Donald Trump’s first year as President has been a roller coaster.
During the pregame ceremonies of the College Football National Championship, President Donald Trump strode onto the field alongside uniformed ROTC members. He stood on the field and sang the national anthem before retiring to a field box to watch the game. The reaction from the crowd was not united one way or the other, certainly not all boos, but not thunderous applause either. As an outspoken supporter of Senator Marco Rubio in the primaries, this response from the crowd is something of a metaphor for my opinion of Trump’s first year in office.
Make no mistake, a few undeniably great things, at least from a conservative perspective, have happened during the first year of Trump’s presidency. Neil Gorsuch, a staunch originalist who will protect the constitution and will look to interpret the law as opposed to write it has been confirmed to the Supreme Court. The stock market has skyrocketed to its highest point in history — partially the result of vast deregulation — something Trump has moved right along with. The biggest conservative agenda victory however, came just last month with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — the most significant tax reform since Ronald Reagan’s presidency. These are all campaign promises kept that overall add to what I would call a good start for President Trump on the home-front.
Many have said in this past year that the United States is losing its leadership role on the global stage and as the moral and just arbiter of the globe. That is simply not the case and it really is not anything new because most of these pundits disagree with many of the foreign policy decisions the United States has made in the last century to begin with. One could argue that President Obama’s “red line” debacle in the Syrian conflict, and the Iran Deal that gave aid to a regime that wishes death upon us and our ally Israel, did more to hurt U.S. credibility than is even possible to accomplish in one year of a Trump presidency. In a reversal of these practices Trump has all but completely dismissed the Iran Deal, and has now announced that the United States will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
“There is no way to know which path President Trump will choose day to day, whether he will make a great policy move, or release a fire storm of unintelligible tweets.”
The Trump Administration has even come out in support of the Iranian people currently protesting against the regime that President Obama made a deal with. Many have also criticized Trump’s handling of North Korea due to his now multiple tweets that seemingly keep nuclear war on the table as a real option to resolve the conflict. In recent days however, the North Korean regime has begun talks with the South and even agreed to send athletes to the Winter Olympics in South Korea. This is a huge step in de-escalating the tensions between North and South Korea, and the leaders from the South have hinted that Trump’s rhetoric could have played a part in this development, though that cannot be directly proven.
The things that have held President Trump’s first year back from being an unabated success are mostly his musings on Twitter and general conduct not related to policy. Trump’s use of Twitter to do things such as call out private citizens and lambast news networks by name is an ethical problem that every free thinking American should take issue with. Even if bias in the media is so blatantly clear, the President could do much more to critique the media than firing off a few cringeworthy tweets. President Trump’s failure to quickly call out the alt-right and neo-nazi organizers of the rally in Charlottesville over the summer was a mistake that almost crippled his Presidency. Sometimes it seems as though the President legitimately does not know what’s best for him, a flaw evidenced further by his recent endorsement of accused pedophile Roy Moore in the race for an Alabama Senate seat. Add all of that to the near utter absence of moral conscience Trump displayed in the Republican primary — and his life before running for office — with the Access Hollywood tape, the multiple divorces, the multiple accusations of sexual assault, and the draft dodging. Add that to his claim that he preferred war heroes who were not captured, and you get a man who is very hard to openly support for a core conservative Christian like myself and many, many others.
There is no way to know which path President Trump will choose day to day, whether he will make a great policy move, or release a fire storm of unintelligible tweets. Either way, we have experienced one year of a Trump presidency and the doomsayers of this time last year were wrong — at least for now — about their idea of a dystopian future under a President Donald Trump. It is safe to say that from a policy perspective Trump has at least met, if not exceeded, GOP expectations for his first year in the White House.
Follow this author on Twitter: @KFairchild63