I Was Never Trump. Not Anymore.
He has weaknesses, but his presidency has been successful.
This opinion piece appeared in the September 3, 2020, print edition as ‘I Was Never Trump. Not Anymore.’
This opinion piece can also be found here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/i-was-never-trump-not-anymore-11599087108
The Wall Street Journal offers good news reporting but their opinion section appears to be flawed.
Following is just one example showing the problem that the WSJ has with their opinion section:
Claim: the president has performed his duties and genuinely tried to keep his promises.
Over all? I think it is fair to say that he has in many respects tried to follow through on what he campaigned on, keeping in mind that his platform was unusually confused and contradictory. But I don’t think there’s any reason to believe that he’s anything special when it comes to keeping or at least trying to keep promises, and given his rambling campaign rhetoric, my guess is that he probably gave worse hints about his policy direction in the White House than most.
He is, however, unusually good at pointing out explicitly when he is acting in accord with his campaign rhetoric. That’s a real skill, and he deserves at least a bit of credit for it.”
Claim: He not only insisted that immigration conform to the rule of law, but advocated for and (where legally permitted) built a border wall.
Why the Trump administration’s anti-immigration policies are the United States’ loss and the rest of the world’s gain
1. These actions will motivate companies to move jobs out of the U.S.
2. Entrepreneurial immigrants will start businesses outside of the U.S.
3. Investors will seek investment opportunities elsewhere.
Claim: The president has appointed more than 200 federal judges, most of whom are superb and committed to finding the law, not making it up.
Trump’s high appointment numbers reflect not only an accommodating, filibuster-free Senate but also the over 100 vacancies that McConnell gave him by his unprecedented refusal to confirm more than only a handful of nominees in Obama’s final two years.
“They are largely white and male,” said Vanita Gupta, who runs the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “It is an astonishing lack of representation.”
“These are far more extreme judges than even President George W. Bush put on the bench, and we’re moving in the wrong direction,”
Claim: He has followed through on his promise to reduce taxes and to begin deregulating the economy, creating a remarkable boom that reduced unemployment for minorities to the lowest rates ever recorded.
where Trump goes too far is in touting this economy as the “best ever” and trying to portray the end of the Obama era as dire and himself as the hero flying in on the Trump jet to save the day. He has taken steps such as tax cuts to keep the economy growing and increase competitiveness, but he’s also inflicted pain. His tariffs have hurt U.S. manufacturing and agriculture. And his tax cuts and increased government spending have added substantially to the national debt.
Claim: the president promoted a historic peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
But the agreement generated an immediate backlash in the region from opposite sides of the ideological spectrum. At least some Israeli settlers and their political allies were disappointed that Mr. Netanyahu would give up his plan to claim sovereignty over West Bank territory, while Palestinians felt abandoned by an Arab nation leaving them to remain locked in an untenable status quo even without the threat of annexation.
“This is a black day in the history of Palestine,” Ahmad Majdalani, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, said in an interview shortly before the Palestinian ambassador to the Emirates was recalled in protest. “This agreement is a total departure from the Arab consensus. The Palestinian people have not authorized anyone to make concessions to Israel in exchange for anything.”
Claim: He formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the U.S. Embassy there (as former presidents promised to do but never did).
But none of the previous presidents followed through — one reason being that the move would appear to put the US squarely on the side of Israel.
As the country that has led the Israeli-Palestinian peace process negotiations for the past 25 years, the US is “supposed to be acting like the fireman,” he said. “Instead, we’re acting like the arsonist — we’re making things worse.”
The embassy move could also make the chances of a peace deal, already remote given that the two sides haven’t held serious peace talks in years, nearly impossible.
Claim: Mr. Trump withdrew from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, the signing of which was possibly the single worst act of the Obama presidency.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the U.S. to “do everything possible to preserve the gains for nuclear non-proliferation brought about” by the agreement “by allowing for a continued enforcement of its main elements.”
Claim:The president eliminated Iranian terrorist mastermind Qasem Soleimani, essentially crushed ISIS, and neutralized its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
NO Contradictions found
Claim: He signed the Taylor Force Act into law, cutting off aid to the Palestinian Authority as long as it pays support to the families of terrorists.
NO Contradictions found
Claim: Mr. Trump recognized that a cold war exists with China, and he has taken concrete steps to counter that country’s efforts to weaken our republic.
Nearly four years later, none of these goals have been realized, and it is hard to think of a single aspect of Sino-American relations that has evolved favorably for the United States.
Claim: signed an executive order combating anti-Semitism on college campuses.
But not all Jewish organizations or activists celebrated the announcement.
Jewish Democratic Council of America executive director Halie Soifer instead attacked the president and said “he is partially responsible” for the rise in antisemitism in American and therefore “just three days after President Trump characterized Jews as money-hungry ‘killers,’ President Trump has zero credibility to take meaningful action to combat the scourge of antisemitism.”
Soifer said that, “If President Trump truly wanted to combat antisemitism, he would accept responsibility for his role in perpetuating antisemitic conspiracy theories and emboldening white nationalism.
Claim: promoting school choice to advance poor communities, despite unrelenting opposition from teachers’ unions.
Trump’s budget also includes massive cuts to federal education programs — some $9.2 billion from the current level of $68 billion in federal K-12 education spending. “To boost funding for charter schools while reducing it for other vital programs that help our students.
Claim: the president has named many excellent cabinet members.