GOP must use new­found power

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION - Cal Thomas Cal Thomas is syn­di­cated by Tri­bune Me­dia Ser­vices.

Don­ald Trump’s im­pres­sive vic­tory in Tues­day’s elec­tion of­fers him a rare op­por­tu­nity to change the nar­ra­tive.

Sec­u­lar pro­gres­sive poli­cies at home and abroad are not work­ing. The es­tab­lish­ment has had its chance — mul­ti­ple chances, in fact — to fix things, but it has failed, or didn’t try, un­der Repub­li­can and Demo­cratic ad­min­is­tra­tions. Vot­ers are tak­ing a big chance with Trump, but things have got­ten so bad that the elec­tion shows many mil­lions of Amer­i­cans are will­ing to try some­thing new.

Trump achieved what most of the ex­perts, the rul­ing class, the ma­jor me­dia (in­clud­ing most pun­dits and the poll­sters), Repub­li­can lead­ers and many oth­ers thought was im­pos­si­ble. He not only won back the Rea­gan Democrats, in­clud­ing nearly half of the union members who cast bal­lots, but he also had coat­tails, al­low­ing Repub­li­cans to main­tain con­trol of both houses of Congress.

This was more than a change elec­tion. It was a rev­o­lu­tion. Now the ques­tion be­comes: What will the Repub­li­cans do with it? If Trump is smart, he will call on the GOP con­gres­sional lead­er­ship to write the leg­is­la­tion that will achieve his ob­jec­tives. These in­clude the re­peal and re­place­ment of Oba­macare, im­mi­gra­tion re­form and build­ing the wall, school choice for the poor, re­build­ing in­ner cities and in­fras­truc­ture, and nom­i­nat­ing con­ser­va­tive judges to the Supreme Court and lower fed­eral courts.

The elec­tion vin­di­cates the de­ci­sion by Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell not to hold hear­ings on Pres­i­dent Obama’s nom­i­nee to the Supreme Court, Mer­rick Gar­land, un­til the elec­tion re­sults were known. Gar­land will never join the high court.

The courts may be saved from sec­u­lar pro­gres­sives for years to come and the Con­sti­tu­tion re­spected again. That is vic­tory by any­one’s def­i­ni­tion.

An added bonus is that Trump can use ex­ec­u­tive or­ders to im­me­di­ately re­verse Pres­i­dent Obama’s ex­ec­u­tive or­ders, which he used to by­pass Congress. An even big­ger bonus is that the Clin­tons have been swept out of pol­i­tics. For­eign donors to the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion will likely close their check­books now that Hil­lary won’t be able to do any­thing for them.

The left will demand that Trump “reach out” and work with Democrats, but that is a trap. Re­call what Democrats did when they won the White House, the Se­nate and House in 2008. They rammed through leg­is­la­tion that re­flected their world­view. Trump should do the same, but with­out tri­umphal­ism. He must prove his poli­cies work and can achieve the goals he has set: eco­nomic growth, more pri­vate-sec­tor jobs, bring­ing cor­po­ra­tions home from over­seas with a lower cor­po­rate tax rate, and de­feat­ing the Is­lamic State. The only rea­son to have power is to use power. Democrats un­der­stand this. Too of­ten timid Repub­li­cans don’t. They must now use it, or they will lose it.

Trump’s vic­tory is part of a global move­ment to throw off in­com­pe­tent lead­ers, re­duce the size and cost of gov­ern­ment and re­store coun­tries to the val­ues that have made them uniquely Bri­tish, Ger­man, French and Amer­i­can. It also is a vic­tory of a cul­ture that es­chews the coarse­ness and crude­ness of the likes of Jay-Z and Bey­once and the Hol­ly­wood elites. Mogul Barry Diller says he will leave the country, for which many will be grate­ful, es­pe­cially if he takes oth­ers who promised to leave if Trump won with him.

Now comes the hard part. Be­cause Trump’s back­ground is nei­ther pol­i­tics nor gov­ern­ment, he must call on those with such ex­pe­ri­ence to help him. Vice Pres­i­dent-elect Mike Pence is the per­fect start­ing point. Pence’s years in Congress and his ex­ec­u­tive ex­pe­ri­ence as gov­er­nor of In­di­ana make him the goto guy for nav­i­gat­ing the labyrinth that is Wash­ing­ton. He may turn out to be the most con­se­quen­tial vice pres­i­dent since Dick Cheney.

All the pieces are now in place to yank Amer­ica back from the brink. This is an op­por­tu­nity that comes along once in a cen­tury. Suc­cess will si­lence the crit­ics, who won’t go qui­etly and ac­cept de­feat. If Trump suc­ceeds in all he has promised, he will have saved the country from dis­as­ter. It will be said of him that he re­ally did make Amer­ica great again.

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