What Trump Is Doing Right — and What the ‘Experts’ Don’t Understand

A year after a monumental electoral upset, liberal journalists and Dems obsess about distractions, even as the economy soars

President Donald Trump just doesn’t make sense to those who are prisoners of the conventional political wisdom that has prevailed in the nation’s capital for many decades.

He tweets. He says odd things. He speaks his mind, sometimes to the detriment of his day’s messaging goals. He sounds a lot like a few of the nation’s most successful mayors or governors, but Trump is supposed to be presidential.

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Thus, his track record is often obscured and his accomplishments overlooked by a semi-hysterical mainstream media and opposition party bent on portraying him as incapable of the job as chief executive, say political observers.

Like many liberal media pundits, Chris Cillizza of CNN dwells constantly on Trump’s approval ratings.

“Trump’s approval rating in the Gallup weekly tracking poll released Monday afternoon? Thirty-seven percent,” wrote Cillizza Tuesday, predicting political doom for Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections, and a loss of the House of Representatives.

But Trump has always had approval numbers weaker than average, and yet somehow still manages to win. And in his first year, Trump has accomplished a lot.

“Trump has dramatically grown the economy, passed significant tax reform, created millions of jobs, and crushed ISIS,” said Adriana Cohen, a BostonHerald.com columnist and radio talk-show host, in an email to LifeZette.

At this pace, he’s on track to be one of the greatest presidents in a generation, something that frightens Democrats to death. Hence, they keep trying to take him down with fake conspiracies, impeachment talk, or their new low — trying to convince voters he’s mentally unstable.”

A deeper look at the past year — yes, Trump has been in office almost a year and the Earth still turns — shows what New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin calls an “enormously consequential presidency.” And measured by genuine change in Washington, Trump’s record is largely a positive one.

The economy. The first obvious accomplishment is the shot in the arm Trump’s policies have given the national economy and the business sector. While Trump critic Michael Wolff says the economy may be booming despite Trump, the record shows the president has signed major deregulatory actions and won passage of the biggest tax reform since 1986.

Corporations will see their top income tax rate drop from 35 percent to 21 percent. Families of four earning $75,000 annually will save $2,000 a year, according to the White House. The Trump term so far has sparked surges in economic and consumer confidence, and much of those positive developments began even before the tax cuts passed.

The Dow Jones industrial average, for example, closed above 25,000 for the first time ever on Thursday. But that last advance, from 24,000 to 25,000, was reached in just 23 days, a record for a 1,000-point gain. The Dow was at 19,827 when Trump was inaugurated and has headed upward almost daily since he was sworn into office.

Trump’s economic agenda goes beyond taxes. The president used executive orders and legislation to cut or delay 1,500 regulations in 2017, adding only one new regulation for every 22 eliminated or slowed, according to the White House.

Foreign policy. Even foreign policy, where the media routinely mock Trump, has seen American mettle and might once again respected by rivals and adversaries alike, says one Republican foreign-policy expert.

Trump’s biggest win was finishing a war that President Barack Obama started — the one with the terrorist organization Islamic State, which kicked off in 2014 after ISIS terrorists began killing Americans and allies. The battle with ISIS in Iraq and Syria seemed to drag on — until Trump took office vowing to smash their strongholds.

“American power is now more credible because of [Trump].”

Trump also took a war of words to Iran and North Korea, and vowed America would not be disrespected.

“Substantively, President Trump has done very well,” said Robert Kaufman, professor of public policy at Pepperdine University, in an email to LifeZette. “After a rocky start, he has assembled an excellent national security team, laid out a credible plan to restore American military supremacy that Obama squandered, and restored strategic and moral sanity to America on foreign policy, once again backing democratic allies rather than appeasing our enemies. American power is now more credible because of it.”

Energy, oil, and coal. Some of Trump’s first actions were executive orders authorizing completion of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines.

The Dakota Access pipeline will bring thousands of barrels daily from the booming North Dakota oil fields. The Keystone XL pipeline will bring hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the Southeast. Trump’s actions significantly reduced the nation’s dependence on oil imports from unstable suppliers such as Venezuela or Libya.

The actions also established Trump as a firmly pro-energy president, eager to keep power and gasoline prices stable and supplies plentiful.

It appears to be working. While oil prices have crept up since the fall, they remain relatively low, at $62 per barrel. U.S. prices for electricity have also remained stable under Trump, at about 12.84 cents per kilowatt hour.

Trump has moreover reinvigorated much of the coal industry, which Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent in 2016, had vowed to eradicate.

The year’s record has some pundits impressed, and curious as to why the media want to ignore it all.

“Michael Goodwin is correct. Trump has had significant achievements the morally bankrupt media gives him no credit for,” says Cohen.

The reason Trump doesn’t get more credit? It could be all the noise from the American political melodrama.

Going back over the year, there have been many controversies. Yet there has not been an actual disaster, the kind Trump’s critics predicted. The stock markets did not tank. War has been avoided. ISIS is on the run, if not totally eliminated.

The reason Trump doesn’t get more credit? It could be all the noise from the American political melodrama. Goodwin says Trump’s critics, and maybe Trump himself, are addicted to mere political drama.

“Catastrophe is always a heartbeat away. It will be like that as long as he’s in the Oval Office,” Goodwin wrote in the New York Post Saturday. “A penchant for creating melodrama seems essential to his being.”

But it also seems to be of little consequence. With a record like Trump’s first year, he can tweet all he likes.

PoliZette White House writer Jim Stinson can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

(photo credit, homepage image: Donald Trump, Cut Out, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Michael Vadon; photo credit, article image: Donald Trump, Cut Out, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore)

meet the author

Political reporter, LifeZette. Indiana University journalism grad. Boston U. business grad. Former Indiana, Alabama statehouse reporter, Daytona Beach editorial writer.