WASHINGTON, February 2, 2017 — After just two weeks in office, President Trump’s actions have sparked angry protests, but are viewed favorably by his supporters. The media coverage is overwhelmingly negative, but Trump’s supporters remain unfazed.
Trump’s most provocative act so far is probably the executive order imposing restrictions on immigration from seven countries whose failed governments put them at high risk of harboring terrorists. Those countries are predominantly Muslim, and Trump’s opponents claim that the restrictions therefor target Muslims. Some people negatively affected by Trump’s order have let politicians and the media exploit their stories, inciting further protest.
Trump’s supporters are delighted with his executive order. Our borders have not been secure, raising the threat of new terrorism. Seeing an urgent threat and unwilling to wait for Congress to act, Trump followed the Obama example and acted quickly and unilaterally.
The downside of speed was rocky implementation, provoking harsh criticism from both sides of the aisle. The benefit, however, was that it addressed an immediate problem immediately. The American people didn’t have to wait months or longer for Congress to deal with the issue.
Trump concluded that the benefit of this order outweighed the political cost. He did just as he promised, and his supporters are glad that he did.
This week, also as promised, Trump nominated a highly respected Circuit Court judge to the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. That seat was left open by the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the most distinguished Justices in recent memory. Trump told his supporters last year that he would select a judge in the same mold as Scalia. He delivered brilliantly with Judge Neil Gorsuch, one of the judges on the list of judges he released during the presidential campaign.
Gorsuch fits the Scalia mold. He seems a bit more compassionate than Scalia, but like his predecessor, he has impeccable records in academia and on the bench. His opinions have been highly praised for the clarity of his legal reasoning and writing.
It is difficult to see how anyone could object to Gorsuch, but many Democrats do, even though Senate Democrats unanimously supported his earlier nomination to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Some senators who oppose President Trump will nonetheless find a way not to vote for Gorsuch. If they unite, they could conceivably keep Gorsuch from being confirmed. That’s likely to be the case if Republican senators don’t change the filibuster rule to permit his confirmation by a simple majority, that is, the “nuclear option” which was first triggered by former Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Trump promised his supporters that he would surround himself with a cabinet and advisors who would regard American interests as their primary, though not necessarily their sole objective. Many Trump supporters believe that the Obama administration routinely put other nations’ interests ahead of America’s.
Trump’s cabinet picks fit the bill. Each Trump pick has had a successful career and history of getting things accomplished, almost all in the private sector, experience that Obama’s top picks sorely lacked. This is what Trump’s supporters want: people who can get things done instead of wallowing in political correctness, supporting bureaucratic imperatives and following the establishment’s often counterproductive rules.
Trump’s toughness with friend and foe is not meant to alienate, but rather to emphasize that under his administration, America’s foreign policy will support this country’s traditional stance of peace through strength. The first step in this direction is to restore this country’s armed might. That means not only building up the military, but also taking stronger policy positions with foreign countries, especially if it appears that a country has taken advantage of the U.S.
Trump believes that many of President Obama’s diplomatic deals did not put American interests first. He believes the U.S. is indeed being taken advantage of, and he won’t have this situation continue any longer. He is taking a much stronger, pro-American position, which is exactly what his supporters want.
Some of the behavior of Congressional Democrats has been logically baffling. They refuse even to attend important hearings and skip key votes on cabinet members. Through their allies in the mainstream media, they popularize the plight of the small number of people adversely affected by the executive order on immigration, and they encourage protests and the damaging riots that currently seem to go hand in hand with these activities.
The Democrats need to promote a more positive message, but the country has yet to hear it.
But, for those deplorable Americans who voted Trump into office, things are going very well indeed.
*Cartoon by Branco. Reproduced with permission and by arrangement with LegalInsurrection.