“Trump and Republicans haven’t done anything!”
We see that refrain constantly on our Facebook and Twitter feeds, and it is driven by a hostile media that hyper-focuses on Russia largely to the exclusion of other real stories regarding the Trump administration. It doesn’t help that Congress seems incapable of doing with Obamacare what they did for six years — vote to repeal it — or that Trump helps the media stay distracted with his Twitter feed.
But it is a false narrative, falsely promoted.
This is not a Trump apologist article. He’s made his mistakes, and undoubtedly will make more. But this is an attempt to honestly lay out context, with basic facts and some data points, that show what Trump is actually doing in the office of President.
And it’s not at all what you would expect based on media coverage. In fact, it turns out that Trump is right in line regarding signed legislation with modern presidents and actually a little ahead of President Obama and well ahead of President Bush — with the caveat that there are not as many major pieces of legislation as Obama’s first six months.
Of course the problem with this kind of purposely unbalanced coverage is that it drives Trump’s poll numbers into the toilet. Frankly, it’s astonishing they are as good as they are — and they’re not good — when you look at not only what is being reported, but what isn’t.
So let’s take a look at what has been given short shrift.
Trump Twitter forces an admission
As is fairly common, Trump’s Twitter account drives a lot of news cycles. A recent Trump tweet claimed he’d passed the most legislation in history. Well the media fell all over themselves to point out that this was not true, because this was not true and easily proven.
However, most Democrats and many in the media continually say that he is in trouble with his base because he’s not getting anything done — which is different. Of course, they’re actually hoping he is in trouble with his base, but he’s probably not. His base is looking at Congress and the media as the problem.
The Boston Globe, like hundreds of other newspapers, wrote a big story to knock down the Trump Twitter claim. And even in that endeavor, they were forced to write:
“Among recent presidents, both the total number of bills he signed and the legislation’s substance make Trump about average.”
Not what your average Democrat, or maybe even many other Americans, think. Good for the Globe for including it.
So in the big picture, Trump is actually not outside the norm in getting things done when compared to other modern presidents at this point in their presidencies. He doesn’t have many big legislative accomplishments — specifically not ridding the healthcare system of the poison of Obamacare — but has done a lot of smaller things that will have strong impacts.
Plenty of accomplishments in six months
Here’s a topical breakdown of what Trump has accomplished in his first six months:
- Energy: Approving the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines and pulling out of Paris Climate Accords were both good for working Americans. These will combine to reduce energy costs for all Americans and provide tens of thousands of above-average American jobs.
- Military: Beginning the long and arduous task of rebuilding our military, which his predecessor used and abused by dramatically underfunding. Obviously the American military is crucial to American security, and Trump’s budget added $54 billion to the budget. It’s not enough, but it’s a start.
- Foreign: Re-establishing defenses for our allies in Eastern Europe against Russian threats and bullying; increasing military pressure on ISIS, which is in full retreat; re-establishing trust with our strongest allies in Great Britain and Israel.
- Courts: Installing Justice Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and nominating dozens of great judges to federal court positions, which obstructionist Democrats are blocking in their entirety. The courts are exerting an outsized influence on American laws now and so this is a critically important area.
- Border: Ending the ridiculous catch-and-release policy for people caught illegally crossing the border; starting on building the wall; increasing illegal immigration arrests by 38 percent and reducing illegal border crossings by 73 percent; signing Kate’s Law to increase penalties on previously deported criminals.
- Government: Firing 500 people in the malfunctioning and just gosh-awful Department of Veterans Affairs; Eliminating burdensome regulations that smother businesses, particularly through the EPA that makes everything more expensive for Americans; re-starting NASA with its first budget in six years at $19.5 billion; repopulating Gitmo with our most dangerous enemies, rather than releasing enemy terrorists to go back into the field against us.
There is a long, long ways to go for President Trump and his promises. But despite the dysfunction in Washington, D.C., including the lopsided media coverage, Trump is doing a far better job so far in keeping his promises than most Americans realize.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.