who haven’t yet gotten tired of winning, let me begin excerpting from an article by Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner where he writes about the White House’s own year-in-review:
With the passage of the GOP tax bill this week, the Trump administration has scored 81 major achievements in its first year, making good on campaign promises to provide significant tax cuts, boost U.S. energy production, and restore respect to the United States, according to the White House.
And along the way, President Trump even outdid his own expectations and slashed at least 11 major legacy items of former President Barack Obama, including cracking down on the open border, slowing recognition of communist Cuba and effectively killing Obamacare by ending the mandate that everyone have health insurance or face a tax.
According to the White House, the 81 accomplishments are in 12 major categories and include well over 100 other minor achievements.
The unofficial list helps to counter the impression in the mainstream media and among congressional Democrats that outside the approval of Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch and passage of the tax reform bill little was done.
Bedard notes that “in a sign of support for conservatives, the White House also is highlighting achievements for the pro-life community.”
The White House used 12 categories, and one of them was “Protecting life,” but there is nothing specifically listed about undoing the previous administration’s added threats to the First Amendment’s religious liberty protection.
Trump supporters will cite Administration policies concerning religious liberty, but Trump has not yet engineered the removal of the infamous Johnson Amendment.
Obviously there have been problems, as with all new administrations, but it is easy to make the case that year one has been productive and encouraging.
Economic confidence is on the rise, as is the number of jobs being created. Despite the doom and gloom preached by the opponents of the just-passed tax reform bill, it is easy to see the economy reaching 4 percent growth and possibly higher.
No, Obamacare was not cleanly repealed, and the health care system is awaiting the GOP’s long-overdue approach to creating a better system.
Al Perrotta posted an interesting list under the title “7 Things Donald Trump Has Done for Christians in 2017.” Here is his opening and just the list he provides (I encourage you to read the entire article):
Yes, our faith is in Christ. Our hope doesn’t depend on who’s in the White House. We elect a president not a pastor. And yes, some days this President is more profane than pious.
Still, the person in the Oval Office can change the lives of Christians here and around the world. This President has proven to be a friend of the faithful. Here are 7 ways:
7: He Got Sworn In
6. He Got Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court
5. He Signed the Religious Liberty Decree and Fought the Johnson Amendment
4. He Fought For Life
3. He Wiped Up on ISIS
2. He Listens
1. He and His Administration Openly Pray and Praise
The #1 and #2 on Al Perrotta’s list stand out for me. Concerning #2, many observers get the sense that Donald J. Trump isn’t feigning interest but is genuinely looking to learn — including from Christians.
Perrotta writes: “Policy decisions are one thing. But what does it mean to have the Leader of the Free World and his cabinet pray and be humble?”
As for 2018, Newt Gingrich, who was an early Trump supporter in the Republican primaries, is among those predicting another good year ahead. Here is Newt’s prediction a year out: “The great political surprise of 2018 will be the size of the Republican victory.” Gingrich recently posted a series of articles analyzing Trump’s presidency so far — they can be found here, here and here.
Looking Ahead to Trump’s Year Two
A glance at the biggest challenges — and how to surmount them.