President Trump has shown politicians of the future how to build a great America.
In his pompous unorthodoxy and consuming desire to see America prosper (and get the credit for it), Donald Trump has paved a pathway to American greatness in the modern age and struck a template for the country’s re-emergence as the muscular, pre-eminent global shot caller. Now, all the Republican Party and the bare handful of true moderate Democrats have to do is follow that path for a 2024 rematch by finding another Trump – without quite so much Trump – to lead the country.
The roadmap has been proven and it is ready to follow. There are the Trumps we want – and that the country needs – and then there are the Trumps that have to be avoided in order to build the nation’s future on solid conservative ground. One promises and delivers an American success story; the other is tragically flawed despite its immense talents and culminates in wreckage.
These new road map followers need to emulate the brazen international poker player who took a page from Ronald Reagan’s playbook in dealing with the old Soviet Union in the Gipper’s ending of the Cold War: if the opponent sees your bet, raise and raise again – bolstered by the nation’s immense but often forgotten economic “big stick,” to spin a Teddy Roosevelt addage. Russia, China, North Korea, Syria, Iran – the Trump that dealt with these foes knew the value in making your enemies wonder just how crazy you are – and reminding them of the high costs they risk paying in proceeding to oppose.
It is foreign policy conducted for America’s sake, which should always be the object of one’s foreign policy.
Trump’s road map for the nation is sometimes figurative and directional and at times literal and specific. Trump’s dedication to the economy was in keeping with the traditional Republican mantra, but his desire to punch through old hesitancies produced not just economic fruit but also showed Republicans the value in policy gusto. Trump ushered in the biggest tax code overhaul in 30 years which would prove his analogy as “rocket fuel” for the economy, permanently slashing the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent and driving expansion and investment in emerging economic sectors as well as traditional commerce. Unemployment dwindled as new jobs were created. The stock market surged as company values and optimism increased, creating billions of dollars in wealth for investors – from Wall Street tycoons, to the Average Joe’s 401k, to parents’ 529 college plans for their kids. Trump’s tax cuts aimed to produce more money for more people, and it worked.
A focus on call-a-spade-a-spade foreign policy is another key element of Trump’s legacy road map. His pursuit of the construction of a wall on the country’s southern border with Mexico provided both a practical barrier against passive foreign invasion as well as an ideological signal flare which asserted America’s commitment to legal immigration. He ended the policy to pay ransom to global terrorists like Iran in its nuclear deal. He upended the Obama-legacy caliphate in Iraq and Syria with actions like the killing of ISIS chieftain Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Perhaps the most signature Trump illustration on foreign policy comes from his classic interaction with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un: ‘If you want to fight, we’ll fight; if you want to talk, we’ll talk.’ Turns out, Kim wanted to talk afterall.
Staffing federal courts with judges honed in true Constitutional principles is a direct pathway for future conservative leaders and probably the most lasting Trump legacy. The premium and preference for rights of the individual over those of government are laid out in the cobblestone of Trump’s three U.S. Supreme Court appointments and more than 200 appointments to lower federal courts. Those judges will use the Constitution as a lighthouse and help guide interpretations of law according to our founders’ initial philosophical design for decades to come.
Trump’s roadmap for the future of the country is clear but not easy. After whatever socialist carnage President Biden and company wreak on the country in the next four years, it will require Republicans and conservative Democrats with clarity of purpose and guts to follow the dusty but lighted path to Make America Great Again.
-Dane Hicks is publisher of The Anderson County Review in Garnett, Kan.