Don­ald Trump and the art of get­ting it done

Not pres­i­dent yet, he’s al­ready restor­ing hope in the Amer­i­can dream

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Mon­ica Crow­ley

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump is al­ready get­ting so much done so seam­lessly that he’s con­vey­ing the at­ti­tude of Reese Wither­spoon’s char­ac­ter, Elle Woods in “Le­gally Blonde,” when she in­forms a skep­tic that she’s been ad­mit­ted to Har­vard Law School: “What, like it’s hard?”

We have been told over and over again — by the bi­par­ti­san rul­ing class that pro­tected its power by shroud­ing is­sues and process in mys­tery — that cer­tain prob­lems were sim­ply too vex­ing to solve. They strug­gled with them every day, they said, but they were in­tractable. We’d just have to live with the status quo, they warned, and woe be to those who tried to change it.

They also told us that glob­al­iza­tion is an ir­re­versible trend, that it’s there­fore im­pos­si­ble to res­cue man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs, that the econ­omy and the world are in a cer­tain or­der and that only the fool­ish or naive would seek to over­turn it. Then Mr. Trump ar­rived on the scene. For a new hire who doesn’t start work for another six weeks, he has been a whirling dervish of de­ci­sion-mak­ing, deal-mak­ing and status quo-bust­ing.

The man hasn’t even clocked in yet, and he’s al­ready sav­ing Amer­i­can jobs, re­as­sur­ing al­lies, strik­ing fear and anx­i­ety in our en­e­mies and stand­ing for free­dom and free en­ter­prise.

He be­gan by lever­ag­ing the power of the pres­i­dency to ne­go­ti­ate a deal with Car­rier to keep ap­prox­i­mately 1,100 jobs in the United States rather than trans­fer them to Mex­ico as the com­pany had planned. He and vice pres­i­dent-elect Mike Pence, who also serves as the gov­er­nor of In­di­ana where the Car­rier fa­cil­ity in ques­tion is lo­cated, of­fered a mix of state-based tax and other in­cen­tives to con­vince the com­pany to re­tain the Amer­i­can work­ers.

Crit­i­cism of the deal from the right (charges of in­ter­fer­ence in the free mar­ket) and from the left (charges of hypocrisy to­ward those who op­posed Pres­i­dent Obama’s eco­nomic in­ter­ven­tions) were muted. And for good rea­son.

To the work­ing class, mak­ing America great again was al­ways about restor­ing re­spect and va­lid­ity to their lives and liveli­hoods. In strik­ing the deal with Car­rier to keep those jobs in the United States, Mr. Trump de­liv­ered on the core prom­ise of his cam­paign: that he sees these hard­work­ing Amer­i­cans, hears them, re­spects them and will de­liver for them. He has al­ready demon­strated that he will put their in­ter­ests on par with — or even ahead of — those of the rich, pow­er­ful and in­flu­en­tial.

They now believe that the soon-to-be most pow­er­ful per­son in the world is on their side. That is eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal dy­na­mite. In fact, a Morn­ing Con­sult/Politico poll re­leased this week shows just how big a win it was. A whop­ping 60 per­cent of vot­ers said Mr. Trump’s in­ter­ven­tion with Car­rier made them view him more fa­vor­ably. “Rarely do we see num­bers that high when look­ing at how spe­cific mes­sages and events shape pub­lic opin­ion,” Kyle Dropp, Morn­ing Con­sult co-founder and chief re­search of­fi­cer, told Politico.

Fur­ther, Mr. Trump’s fa­vor­a­bil­ity rose across party lines: four out of 10 Democrats said they now view him more fa­vor­ably, as do 54 per­cent of in­de­pen­dents. Even 32 per­cent of Hil­lary Clin­ton vot­ers said the deal im­proved their view of Mr. Trump.

More good news for Mr. Trump and his eco­nomic ap­proach: 56 per­cent of vot­ers said it’s ap­pro­pri­ate for the pres­i­dent to ne­go­ti­ate di­rectly with com­pa­nies on a caseby-case ba­sis, and 62 per­cent said they would ap­prove of the pres­i­dent of­fer­ing tax breaks and in­cen­tives to in­di­vid­ual busi­nesses if it means re­tain­ing Amer­i­can jobs.

Less than a week after the Car­rier pro­nounce­ment, Mr. Trump struck a deal of a dif­fer­ent kind. After he met with the CEO of Ja­panese tech com­pany SoftBank, the com­pany an­nounced that it will in­vest $50 bil­lion in the United States, cre­at­ing up to 50,000 new jobs. The deal­maker at work.

Mr. Trump’s eco­nomic plan is de­signed to make the coun­try more com­pet­i­tive by im­ple­ment­ing poli­cies that ap­ply to all com­pa­nies: cut­ting taxes, in­clud­ing the cor­po­rate tax rate, re­peal­ing and rolling back sti­fling reg­u­la­tions, in­clud­ing the big­gest of them all, Oba­macare and those clob­ber­ing the en­ergy sec­tor, rene­go­ti­at­ing trade deals such as NAFTA, and killing off the nascent Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship. Through Mr. Trump’s lead­er­ship and ini­tia­tive, he’s al­ready started re­sus­ci­tat­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing and lev­el­ing the play­ing field by put­ting Amer­i­can work­ers first.

No won­der Democrats are pan­icked. Mr. Trump is win­ning over the work­ing class, per­haps per­ma­nently, by hon­or­ing their work enough to save their jobs — some­thing politi­cians have con­stantly said was im­pos­si­ble to do.

The in­tan­gi­ble part of an econ­omy is hav­ing peo­ple believe in that econ­omy. Half of the pres­i­dent’s job is to ad­vance a pro-growth eco­nomic agenda that cre­ates real wealth and pros­per­ity for the Amer­i­can worker. The other half of his job is to sell the agenda with a sense of op­ti­mism to cre­ate the psy­cho­log­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment for growth and pros­per­ity.

Mr. Trump isn’t even pres­i­dent yet, and he’s al­ready do­ing both.

“What, like it’s hard?” Mon­ica Crow­ley is edi­tor of on­line opin­ion at The Wash­ing­ton Times.


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