Rating President Trump’s First 2 Years
It’s 2 years in on Donald Trump’s presidency and seems like everyone’s coming out with their own 2 year report on his performance. Here’s a new broader, more comprehensive Presidential report card with a twist. It covers the key items but goes further to discuss how Trump can get an A+ rating.
If you voted for the Democrats, the ratings on President Trump you’ve read were likely ultra-negative and defamatory, perhaps laced with profanity and accusations. If you voted Republican, you may not have read anything positive. So, let’s explore that here.
Before we assess his first 2 years, we should remember just how difficult it is to turn a country around. In 2016, the US was a mess with high debt, outrageous persistent trade deficits with no end in sight, and an economy fueled only by quantitative easing.
This transition to America First means multi-national companies leveraging cheap Asian labor/manufacturing will lose and new US businesses would succeed in their place. Transition means discomfort and anger and financial losses for investment funds and the wealthy, along with humiliation for the democrats.
How Trump Rates Himself? Well, he has a different version that’s a little too rosy, but the truth is that he’s created a US economy ready to grow.
Why Trump Came to Power
I want to mention that I’m not saying I like Donald Trump, as his corrosive personality and lack of compassion are well known. And some of his comments are awful. However his mission to mend the United States for the greater good trumps all his personal faults.
Free Trade has done a lot of damage to American society. The heartland disappeared and progressively, an overspecialized business and manufacturing sphere has left whole communities vulnerable to vacating corporations. It’s like a game of monopoly. At the end, one player owns everything. And everyone else? Well it seems they just disappear.
We’re at the end of our game of Free Trade monopoly, and China won. Why Trump would be negotiating with the Chinese is somewhat of a mystery. My guess is that he is feeling sorry for these countries and that that trade with them is necessary to keep the peace and keep the America First agenda alive.
The FAANGs did well, along with other multinationals, but America had sunk to the edge of bankruptcy with no more free money to play with. Now the FAANGs are in jeopardy of being broken up, as anti-trust legislation is being reviewed.
All of America’s ills aren’t solved, but he’s only been in office 24 months. If I’m critical of Trump, it’s because he isn’t defending himself and winning the media war. He should read a copy of Sun Tzu’s Art of War and become a quiet strategist.
A Miserable Job but Someone Has to Do It
In a Howard Stern interview years ago, Stern questioned Trump about why he’d want such an awful, thankless job at his age. He just felt something had to be done. He wanted to turn the country around.
“It’s a very difficult job,” the radio personality said. “And Donald Trump, he really does want to be loved … and that drives him a lot. I think that he has a very sensitive ego, and when you’re president, people are going to be very, very critical.… I do think he’s sincere in wanting to help out and I think he’s sincere when he says he has the answers, but he stepped into a situation that’s really not a win for him.” — Howard Stern in US Magazine Interview
Yet is Howard Stern credible regarding anything. Saying love drives President Trump. Trump is on a business mission, he loves a messy fight and he thrives in a high friction environment.
However, the multinational corporations and their politicians won’t stand for change. Corporate Stock values and pension funds are affected and all their investments in foreign operations would be lost. The wealthy are very angry about this protection of America from foreign predation.
The loss to the democrats in the midterms revealed to Trump himself that his tactical defense against the Dem’s big media propaganda machine didn’t work. Now the US has a divided government and the resurgent Dems will oppose anything he wants. And as a lame duck President, he’s probably feeling foolish that his micro-battles with the Dems on Twitter and Dem’s media channels have left his term in jeopardy.
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting — Sun Tzu, the Art of War
So let’s examine his first two years while acknowledging his party’s aims as well as his enemy’s intent.
The Economy: A+. The main item. Record jobs creation (250,000+ last month), booming GDP means prosperity, paying back debts, and easing numbers of those on welfare, and jobs for the chronically unemployed who only get jobs during booms. Huge suffering across America has eased. He’s not being tough enough on the Fed who may bring this American resurgence to a shuddering halt.
Support of American Business: A+. Before he came into office, new business formation in the US had hit an all time low. It had been crushed. Now with Tariffs and tax breaks, US business startups have enough protection to get off the ground. China has said it will gladly pay the tariffs and keep the pressure on. With manufacturing coming back to the US, and intellectual property protected, US companies will become unusually strong. He needs to provide more incentives for any companies which bring jobs back to the US and tie tax breaks to those actions.
Deregulation: A+. With 12 regulations ended for every one created, this is one area of resounding success. Regulations were strangling US business. Trump saw this as part of the multinational corporate plan to make investment overseas more attractive. With regulations out of the way, investment is returning.
Tax Reform: A+. Trump couldn’t get Obamacare repealed, but the tax cuts he engineered have boosted investment, business, and stock market performance. US stocks are the ones to watch and buy in the next few years. The new 10% tax cut for middle class Americans is a nice incentive to make Americans happy.
Draining the Swamp: F. Although a big part of his campaign, the Democrats and bureaucrats have survived to cause him much pain. If he’d more tactful, and avoided hand to hand combat with the Dems, voters would have sympathized and got rid of them.
Support of American Culture: B. Flush with cash, creative Americans are finding new opportunities to express themselves and even make their creations available commercially. Starving artists just might be eating again.
National Debt and Trade Deficits: B. Trump is spending up a storm and giving big tax cuts. That means adding to Obama’s nightmarish debt totals. Yet Trump has taken on a financial mess and needs cash to repair things. He’s waited to January 1st to apply tariffs, but that’s given corporations 3 months to import like crazy. It’s made the recent numbers look bad, and the Dems have exploited that in their propaganda.
Trade Relations and Negotiations B+. He’s represented the Pro American position well and avoided alienating farmers, and US commodity producers, and gave unfair trade partners tariffs. He took a strong stance against predatory trade partners such as China and was transparent about his motives – protecting Americans.
Social Sensitivity: C-. Trump’s rigid, conflicted personality rubs a lot of people the wrong way. His tone toward the various special interest groups and his insensitive statements about people, ends up in him handing over voters who would never otherwise vote for Democrats. Not smart. The Dems know he’s touchy, which is why they attack even harder.
Leadership/Surmounting Hurdles: A+. This is where Donald Trump succeeds. He sawed through regulations and carried the nation to start the job creation process. He fought tenaciously with the Dems and saboteurs on his own team. All this while being attacked daily in the media. He made tough decisions, despite details, and followed through.
National Infrastructure: C. This is so costly it might never get done. Obama could have done it twice over, but gave the money away instead. Yet Trump needs to point out the awesome infrastructure improvements in China and indicate how America can rebuild its sewers, roads, utilities, and more for the new digital era. This highlights China’s unfair advantage, US trade deficit, and gives justification for “Make America Great Again.” The Dems want to avoid the image of China’s bounty.
National Strategy: B-. Trump’s not a strategist and he probably doesn’t know where this is going or what threats will pop up in his path. He’s got faith that prosperity will win out and solve all social and political problems. His focus on winning today’s battles with reporters and petty democrats distracts him from winning the war. The Twitter battles just help the Dems trash him 24 hours a day.
Defending Attacks from Opposition Party: C. Trump’s just not eloquent and he’s unable to counter the endless spew of negative propaganda and unfounded accusations the Dems are pushing out. The term fake news conveys almost no meaningful weight. The Dems have billionaire support and ad revenue generated from anti-Trump news to maintain an intense attack which has been excessively vile and defamatory. He hasn’t assessed the Dem’s strategy and created a viable defense or counter attack to the degree that matches theirs. Sun Tzu would give Donald an F.
Relations with the People: C. He couldn’t smooth talk anyone and the noise he creates helps the Dems hide their intent. He’s so direct and his tactless rebuttals of Dem attacks cause people to think he’s awful. Some of his claims are off the mark, and the more the Dems attack and defame him, the more ammunition and uproar they receive back from him. His lack of a cohesive communications plan is a big reason he lost the midterms.
National Security: A. The world is quiet and US enemies aren’t interested in attacking the US anymore. They know Trump will enter their country and get them. Obama was tough on immigrants but Trump is trying to take it higher.
A Cohesive Communications Strategy that Puts the Spotlight on What The Dems’ Intend
President Trump’s biggest weakness is inability to stop the Dems from trashing him 24 hours a day. The vote shows this media coverage did generate votes for the Dems. They’ll just do more of it. His remarks of fake news and bad media aren’t specific enough to generate enough impact. He looks weak and vulnerable in the face of attacks from his enemies.
To keep America great, he needs to force the Dems to discuss what they don’t want to and to tell the public what the Democrats really want. For each thing he gives the Dems, it exposes their real agenda publicly and once in the public spotlight, they must answer to the people.
Next he could ask Democrats to specify publicly how they would deal with illegal immigration, creating jobs, cutting deficits, and all the things they’ve criticized him for. If they want his statement, they must provide their own first.
The Dems have to accept the offers or look like hypocrites. Each carrot they accept exposes their real agenda, which they do not want to go public. In this way, Trump draws them into the open, in the spotlight, fully exposed. He can win the war with no battles.
This video produced on Donald Trump’s blog is a better route. His blog posts present the issues and his work in a much more calm manner.
Report on the Democratic Party
Rating: B. The Dems have carried out a vicious, premeditated, and personal attack against Trump and painted it as Patriotic benevolence for the people of the world. It’s devious and well planned and fairly effective.
However, by saying Trump controls the state of everything, they’ve unwittingly made him look very powerful and godlike. He could now leverage that to become the bad God who became the good God. Their brilliant strategy is leading to a hole in the ground.
They’ve catered to every possible opportunity to tie any negative event to Trump, and the 24 hour obsessive media trashing has made them look petty and vindictive. Trump can exploit that if he wishes.
The Party with No Platform (other than anti-Trump)
The dems have garnered billions of propaganda dollars to spend and yet no one really knows what they want or what their intent is. Just a bunch of bandwagons camping around the next cause or event.
Will they send jobs back to China and resume their intense deficit spending if they got back in 2020? Where will tax dollars come from if Asia is making all the money? Why don’t they have a real leader? Is this a party Americans can vote for after the despicable way they’ve campaigned via their owned media?
While Obama talked tough on immigrants, the Dems continue to trash Trump about preventing illegal immigration. Trump has positioned himself as pro America and if he rallies around that overall strategy, he will gain support again. Responding to Dem’s attacks makes him look weak and unfocused. By remaining silent, the Dems would lose all energy.
The big issue for the Dems is if they represent the multinational corporations and their tax evasion and profits using cheap Asian labor markets and illegal technology transfer, is how they can send it all back to Asia? They have a media news monopoly and know they can persuade the population, but by 2020 it will be too late. They’d be a party with no purpose, no sail, no rudder, and all they could do is take over Trump’s ghost ship after 4 years of bombing it. How embarrassing.