A Most Consequential Presidency

As Donald Trump is about to be nominated for a second term, how his presidency has already altered the orientation of his party is on display.

Under Trump, the GOP ceased to be a party of small government whose yardstick of success was how close it came to a balanced budget.

Trump signed on this spring to $3 trillion in deficit spending to rescue the economy from a depression into which the government had shoved it to control the spread of the coronavirus. He is prepared to spend a trillion dollars more.

By opening new lands and seas to exploration, building pipelines, permitting fracking and slashing regulations, Trump has brought the U.S. to an energy independence which other presidents only promised.

The Trump GOP has abandoned an ideological commitment to free trade that dates back to the Kennedy administration and reembraced the economic nationalism of the 19th-century Republicans who built the world’s greatest industrial and manufacturing power.

Globalism has been relegated to the ash heap of history as our populist president trashed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accords, and began to impose tariffs on countries that have looted America's manufacturing base.

While Trump has been prevented by the Russophobia of our Beltway elites from seeking a detente with Vladimir Putin, he has managed to avoid a military collision.

Trump has also ended the decades-long freeriding of NATO allies on the U.S. defense budget, convincing many of them to contribute more.

He has made the Republican Party the pro-Israel Party, recognizing Israel's annexation of the occupied Golan Heights and East Jerusalem by moving the U.S. embassy there. He effected the recognition of Israel by the UAE in return for Bibi Netanyahu's postponement of the annexation of the 30% of the West Bank envisioned in Trump's own "Deal of the Century."

While Trump has not extracted this country from the forever wars of the Middle East -- Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria -- he routed ISIS and kept us out of Libya's civil war.

Unlike his predecessors, Trump has tabled the issue of immigration, especially mass illegal migration across the Southern border, and made progress on the border wall he made a feature of his 2016 campaign.

A discredited NAFTA has been replaced by a new trade deal, and a leftist government in Mexico City is helping prevent migrants from entering southern Mexico on their way to the United States.

Trump has done as much as Reagan to deregulate the U.S. economy and reduce taxes on workers, producers, and investors. Before COVID-19 hit in force in March, stock markets were hitting all-time highs and unemployment rates all-time lows.

He has nominated and elevated two Supreme Court justices and hundreds of federal judges.

The horizon, however, does not appear to be without perils.

Bellicosity toward Beijing is being reciprocated, and China appears ready for confrontation to validate its claims in the South and East China seas and Taiwan Strait.

What Beijing is doing to America -- espionage, intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers, running up $600 billion trade surpluses at our expense -- is Trump's concern, not what Beijing is doing to restrict democracy in Hong Kong.

While his outreach to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un failed to persuade Kim to surrender his nuclear arsenal in return for recognition, trade and aid, even some of Trump's enemies applauded his effort.

If Trump loses in November, however, much of what he has done will be undone.

The U.S. will agree anew to abide by the Paris climate accords and the Iran nuclear deal of John Kerry and Barack Obama will be revived.

Joe Biden says that only those making above $400,000 will pay higher taxes. Yet, the Democrats' economic plan envisions higher payroll and personal income tax rates, higher capital gains and corporate tax rates, and even higher death taxes on estates.

Trump has also changed the character and composition of the GOP, making it more of a working- and middle-class party.

Where George H.W. Bush sought to build a "New World Order" with America as global hegemon and George W. Bush peached a global crusade for democracy "to end tyranny in our world," Trump is all-in on "America first." Bush transnationalism belongs to yesterday.

Even in confronting Xi Jinping's China, Trump's primary concern is not on how Beijing treats its people but on how it treats us.

America has a history of such cold realism.

FDR recognized Stalin's regime in the USSR in 1933, when Hitler rose to power in Germany. Ike invited Nikita Khrushchev to tour the U.S. after the "Butcher of Budapest" had drowned the Hungarian Revolution in blood. During the Cold War, we partnered with Somoza, the Shah, Gen. Pinochet and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.

Trump, too, sees himself not as a moral crusader for human rights but as a defender of American interests in the world.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever." 

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6 thoughts on “A Most Consequential Presidency”

  1. 4 MORE YEARS, with POTUS 45th Donald J. Trump. Vote out the BLUES in 2020, Vote RED all the way. NO VOTES for the BLUES, MAGA 2020 2022 2024. and GOD BLESS the USA.

  2. Does anyone remember GHWB saying And now we see a New World Order Coming Into View ? At the time 1991 no one gave that statement much thought , The Bushs are GLOBALIST and a lot of US Citizens are just now realizing that fact . Like the Bushs , the NBA , Apple and the like are only worried about the money they will make or lose in China, they could care less about the US worker .

  3. Pat, as usual your on target. Trump has lived far beyond what many of us hoped he would do. Now, if the Trumpicans can keep the party away from the neo-conmen and the establishment in 2024 the country will be in great shape.

  4. America will only be Great Again by elimination of all evil within Our borders!!!!!!!
    Democrats champion criminals and liars are Satan’s testicular cancer

    Hollywood actors who act , that’s lying without relevance
    Hollywood must be boycotted

    Muslims the dogs of humanity and evil
    This trash Is out to kill all not Muslim

    Athletes uneducated n word’s , over paid scum
    Yes I said it for that’s what they are and I’m not committing on the color of their skin it’s their lack of character for many are white! Sports must be boycotted forever !
    I used to love sports until it became the only thing black men can do with the exception of spawning millions of fatherless children and be malcontents!

    The media wow , now these treasonous traitors must be hung for their terrorist acts upon America and all Americans! Their actions are Terrorist!
    A one sided communist media promoting lies, terrorism and unrest for greed and the agenda of their owners communists and communist China! The media hasn’t hired a journalists in 40 years just propaganda liars!
    When only one side of a story is told by the media and the censor anything not promoting their agenda you no longer have a media just a terrorist group!
    The media in America is worse than the media in China, Russia, North Korea about censorship for it is a tool of America’s enemies to destroy this country not their own !
    The media including the tech media must be indicted for treason and hung, their assets seized and their buildings destroyed! Until this Heynis media is eliminated Americans will not be safe and Our Freedom taken away!
    News is news and should be reported not censored!
    A lie is a lie you can sugar coat it and call it fake but it’s a terrorist crime!

    Democrat politicians , rhinos and the fbi along with the lefts terrorist judges must be indicted for treason and hung for their coup against America!

    America can ether be politically correct and parish or
    America will have to destroy its enemies that are from within with extreme prejudice!

    I hope that their are more patriots in America like that 17 year old young man a true Hero, who shot and killed these vial rioters within America

    1. Now that’s getting down to the nitty-gritty of the situation. Even some conservatives may think this goes to far, but the truth IS the truth.

  5. at last, an honest appraisal of Trump’s contributions…. hopefully it will spread and he will be reelected and we will be spared the destructive Socialism promised by the Democrats in charge.

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