As we prepare for Trump’s inauguration, I find myself more hopeful than I have been since the week Ronald Reagan took office. I am not alone.
This is in sharp contrasts to the president-elect’s approval ratings.
Bottom line: We may not like the slash and burn style that Donald Trump used to defeat 16 rivals for the nomination and win the presidency, but we have confidence that he is going to do whatever it takes to “Make America Great Again.”
What does that mean?
While Trump’s message has at times been ill-defined and clumsy, his core principles have remained consistent: regain control of our borders, do away with Obamacare, reestablish the rule of law, appoint justices to the Supreme Court who will uphold the Constitution, restore our manufacturing base, make America energy independent, give parents more control over the education of their children, negotiate fair trade deals, rebuild our military, take care of our veterans and make the U.S. one of the best places or earth in which to invest and do business. This means lowering the corporate tax rate and doing away with crippling regulations.
Who can be against those core principles? Only those who feel the American people are too stupid to care for themselves and need a Big Brother government to control every aspect of their lives. Only those who have achieved power from race-bating or playing the politics of envy and greed. Only those who have profited, or hope to profit, from a system run by elites who hand out political favors — positions and contracts — to their friends and supporters who are willing to shell out big bucks to keep them in power. Only those who feel they may lose their powerful political offices if they rock the boat. That includes the overwhelming majority of Democrats and Republicans in Congress.
That latter group represents Trump’s biggest challenge. They are the reason that so many presidents who have gone before them have failed. Many of these men came into office with the right instincts, but they simply grew tired of trying to fight the system. In the end, they were willing to settle in order to just get along. They were all relatively popular with the Washington establishment and members of the media when they left office, but the American people were short-changed.
One by one, these former presidents abandoned the principles that got them elected. I remember asking someone who knew George H.W. Bush well, “Do the Democrats have something on him or does he simply want to be liked by them?” (Remember, “Read my lips. No new taxes.”) My source answered, “He just wants to get along.”
In my early years, I actually believed that there would be a time when the American people would become so fed up that they would begin holding their elected representatives in Congress accountable, but I have become cynical. Half of the eligible voters in this country don’t care enough to exercise that right, and most of those who do can’t give you the name of their congressman — their closest link to Washington. Yet our congressmen and senators are the people who are responsible for making our laws and spending (wasting) our hard-earned tax dollars.
In reality, there isn’t a lot one president can do by himself. That is why Donald Trump has made me hopeful. He isn’t afraid to use the bully pulpit. The thing is full of cobwebs from years of neglect. However, if past actions are any indication of things to come, Trump will use it to the max. At times, his tweets, interviews, press conferences and addresses to the nation will make us cringe, but he will shine the light of day on those congressmen and senators who have been working against us. That should cause enough of them to begin doing the right thing.
I do not agree with with Mr. Trump on every issue. I don’t expect to like everything he does, but if he remains true to the core principle he set out in the campaign and begins to move the country in the right direction, I will be more than satisfied.
One thing is sure: He has nominated a group of largely self-made, highly successful men and women for his cabinet, the likes of which we have never seen. Most, like himself, have nothing left to prove and nothing to gain. They have made it in the real world outside of Washington and they seem willing to devote the next four years to helping you and me do the same.