“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” “Don’t put the cart before the horse.” “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”
Or how about, “Don’t measure the drapes before you win the White House”, and, “Don’t shop for China patterns before you need the plates.”
These sayings are typically included as cautionary warnings against overconfidence by ambitious politicians running for president, and for most candidates, temper the boastful predictions and prognostications of success that would come back to haunt them if and when events don’t play out the way the hopeful figured they would.
Republican presidential horserace frontrunner Donald Trump has likely heard these or similar caveats before, but the urge to slow down or moderate his message has never entered the man’s brain. Trump is campaigning these days like he’s secured the GOP nomination before a single vote has been cast, and he’s spoken as though he’s about to set foot in his former residence (1600 Pennsylvania Ave.) and is primed to resume work on the MAGA agenda like 2020 never happened. Is Trump’s supreme confidence misplaced?
“Former President Donald Trump is sketching out a second-term agenda on the campaign trail that includes reversing President Biden’s policies, finishing business from his first term and pursuing some outside-the-box ventures such as establishing ‘freedom cities’ across the U.S.
“Mr. Trump promises to have the Midas touch to bolster the economy, end foreign conflicts and win the culture wars. But Job No. 1 if he returns to the White House will be undoing the Biden agenda that he blames for scarring nearly every aspect of American life and plunging the world into chaos...
“Outlining his vision at campaign stops across the country, Mr. Trump promises to build on what he calls the best presidency in modern history. According to Mr. Trump, there would have been no conflict between Ukraine and Russia and there would have been no attack on Israel if he was still in the White House. And there would have been no inflation surge, interest rate hikes, or migrant crisis on the southern border.”
Most conservatives would nod their heads in agreement that Trump’s presidency was a success from a policy standpoint, but it wasn’t without its struggles. Political candidates of all stripes make promises that are longshots to fulfill and offer ideas that probably will never see the light of day, but it’s the prerogative of the likely GOP nominee to say pretty much whatever he wants these days. McLaughlin’s report contained many of Trump’s ideas, and they’re certainly worth considering, including the plan to build new cities and to “reopen the frontier, reignite American imagination and give hundreds of thousands of young people and other people — all hardworking families — a new shot at home ownership and in fact the American dream.”
That’s a lot to get done in four years and would require enormous cooperation from Congress and the federal department heads and bureaucracy, which is hardly guaranteed much less a possibility. Nonetheless, it’s refreshing to see a political leader with real vision rather than the elitist governing class relentlessly bombarding Americans with doom talk about racism, “climate change” and “woke” cultural nonsense about “rights denied” and “restoring the soul of America.”
Today’s awful “Evil Party” Democrats certainly supply Republican presidential candidates with plenty of topics to broach on the trail, and there’s no shortage of policy reversals in store if Trump does win the privilege of signing documents from the Resolute Desk again.
I think even the most skeptical observer would concede that the issue stars are aligning for Trump at just the right time. First and foremost, the plague of illegal immigration has become so onerous that even the Democrat mind-controlled and maneuvered establishment media regularly features the conundrum as blue city after blue city fills to capacity with aliens climbing off of buses (from red states) only to find the places already chock full of newcomers who barely have anything except for the clothes on their backs.
In times past, Democrats could get away with droning on about “compassion” for the oppressed (a.k.a., illegal aliens) who aren’t really fleeing from government (theirs) as much as they’re running to a government which will not only not send them home, they’ll be provided flights and rides to get there – and once on the ground, treated to basic necessities and opportunities they could’ve never dreamed of before. Meanwhile, the criminal Mexican cartels have shifted much of their focus from drug trading to human trafficking, charging thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to smuggle their “clients” into the promised land to the north.
Trump seized on the illegal immigration issue in 2016 and knowingly tapped into the pulse of the conservative Republican base, voters who’d been lied to for decades by the likes of GOP establishment candidates such as George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain (the “Maverick” who’d never met an open borders policy he didn’t embrace) and lastly, Mitt Romney, the flip-flopping blueblood who claimed he’d never hired illegal aliens and then took back the assurances.
In 2016, Trump figured he could draw attention by deviating from the ruling class – instead of suggesting that illegal aliens come here solely to work and raise their families (something Jeb(!) Bush labeled an “Act of Love”), Trump demanded stepped up vetting of Muslim refugees from war torn regions and to build a wall along the southern border. The policies (if not the words) resonated with rank-and-file voters, propelling the first-time politician to the lead in the GOP horserace polls, an advantage he never surrendered.
Trump fiercely battled with Congress during his four-year term to get the legislators to do something to stem the flow and was stymied at every attempt, finally using executive authority to initiate construction on the wall and to institute new measures for enforcing the law. Trump wasn’t perfect – Mexico didn’t pay for the wall – but he set the correct tone for dealing with the inflow of humanity that has now become a major national security threat.
No one’s talking about sad-eyed alien children being locked up in “cages” any longer; no, the fact that hordes of military-aged males from enemy countries are all-but being allowed in to our nation and permitted to roam virtually unmonitored is gaining more attention. As conservative bomb thrower Kurt Schlichter wrote on Monday, these dormant terrorists will make themselves known at some point, and when they do, the current policy makers will have to answer for the destruction they shrunk from preventing.
In addition to the horrible condition of the border, crises abroad are also seemingly right in Trump’s so-called issue “wheel house”. Whether he’s credited for it or not, Trump’s Middle East policy paid dividends during his tenure, with the Abraham Accords strengthening Israel’s security vis-à-vis its Arab neighbors and weakening Iran’s ability to foment war and death at the same time. Trump brags that he could end the Russia/Ukraine war in one day, which may be a bit of an exaggeration, but his election would certainly bring about a change in urgency towards that end.
Trump also turns heads by promising to return to realistic energy production policies that will mean increased tax revenue for the federal government while also serving to re-fill the national petroleum reserve and lower the price of oil worldwide. This equates to less money flowing into the coffers of evil tyrants in Russia and Iran, of all places. Not to mention, lower energy costs benefit everyone, most of all, poor and middle-income Americans. More coin in Americans’ pockets will lead to increased private business activity – more jobs and, again, more tax revenue.
If there are any drawbacks to Trump’s messaging, and I could be mistaken, but to my knowledge, Trump has not spoken about the need to drastically reduce the size of government, nor has he touched on dramatically cutting federal spending. Promises to cut programs invariably ignite howls of protest from potentially impacted industry lobbyists – Cut defense spending? Where’s Lindsey Graham when we need him? – but the subject needs to be addressed.
Plus, Trump’s Republican rivals have hit him for the extraordinary boost in government spending during his first term, and it’s a legitimate concern for many weighing whether to give him a second shot at budgeting and planning. Trump and the others speak on their intention to defund the federal justice department or cut funding for certain aspects of federal law enforcement (FBI targeting American citizens), but such reductions would face fierce resistance in Congress and from blue state governments.
In making such bold proposals, is Trump putting the cart before the horse, or counting his chickens before they hatch?
I don’t think that’s the case with Trump. The lifelong real estate developer and reality TV celebrity views Washington and the political process differently than other politicians and sees opportunities and openings rather than roadblocks and limitations like career swamp dwellers would do. Why give up before you even try? By doing so, Trump forces folks to look towards the indefinite future rather than focusing on everything that’s wrong now.
Not all political problems have a government solution and not all leaders are capable of laying out a “vision”, but it’s good to see the likely Republican presidential nominee presenting the MAGA agenda items he’d pursue if he’s elected president again. The establishment media wants sensation and trials and pictures of Trump before the judge. Americans want ideas. Which will win out?
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