Some advice for Mr. Trump

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

It didn’t take long. Jour­nal­ists, ed­i­to­rial writ­ers and colum­nists who hate Don­ald Trump and con­sis­tently op­posed his elec­tion are now ad­vis­ing him what not to do.

News­pa­per head­lines claim Trump is pulling back on his cam­paign prom­ises. Ed­i­to­ri­als en­cour­age him not to do ev­ery­thing he pledged, al­though his pledges are what got him elected. The ACLU bought a full-page ad in The New York Times, vow­ing to use its army of lawyers and vol­un­teers to thwart Trump’s agenda.

Since ev­ery­one else is of­fer­ing advice, here is mine: Be­gin with the econ­omy. Pro­pose to Congress cuts in in­di­vid­ual and cor­po­rate taxes and a plan to do away with the tax code, re­plac­ing it with a flat or fair tax.

On il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion, start build­ing the wall, but an­nounce that to help pay for it, a toll sys­tem will be im­ple­mented, charg­ing peo­ple who cross our South­ern bor­der in each di­rec­tion. Driv­ers have to pay tolls to get in and out of Man­hat­tan. Why not tolls for get­ting in and out of Amer­ica? The new pres­i­dent also could ask for con­tri­bu­tions from the pub­lic to help build the wall, which can bring in ad­di­tional funds. We’ll see if Mex­ico pays any­thing.

Trump says he will forgo the $400,000 pres­i­den­tial salary. Here’s a bet­ter idea. Take the money and do­nate it to schol­ar­ships for poor chil­dren so they can es­cape fail­ing pub­lic schools and get a de­cent ed­u­ca­tion for a bet­ter fu­ture. This could be done im­me­di­ately while wait­ing for Congress to pass a school voucher plan and would en­cour­age oth­ers to make sim­i­lar con­tri­bu­tions to char­i­ta­ble schol­ar­ship funds.

The Her­itage Foun­da­tion, a con­ser­va­tive think tank based in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., is again play­ing a cen­tral role in the tran­si­tion. Many of its ideas on do­mes­tic and for­eign pol­icy are posted at her­itage.org. Her­itage pro­vided many pol­icy sug­ges­tions to Ron­ald Rea­gan, which he em­braced dur­ing his two terms.

A source fa­mil­iar with what is oc­cur­ring in­side the tran­si­tion tells me “land­ing teams” from Her­itage will be vis­it­ing fed­eral de­part­ments and agen­cies be­gin­ning this week to ask ques­tions and re­trieve in­for­ma­tion for the new ad­min­is­tra­tion. They will be re­minded that Pres­i­dent Obama is pres­i­dent un­til Jan. 20 and to be “re­spect­ful.” We only have one pres­i­dent at a time.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion plans to fol­low House Speaker Paul Ryan’s advice and “go big, go bold.” Hun­dreds of ex­ec­u­tive or­ders are be­ing pre­pared, along with lan­guage mem­bers of Congress can use to for­mu­late new leg­is­la­tion and re­peal old laws. These in­clude school choice, re­peal­ing and re­plac­ing most of Oba­macare and rev­ers­ing var­i­ous so­cial engi­neer­ing or­ders, such as trans­gen­der bath­room re­quire­ments.

The tran­si­tion team is com­bin­ing the New York and Wash­ing­ton of­fices and en­ter­ing what was de­scribed to me as the “ex­e­cu­tion stage,” mov­ing from pol­icy pro­nounce­ments to en­act­ment.

Con­ser­va­tives should be en­cour­aged that Vice Pres­i­dent-elect Mike Pence has been put in charge of the tran­si­tion. He is a rock-solid con­ser­va­tive who will be help­ful in mak­ing sure peo­ple who hold con­ser­va­tive views are placed in key posts. The em­pha­sis should shift from ide­ol­ogy to what works. If, for ex­am­ple, poor chil­dren are lib­er­ated from govern­ment schools and their grades and out­look on life im­prove, their tes­ti­mony will be ev­i­dence enough that school choice has been a suc­cess.

Here’s an­other sug­ges­tion. The ma­jor me­dia hate Trump and al­ways will. At his press con­fer­ences, he should in­clude more con­ser­va­tive jour­nal­ists who will es­chew “gotcha” and “what do you say to peo­ple who say” ques­tions and seek to ob­tain in­for­ma­tion of use to the pub­lic.

This will be the Repub­li­cans’ last op­por­tu­nity for a gen­er­a­tion to show that their ideas work and to pro­mote the gen­eral wel­fare. The pos­si­bil­i­ties are great if Trump and Pence and the Repub­li­can Congress ig­nore crit­ics who want them to fail and press on to re­ceive the prize that suc­cess will bring, not only to them and the GOP, but to a na­tion that longs for it.

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