A New GOP Future — Beyond President Trump
“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”
The Congressional Budget Office now projects that economic recovery in 2021 will be faster than it predicted last July. It projects that the economy will be back to its pre-pandemic levels by mid-2021. This very good news reflects the fact that the economic turndown was not as severe as the CBO had expected, and that the recovery was stronger than expected.
Former President Donald Trump, recently rejected for reelection by American voters, can take full credit for this.
These are the dividends of the strong economy that the Trump administration put in place through well-directed tax cuts and deregulation.
Let’s again recall that last September, 55% of Americans told Gallup that they were “better off now” than they were four years ago. This is the highest percentage since Gallup first asked the question in 1984.
Most astounding is that this question was asked in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Yet, most still saw themselves better off than four years earlier.
Across the board, the Trump presidency was transformational and indeed went a long way to “make America great again.”
Among many important accomplishments, Trump departed leaving an economy much stronger than the one he inherited, likewise with our court system and the support received by the pro-life movement to end abortion.
It is also essential to note how he remarkably achieved peace accords in the Middle East that no one ever dreamed possible.
That there are peace accords between Israel and a lineup of Arab and Muslim countries — the most recent announcement coming from Kosovo, a majority-Muslim Balkan nation, which has announced its intent to open an embassy in Jerusalem — is mind-boggling.
We might say that just as Donald Trump defied convention in getting elected to the presidency, he defied convention in failing to get reelected.
Despite tangible and meaningful achievements, Trump departed with an approval rating of 34% and was the first president in history to not crack a 50% approval rating for the duration of his presidency. I will leave it to others to speculate why President Trump failed to connect with sufficient numbers of American voters, despite a presidency of remarkable achievement.
One obvious answer is a decidedly left-leaning and hostile media.
Certainly, President Trump must take some credit for this failure with voters because of his personal style, which, to say the least, is not always the most endearing to those who are not already on board with him.
The extraordinarily strong Republican showing in House elections, with Republicans picking up 13 seats, enforces the sense that the repudiation of Donald Trump in the presidential election was not a repudiation of his policies and accomplishments but rather a personal repudiation.
The question is: What now for the Republican Party? How does the party pick up the pieces, regroup, refocus and advance forward once again?
I would suggest more focus on what, rather than who.
Republicans need to get the discussion back on agenda and away from personalities.
President Trump was taking America in the right direction. That direction, refocusing on the core principles that indeed made American great to begin with, is certainly the place to start: limited government, capitalism, sanctity of life, faithfulness to our Constitution and the rule of law.
As our national debt spins out of control, and as our new government, which thinks it can print and borrow money to no end, clamps down on business and individual freedom, America will again start down the wrong path that President Trump worked hard to get us off of.
As Republicans regroup, I think of the words often attributed to General MacArthur: “We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”
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