This post is in response to many reader requests for our take on the Trump presidency. Recall that MLLG is non partisan; we don’t much care for either political party. Our lodestar is all in our name – more liberty and less government. Nonetheless, unlike liberals, we don’t live in a bubble and must deal with the world as it is.
First off, Trump has done a phenomenal job on the singularly most important aspect of his presidency, i.e. he is not Hillary Clinton! In the end, little else matters as he gives America a respite from its progressive-led death march toward Gomorrah. Each day Trump is in office is a day Hillary is not; that alone is ample cause to celebrate.
If Trump is judged on his actions and appointments, and not his words and tweets, there is much to like. Assessed against the more liberty, less government standard, he also earns reasonably good marks. Trump’s critics err by taking him literally but not seriously; whereas the key to understanding Donald J. Trump is to take him seriously but not literally. His accomplishments, in addition to not being Hillary, are:
1. National Security. Trump’s national security team of Tillerson, Mattis, McMaster and Pompeo is outstanding and they work together seamlessly and in sharp contrast to the internecine feuding of the Bush and Obama teams. Trump is squarely addressing the festering problems Obama kicked down the road including North Korea, Iran and ISIS. However, Trump’s proposed increase in defense spending is far too little.
2. Cabinet Appointments. Including the inspired national security team, his cabinet is arguably the strongest since George Washington. Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos, Tom Price, Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke round out the cabinet; don’t forget Mike Pence.
3. Judicial Appointments. His Supreme Court and lower court appointments have been as good as anyone could wish for. In four (or eight) years, he can make a difference.
4. Taxes, Regulation, Environment and Energy. Trump aces all these business related issues. He showed courage and leadership in pulling out of the Paris climate accord.
5. Health Care. Although imperfect and incomplete, Trump has done about as well as possible given the resistance from Democrats. If Hillary had won, she would have used the implosion of Obamacare to impose nationalized health care on America.
There are also many things not to like about Trump’s first six months; the worst ones, in approximate order, are: (1) protectionist trade policy including opposition to NAFTA, TPP and China; (2) lack of discipline in keeping on message, talking and tweeting too loosely and often; (3) failure to understand the traditions and protocols of his office; and (4) law enforcement issues including continuation of the failed war on drugs, civil asset forfeiture and ignoring the need for police reform.
To evaluate Trump, judge him on his actions and appointments, not his words and tweets. Take him seriously but not literally. Finally, rejoice each and every day that Trump is president, because that is a day when Hillary is not. Hallelujah!
Our July 23rd post describes the threat America faces from an EMP attack.