If you wanted to celebrate Donald Trump’s first full year in office, there are a number of ways you could go about it. You could talk about how he presided over one of the most remarkable economic boom periods in recent American memory, all but erasing the stain of the Great Recession. You could talk about how he let the military loose on ISIS, finally destroying the last remnants of their so-called Caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Or you could talk about the recently-passed tax reform bill, which will give millions of Americans immediate, important relief from the long arm of the IRS. You could even start and stop with the nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, which may ultimately be the greatest, longest-lasting gift the Trump presidency bestows on this nation.
But you could also come at it another way. You could also talk about what could reasonably be called the central theme of Trump’s first year: Turning the country away from the destructive, socialist path that Barack Obama had us on for eight long years. Because make no mistake about it, this was the emergency that made Trump’s election so immediately necessary. He alone, of the 17 Republican candidates, understood the drastic measures we needed to take as a nation to turn the ship around. He alone understood that we were a cruise ship headed for an iceberg; a small conservative adjustment here or there just wasn’t going to get it.
As president, Trump has proven that it wasn’t just campaign rhetoric, red meat for the base. He has governed like he said he would and he has devoted much of his first year in the White House to systematically dismantling everything that Obama built.
While he failed to make the repeal of Obamacare happen, he did successfully manage the tax reform bill, which stripped the Affordable Care Act of the individual mandate – the least popular part of the healthcare legislation. Additionally, he scrapped Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate, freeing religious employers from the anti-faith burdens that the health insurance law imposed on them.
On homeland security, Trump has been even more ferocious in his opposition to the Obama agenda. He capped refugee admissions, banned entrants from six dangerous countries, and increased border security and migrant vetting processes. Perhaps even more importantly, he has refused to tell the American people a lie about the religion of Islam – that it is a peaceful, harmless religion that has simply been hijacked by a handful of whackos. He knows that isn’t true just as Obama knew it wasn’t true. The difference is that Trump isn’t afraid to say it.
Regulations – that’s where Trump’s anti-Obama agenda has really shined. In education, energy, finance, and the environment, Trump has taken an axe to the long list of regulations imposed by the Obama administration, moves that have diminished the size and power of the federal government for the good of the free market.
We’re only one year in, and anyone so-called NeverTrump conservative that still thinks we should have elected Hillary Clinton should be taken out back and beaten about the shoulders and ears with a stick. Last November, this nation was at a Point of No Return moment. Hillary’s election would have sent us careening past it, ensuring that we would never again be the land of great opportunity and boundless freedom our charter promises. We’re not out of treacherous waters yet, but Trump has a firm hand on the wheel. If we can get past the 2018 midterms without succumbing to disaster, we may actually pass a country worth saving to our descendants.