What Trump must do in ‘Year Three’

The left will con­tinue to wage war on the pres­i­dent, but a strong econ­omy will drown their whin­ing

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Mon­ica Crow­ley

As Pres­i­dent Trump en­ters his third year in of­fice, sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­ni­ties — and chal­lenges — await. When and how the spe­cial coun­sel’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion will con­clude is any­one’s guess, Demo­cratic con­trol of Congress means in­ves­tiga­tive frenzy, eco­nomic and in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ments are un­cer­tain, and a loom­ing pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cy­cle will fur­ther ac­cel­er­ate the po­lit­i­cal in­san­ity.

One thing is cer­tain, how­ever: The es­tab­lish­ment swamp will con­tinue to wage its re­lent­less ex­is­ten­tial war against the pres­i­dent.

Mr. Trump has been in of­fice long enough to fully un­der­stand why and how he’s be­ing tar­geted, and how best to check­mate the silent coup. In­deed, in his first two years in of­fice, he’s won sig­nif­i­cant bat­tles:

• Jus­tices Neil Gor­such and Brett Ka­vanaugh now sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, and Mr. Trump is also dili­gently re­mak­ing the fed­eral ju­di­ciary with sharp young orig­i­nal­ists.

• Thanks to the Trump tax cuts and the pres­i­dent’s con­tin­u­ous roll­back of decades of suf­fo­cat­ing reg­u­la­tions, eco­nomic growth rolls on, wages are up, the stock mar­ket has reached all-time highs (though it’s been a roller-coaster re­cently), con­sumer con­fi­dence has been up, un­em­ploy­ment hit a 50-year low (with the most dra­matic lows among blacks, Lati­nos and women), and Amer­i­can man­u­fac­tur­ing is re­bound­ing.

• Mr. Trump ex­ited the de­struc­tive Iran nu­clear deal.

• He moved the U.S. em­bassy in Is­rael to Jerusalem.

• By grant­ing the U.S. mil­i­tary a freer hand in the fight against the Is­lamic State, Mr. Trump over­saw its rout in Syria and Iraq, al­low­ing him to an­nounce a with­drawal of U.S. troops from Syria, as he promised.

• He held a his­toric sum­mit on nu­clear and other is­sues with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

• He pun­ished Rus­sia for its ne­far­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing lev­el­ing new sanc­tions, ex­pelling Rus­sian in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers and sup­ply­ing Ukraine with lethal weapons.

• He suc­cess­fully rene­go­ti­ated NAFTA, and through a con­tro­ver­sial mix of car­rots and tar­iffs, brought the Euro­pean Union and the Chi­nese to the ta­ble on trade.

• He with­drew from the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship and the Paris cli­mate agree­ment to pro­tect U.S. jobs and sovereignty, au­tho­rized con­struc­tion of the Key­stone and Dakota pipe­lines, and fur­ther un­leashed the en­ergy sec­tor.

• He’s re­build­ing the na­tion’s mil­i­tary and de­fense ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Not bad for a pres­i­dent who has never done any of this be­fore. Of course, the left-wing me­dia have gone out of their way to bury these ac­com­plish­ments.

Given the new Nancy Pelosi-led Congress, Mr. Trump’s third year in of­fice may be even more chal­leng­ing. He should refuse to be dis­tracted by the things he can­not con­trol, such as Mr. Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion and daily me­dia hys­te­ria. If he fo­cuses on his agenda in­stead, he’ll achieve even greater pres­i­den­tial suc­cess, main­tain mo­men­tum and stay true to the vot­ers who put him in of­fice.

In Year Three, the pres­i­dent should:

• Do what­ever he can to en­sure the boom­ing econ­omy con­tin­ues through pro-growth tax and dereg­u­la­tory poli­cies, fur­ther lib­er­a­tion of the en­ergy sec­tor and con­tin­ual pres­sure on our trade part­ners. A strong econ­omy mutes par­ti­san war­ring. Just ask Bill Clin­ton.

• Con­tinue to chip away at Oba­macare. A fed­eral judge re­cently ruled the law un­con­sti­tu­tional. While it’s mak­ing its way through ap­peal, Mr. Trump should con­tinue to pur­sue ad­di­tional ex­ec­u­tive reme­dies, be­cause the law re­mains a ma­jor reg­u­la­tory wet blan­ket on the econ­omy.

• Build the wall. Part of his broader plan on im­mi­gra­tion re­form, the bor­der wall is the most po­tent sym­bol of his prom­ise to en­force the rule of law and the na­tion’s sovereignty, which is why he’s will­ing to stare down un­will­ing Democrats via a par­tial gov­ern­ment shut­down. In Year Three, he must make cer­tain its con­struc­tion is prop­erly funded and ramped up.

• Con­tinue re­build­ing the mil­i­tary. Mr. Trump has al­ready be­gun get­ting our forces the re­sources they need to im­prove readi­ness and ca­pa­bil­ity as they con­front ex­ist­ing and emerg­ing threats from Is­lamic fun­da­men­tal­ism to North Ko­rea’s nu­clear pro­gram to China’s in­creas­ing strate­gic and eco­nomic as­sertive­ness. A stronger mil­i­tary means a stronger Amer­ica.

• Get an in­fra­struc­ture deal. Mr. Trump has long said he wants mod­ern­iza­tion, and an in­fra­struc­ture ini­tia­tive has bi­par­ti­san sup­port. Get­ting it done would be a big eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal win for both sides, if Democrats can get over their Trump de­range­ment long enough to work with him on a deal.

• Re­move the sabo­teurs. As the anony­mous New York Times op-ed proved, the gov­ern­ment un­der Mr. Trump is still shot through with en­trenched Obama loy­al­ists and Never Trumpers, who, via dam­ag­ing leaks and flat-out re­fusals to carry out poli­cies and per­son­nel choices, have been tor­pe­do­ing his agenda. Enough al­ready. Get them out. In his first two years, Mr. Trump has ex­pe­ri­enced the un­prece­dented wrath of the rul­ing class, whose power and in­flu­ence he has gravely threat­ened. This is why in Year Three, he must con­cen­trate his ef­forts to pro­tect and ad­vance the move­ment he’s lead­ing.

This is also why the rest of us mustn’t aban­don the fight. That doesn’t mean we must agree with him on ev­ery­thing. It means we grasp what’s at stake if he fails (the re­turn of the cor­rupt stran­gle­hold of the elite rul­ing class) and if he suc­ceeds (the restora­tion of our foun­da­tional prin­ci­ples).

The Ju­nior Year of the pop­ulist rev­o­lu­tion is about to be­gin. Get ready to rum­ble.

Mr. Trump has been in of­fice long enough to fully un­der­stand why and how he’s be­ing tar­geted, and how best to check­mate the silent coup.

Mon­ica Crow­ley is a colum­nist for The Wash­ing­ton Times.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY

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