Sunday, January 29, 2017

To Trump: Shut Up and Keep Doing What You're Doing

This article first appeared in Eagle Rising.

After one week of the Trump presidency I am jumping on the band wagon. He may be a lot of talk, but he is backing it up with a lot of action. Let me count the ways. Already, he has started getting the Pipeland into action. Add that to great cabinet selections, the border wall, freezing Obama's last day release of $221 million to the Palestinian Authority, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, end to sanctuary cities, a new Supreme Court selection scheduled for next Thursday, and fixing our fractured relationship with Israel. At the Pentagon, he signed executive orders to rebuild our military and put in place extreme vetting for Middle East refugees. I also understand he will give priority to those suffering from religious persecution. That means the Christians, who are fleeing genocide.

What have I left out?

To a conservative, especially one who did not support Trump's nomination to begin with, this is great stuff. Just as I thought the country was lost, I see it coming back again.

During the campaign, conservative commentator Michael Medved, one whom I respect greatly, said that while Hillary Clinton would certainly be a terrible president, Trump had the potential to be a catastrophic one. He did not vote for Trump, but today even he admits Trump is off to a great start. Without trying to be too gushing, I think Trump has the potential to be a great president, in fact, the greatest of my lifetime.

Now if I may come back partially to earth, I have to say this: I just wish he would stop paying so much attention to the nay-sayers, especially in the media, and just keep his nose to the grindstone. For example, does he really have to make such a big deal about the size of the inauguration crowd? Does he really have to find a way to overcome Clinton's popular vote margin by arguing over the number of illegal voters? I firmly believe that the Democrats do engage in voter fraud, but I doubt they were able to garner 3 million of them. Let's just agree that my own goofy state of California is what gave Clinton her popular vote "victory". By all means I hope his order for DOJ to investigate voter fraud uncovers some wrong-doing and corrects the problem.

In addition, one thing that worries me about Trump is whether he can lead the rest of the world into doing the right things. Sometimes, a little diplomacy is needed. This week's flap with Mexico is one example. Yes, I want the wall built. Yes, I think Mexico should help share the cost since they (the Nation of Mexico) are largely the culprits with their official corruption, drug trafficking, and unwillingness to provide decent education and job opportunities to their poor masses, thus, forcing them to seek opportunity elsewhere.  This week, Enrique Peña-Nieto, the Mexican president, cancelled his scheduled visit to Washington over Trump's continued statements that Mexico would pay for the wall. President Peña had no choice but to save face with his public. We now know that work will begin on the wall, and in some form or another, Mexico will pay at least part of the costs either through increased tariffs or some other form of reimbursement (which they have not agreed to either). Tariffs may or may not be the answer, but why not just quietly reduce foreign aid to Mexico and claim victory?

Similarly, Trump is going to need to convince (current) European leaders, who are skeptical of him that they need to reverse their disastrous refugee and immigration policies and help him take on ISIS. I say current leaders because elections in 2017 could very well bring in new leaders who are already on board, people like Marine LePen in France, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, and anybody but Angela Merkel in Germany. This past week, several of them met in Koblenz, Germany for a conference of conservative leaders opposed to mass migration and the EU itself. Matteo Salvini of Italy spoke in Italian, but offered these words in English: "Good job-good luck, Mr Trump."

So to Mr. Trump I offer this advice (not that he needs my advice): Don't get sidetracked with the small stuff. Don't try to win every battle with the press. They are going to be fighting you every day of your presidency. Get used to it. Most of the public now understands them for what they are.

Don't waste time on the side distractions. Just keep doing what you are doing.

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