2017 is coming to a close, and it has been a wild year. With the new year comes the annual tradition of making resolutions. While many resolutions don’t last past February, they are usually meant to help fix our lives in some way. In that spirit, there are several resolutions America’s leaders should take that would do our country some good in 2018.
There was a lot to be skeptical about President Trump when he took office, but it has been a pleasant surprise that he has answered to at least some of those concerns.
One of the most serious concerns was that he was going to be soft with Russia. The claims of collusion were always hyper-exaggerated, but there was no denying that Trump had a soft spot for Russia and Vladimir Putin. Thus far, surprisingly, Trump has been tougher on Russia than Obama. He ordered the bombing of a Syrian airbase in April in response to Assad’s latest chemical weapons attack and recently approved the sale of lethal aid to Ukraine, including Javelin anti-tank missiles.
However, there are still two resolutions the President should make for the coming year.
First, he needs to ditch his wrongheaded approach to trade. Not only is protectionism the policy of the economically illiterate, but it needlessly irritates our friends and allies.
Secondly, he needs to change the way he gets his message across.
Trump arguably had a very good 2017 on the policy front. He appointed many conservative judges to the bench, cut bureaucratic regulations, passed tax reform, and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is also without a doubt the most pleasant surprise from the Trump Administration and has done a tremendous job standing up for American sovereignty in the UN.
Trump loses all of this when he goes on Twitter or speaks off-script. Attacking private citizens or calling for them to be fired is not something any President should do.
Trump should resolve to start behaving like a dignified President, and he will surely see his approval ratings go up. When he says something stupid or outrageous, it hurts him, no matter how much the red hat wearing crowd wants to believe otherwise. It is hard to win re-election with an approval rating in the thirties–especially when Hillary Clinton will not be on the ballot again in 2020.
Some of us have become so cynical when dealing with Congressional Republicans that we expect them to fail at progressing any sort of conservative agenda. The passage of tax reform, therefore, was a pleasant surprise. It was a good, but not great, start at fixing the country’s tax system.
2018 is an election year, so getting any big piece of legislation passed is going to be difficult. But Republicans need to finish what tax reform started. Cutting taxes is easy, cutting spending is a little more difficult, but reforming entitlements is even harder than that. While tax reform may have repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate, the crushing premium-raising regulations still remain. With Trump signaling that he is ready to move on from Obamacare, Republicans need to remember their eight years of promises on that issue, as well.
2017 may have been the year the media finally outed itself. It joined the so-called “resistance,” complete with sarcastic chyrons and loads of “fake news” about Trump, Trump Jr., Michael Flynn, and Jeff Sessions. From Brian Ross to CNN, the media seemed to confirm everything Trump said about them. Though Donald Trump’s treatment of the media has been wrong in many ways, the media’s treatment of Donald Trump has also been quite inappropriate. These are not mutually exclusive statements.
Journalists should try to get their reporting right. The very fact that this needs to be said is a sad indictment of journalism and the American media. It will be easier to take the media’s criticisms of Trump more seriously if they stop acting like an arm of the Democratic Party.
Hollywood, Government, and Media Personalities
If 2016 was the year of celebrity deaths, 2017 was the year of the sexual harassment scandal. Many actors and producers in Hollywood, politicians, media personalities, and corporate executives were outed as sexual deviants.
For 2018, please keep it in your pants, and keep your hands to yourself.