Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Donald Trump has been one busy president. Just two years into his first term – and already preparing for his second – he has accomplished a great deal. But all of this progress raises an interesting question: What’s left for The Donald to do in this term – or beyond, should he win a second?
So Much Winning, So Early
As Liberty Nation’s Andrew Moran explained back in April of 2017, Trump had already managed more in his first 100 days than most. He successfully imposed the federal hiring freeze, as promised during his campaign, though he did subsequently lift it. He signed an Executive Order (EO) to identify at least two existing regulations to eliminate anytime a new one is suggested. Also by EO, President Trump banned all White House and congressional officials from becoming lobbyists for five years after government service – and from lobbying on behalf of a foreign government for life. And a mere three days after being sworn into office, he withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
By March of that first year, Trump had kept his promise to remove the roadblocks in the way of the Keystone XL pipeline, bringing us a step closer to his other, more general promise of energy independence. He also kept his promise to free the coal industry from stifling regulations, though it now seems the natural end of the coal era is upon us anyway.
And while it didn’t happen in the first 100 days, Trump did win a major victory for religious liberty in his EO “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty” in May of 2017.
A Supreme Opportunity
One unique opportunity that Trump certainly didn’t waste was the pair of Supreme Court vacancies. After promising during the campaign to replace the late Justice Scalia, the president managed to get his first pick, Neil Gorsuch, confirmed within his first 100 days. More recently, he got the chance to appoint a second Justice, Brett Kavanaugh, though the appointment certainly came with more than its fair share of controversy. In total, The Donald has nominated and seen confirmed 85 federal judges.
How does that stack up to his predecessor? Obama managed a total of 329 in his eight years, including two to the Supreme Court. That’s one federal judge less per year, on average, than Trump so far. And it’s worth noting that the current commander-in-chief has, in just two years, tied each predecessor’s SCOTUS total since Reagan – which equals or surpasses what all but 19 of the 44 other presidents managed in their entire tenures. And he still has at least two – probably six – years to go.
The International Effect
As already noted, President Trump fulfilled his promise to pull out of the TPP. He has also taken us out of the Paris Climate Accord and the Iran Deal. He scrapped NAFTA entirely, negotiating a new deal, called the United States, Mexico, and Canada agreement (USMCA).
Making good on the promises of several consecutive presidents before him, Trump finally moved the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the nation’s chosen capital, Jerusalem. This sparked a massive backlash from the United Nations, so eventually, he pulled us out of both the U.N. Human Rights Council and UNESCO.
After much debate and back and forth in front of various judges, the Supreme Court upheld the president’s immigration restrictions EO, often called the “travel ban,” in a 5-4 decision in June of 2018.
And while he hasn’t completely destroyed ISIS or removed every American soldier from foreign soil, Trump has kept his promise to pull us out of Syria.
Spreading the Crumbs
Finally, we would be remiss if we forgot the very merry Christmas Trump and the GOP gave Americans back in 2017 with their major tax overhaul. Of course, the left threw a hissy fit. Nancy Pelosi even called the bonuses and reduced costs businesses passed on to their employees and customers, and any other tax savings, like the absence of ACA fees, mere crumbs. Despite this political smokescreen, the average men and women of the heartland took notice of both their “crumbs” and the friendlier numbers in their paychecks right away.
While that isn’t every single accomplishment, it’s quite the list. So what’s left for the businessman turned politician? Chief amongst those are probably the repeal of Obamacare – which he narrowly missed by a single vote, and building the wall – which he’s still gunning for.
The president also promised to cut funding for sanctuary cities, terminate all of Obama’s EOs, defund Planned Parenthood, drastically scale back the EPA and the Department of Education, as well as cut wasteful spending across the board, and trash unnecessary federal regulations. While some progress has been made in a few of these areas, there’s still a lot of cutting Trump can – and should – do that will save the American taxpayer some heartache.
To protect liberty – and in some cases, security – it would greatly benefit the people to cut spending and taxes, deregulate in general, eliminate gun-free zones, and accomplish a nationally recognized right to carry.
Candidate Trump also had a novel idea to help the inner-city youth of our nation: Replace the J-1 foreign visa program with a resumé bank. Help our own before worrying about helping the rest of the world – how’s that for a novel idea?
While the damage is done, and any progress here would merely be for the sake of vindication, Trump did promise to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton. It probably wouldn’t make a tangible difference in the average American’s life, but many would be quite pleased to see the Clintons, Obama, and their ilk answer for the many shady dealings the media glossed over during their regime.
On a more practical note, there’s a good chance the president will get at least one more Supreme Court nomination this term, as Ruth Bader Ginsburg seems to be nearing the end of her time on the bench. She’ll be 86 in March, and there’s another liberal Justice who’s close in age: 80-year-old Stephen G. Breyer. While not quite a guarantee, it certainly seems that the president is about to get his third shot at SCOTUS appointment – and likely a fourth if he wins in 2020.
Yes, the president has accomplished much in his first two years, but there’s a lot left to be done. By running for and winning the presidency, Donald Trump entered into a covenant with the people to Make America Great Again – and the man hasn’t given up yet.