The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, January 20, 2017


Every four years, the United States of America makes a fundamental decision. Do we keep the governance model of the last 4 or 8 years, or do we make a change? The decision is based on many things, but the perception of the success of the governance model of the past president and his party and the emotion tied to that perception are dominant factors. Americans rejected the governance model of the past 8 years and decided to change direction.

Today, Donald Trump becomes President. I wish him well.

Trump's campaign message, "Make America Great Again," is like all such slogans. It elicits an emotional response but is extremely difficult to quantify. And unlike the past president, Trump will be forced to show quantifiable improvements in a number of important area or he will be deemed a failure.

Conservative writer Roger Kimball offers some advice for the Trump team as they take over the White House, recognizing that there will be an onslaught of negative media, Democrat demagoguery, and outrage from the usual social justice warriors. Kimball suggests quick and decisive moves. He writes:
The success of [Trump's] administration will depend on many things: luck, skill, effective alliances. But all will be for naught if he tarries. It's not just the first 100 days that will matter. It's the first week, nay, the first 48 hours. His team should come to town ready to undo, right now, today, every executive order promulgated by Obama. Every appointment that can be made should be made instantly, every nomination should be put forth and, so far as is humanly possible, fast-tracked. It should be a shock-and-awe performance. The media will howl. The political establishment will squeal. But they will have been rendered irrelevant before they knew what hit them. It will be a spectacle worth watching.
I think that position is a bit extreme. It's no longer about simply undoing the past governance model. Rather, it's about creating specific policy and taking specific actions that can and will undo the wreckage created by the past administration. In so doing, Trump must produce quantifiable results that all can see. Here a few random suggestions for early actions:
  • Meet with Democrat leaders and extend an open hand to work together on bipartisan efforts, but be very clear that the days of past administration are over. Suggest that meaningful negotiation is always an option, but if the Dems choose not to negotiate, or negotiate in bad faith, or continue to throw the never-ending tantrum that began on November 9th, the majority will go it alone.
  • Reverse the worst of the past administration's questionably legal "executive orders" on immigration, the environment, and energy. Do not replace them with other executive orders, but work with the GOP majority to pass meaningful legislation and do it quickly. Use the Reid Rule (see below), if applicable.
  • Begin a thorough examination of every regulation proposed by every government agency with the intent of removing those that increase costs beyond any reasonable benefits that might derive from them.
  • Begin the long and arduous process of Obamacare repeal and replacement but do not mire the new administration in a political swamp that has no good exit.
  • Make tangible efforts at improving border security and addressing the reality of an illegal immigrant population.
  • Announce that there is a clear intent to reduce the influence of government agencies and return control and taxpayer dollars to the states. Specific targets are the U.S Department of Education, the U.S Department of Energy, and the U.S Department of Commerce.
  • Investigate the IRS to determine why it has consistently targeted conservative groups.
  • Emphasize methods for better education in the inner city and pass legislation to make that happen.
  • Encourage the use the "Reid Rule." It was Democrat Senate leader, Harry Reid, who forced the so-called "nuclear option" that allowed a Dem majority to ram through legislation and candidates that they wanted, overriding the 60-vote rule that has been an historic protocol in the Senate. Like most Dems who backed the Reid Rule, he concluded that their party would always be in the majority and his unprecedented take-over would give the Dems significant political power. Heh. What goes around ... and all that. Since the Dems created this monstrosity, it's only appropriate that they suffer its consequences.
  • Propose a center-right jurist with impeccable credentials to fill Antonin Scalia's seat on the Supreme court. 
  • Do everything possible to reduce the size and scope of the federal government, including giving serious consideration to eliminating or consolidating entire federal departments.
  • Announce that funding for the UN will be cut significantly and immediately and work with Congress to determine the appropriate U.S. contribution going forward.
  • Announce that a new U.S. embassy will be built in Jerusalem and that U.S. funding for the palestinians will be dramatically reduced until they remove the clause in their constitution that denies Israel's right to exist.
  • Focus on actions that do not increase a national debt that is dangerously high.
  • In a major speech on global threat of Islamic terror, call on Islam to begin a reformation that rejects violent Islamists, hunts them down from within the Muslim community, and eradicates them.
I have no illusions that Donald Trump will accomplish all of these things, but he can try. He'll make mistakes and experience failures both large and small. He act like a boor more times than I'd like. He'll use and misuse Twitter and pick fights were he shouldn't. He will battle a blatantly biased media continuously and will give as well as he gets. He won't have Hollywood star power on his side—and that's a good thing.

But in the end, I think he has an opportunity to succeed in ways large and small. He has assembled an outstanding team, and if he listens to their counsel, he just might achieve more than most expect. Good luck to him and his administration.