The Trump Presidency (and Why We Miss Him)
purely political, By James Buckley
From the descent of the Golden Escalator from Trump Tower in New York City on June 16, 2015, to the events of January 6, 2021, it has been nearly six years of political fun and fury.
Even though you didn’t vote for him (and I did twice), you miss him.
I want to say, really I miss him.
Donald J. Trump, our 45th President, duly elected in 2016, took office on January 20, 2017, and the next four years of his presidency were a political roller coaster of historic proportions.
His instincts were there.
His smile was contagious.
Her indoor tan was… curious.
And most importantly (except for those tweets), he did everything right.
A CHALLENGE TO THE INSTITUTION
Let’s start at the beginning: his inaugural address, which offered anything but benevolent courtesy.
It was dark.
Oh, it started out pretty lightly, with President Trump thanking the various ex-presidents and the Chief Justice, commenting on how it was in the great tradition of the peaceful transfer of power, etc.
“For too long,” he began, “a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government, while the people have borne the cost. Washington prospered,” he continued, “but the people did not share in its wealth.
“Politicians thrived,” he warned, “but jobs disappeared and factories closed. The establishment has protected itself, but not the citizens of our country… Everything changes, from here and now…”
It got even darker.
“Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusting factories strewn like tombstones across our nation’s landscape, an education system full of money but leaving our young and beautiful students bereft of all knowledge, and crime, and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.This American carnage ends here and ends now.
You could feel the worried tension rising in the political bigwigs gathered around the Capitol building.
“For many decades we have enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing the very sad depletion of our military. We have defended the borders of other nations while refusing to defend our own. And spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas, while America’s infrastructure decayed and decayed. We have made other countries rich as our country’s wealth, strength and confidence have faded into the horizon. One by one, factories closed and left our shores, without even thinking of the millions and millions of American workers who were left behind. The wealth of our middle class has been uprooted from their homes and then redistributed around the world.
“From this day forward,” he promised, “it will only be America First. America First.
And, he kept that promise, though the attacks on him came quickly from many members of that mob. After all, they were the ones who had benefited so much from policies that had in effect impoverished the working class and gutted the country’s small towns as manufacturers and their factories were lured overseas with tax breaks and perks so generous that would be stupid not to. to enjoy.
MANY SUCCESSFUL ACHIEVEMENTS
Here are some things you can call Mr. Trump successful in the face of opposition from almost every power center in Washington, DC, including his own Republican Party:
— Walked hand-in-hand through the DMZ (demilitarized zone) between North and South Korea with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
— Finally moved the US Embassy to the capital of Israel: Jerusalem.
— Negotiated the Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
— Adopted economic policies that produced the lowest unemployment rate (3.5%) in 50 years and not just the lowest unemployment rate already for blacks, Hispanics and Asian Americans, but also the lowest poverty rate ever.
– Stopping the caravans of people heading to the southern border of the United States and stemming the flow of illegal entries.
— Managed to install three (count them, three!) conservative justices on the United States Supreme Court.
— Replacement of job-robbing NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) by USMCA (United States Canada-Mexico Agreement).
– Argued that China was “eating our lunch” and that its WTO (World Trade Organization) designation as a “developing” nation allowed the Chinese Communist Party to profit commercially from the United States. President Trump – despite the frenzied but well-organized campaign waged by Hillary Clinton and her enablers to convince the public that Mr Trump was ‘colluding’ with Russia to steal the 2016 election and would do the President’s bidding Russian Vladimir Putin – has repeatedly suggested that it would be a good idea to get along with Russia.
— As soon as it became clear that COVID-19 was going to pose a substantial risk to the American population, he launched Operation Warp Speed to support the efforts of various medical entities to create a vaccine to defeat the virus.
— Promoted policies that led – finally – to US energy independence.
— Creation of the Space Force; encouraged the creation of more Opportunity Zones in run-down areas of the city; insisted on using only Made in America items in all US government projects; encouraged companies to bring manufacturing back to those shores, and generally aired an optimistic assessment of American labor, management, and expertise.
No one knows for sure how a President Trump would have handled the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the stock market crash, the cost of over $100 a barrel of oil, the recurrences of COVID-19 variants, the reversal of Roe c. wade (if it happens), an inflationary spiral, a possible recession, soaring interest rates or any number of emergencies that may arise. But it seems pretty clear that a majority of Americans are now able to say they think President Trump would be a better choice to face and deal with all that’s happened.
Sadly, we’ve replaced the pugnacious but optimistic “Happy Warrior” Donald J. Trump (with apologies to the late Hubert H. Humphrey) with dour, sour, and cognitively impaired Joe Biden — a earthy, pessimistic, hopelessly inarticulate man who seems to be coming out of place not only in the White House but wherever he appears in public. Unfortunately, his replacement, Vice President Kamala Harris, is so obnoxious, so incompetent, so inauthentic, that no one wants to see Sad Sack Joe leave office before his time.
All I can say is that November 2024 can’t come soon enough.
James Buckley is a longtime resident of Montecito. He welcomes questions or comments to [email protected]. Readers are encouraged to visit jimb.substack.com, where Jim’s diaries are stored. He also invites people to subscribe to Jim’s Journal.