After given all the political fervor of 2018, Americans may easily lose sight of the policy achievements of the past 12 months. So, before bidding the year goodbye, consider these impressive accomplishments of President Trump:
- Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court – As messy and unfair as the process was, his confirmation secures another conservative jurist with an originalist constitutional approach and a restrained view of judicial power. The untimely death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016 crystalized for many voters the danger of allowing Hillary Clinton to fill that seat. With Neil Gorsuch and Kavanaugh in place, Trump has kept his promise to remake the high court with young, conservative thinkers.
- Confronting China – Much of the heartland anxiety that vaulted Trump into the Oval Office emanates directly from the abusive economic warfare waged by China for decades against the United States. At long last, those workers find a champion in Donald Trump, who slapped serious tariffs upon Beijing and finally forced the regime to negotiate fairly. America now embraces its strong bargaining position and demands reciprocity in trade and an end to rampant industrial theft and piracy.
- Middle-Class Wages Rise – Incomes in general soared in 2018, with average hourly earnings finally eclipsing 3 percent growth for the first time since before the Great Recession. The news is even better for blue-collar workers, who now realize wage growth above that of white-collar workers for the first time in nearly a decade.
- U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Deal – Trump proved that America welcomes equitable global commerce by cementing a badly needed modernization of NAFTA. The USMCA provides a template for other such trade pacts and effectively isolates China’s increasingly untenable posture.
- Ending the Iran Nuclear Deal – Gone are the days of coddling the mullahs who have terrorized America and our allies for decades. Instead of counting the billions of dollars of cash sent via secret nighttime flights by the Obama administration, the Tehran regime now faces a U.S. leadership determined to thwart its tyranny and prevent its nuclearization.
- Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem – Trump proved once again how differently he governs compared to Washington norms. Past presidents promised for decades to make this move and U.S. law has required it since 1995, but only President Trump made good on his pledge, honored our ally, and recognized the obvious reality that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel.
- Smashing the ISIS Caliphate and Exiting Syria – Unlike his predecessor, who haughtily dismissed and ignored the ISIS threat as terrorists’ “JV team,” President Trump smartly dispatched limited U.S. troops to help our partners erase the territorial caliphate that had inflicted unspeakable human rights abuses. Just as importantly, Trump also announced the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, placing the primary burden for ongoing stability upon regional powers Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. This president will not repeat the disastrous nation-building mistakes of Presidents Bush and Obama.
- Increasing Minority Jobs – If Trump is actually racist, as biased mainstream media “journalists” often claim, he’s remarkably bad at it, because people of color have thrived under the pro-growth policies of the Trump Boom. Black joblessness in 2018 reached the lowest levels ever recorded. For Hispanics, in history there have been a total of 14 months with a jobless rate under 5 percent — and 13 of those months have unfolded under the leadership of President Trump. Small business dynamism is particularly crucial for minority advancement, and small business surveys report optimism among entrepreneurs at record highs in 2018.
- Holding the Line with Migrant Caravans – In the face of continual demagoguery from liberal politicians and their allies in the legacy media, President Trump took a tough and principled stance against would-be trespassers. Lawless caravans assault our sovereignty and abuse our generous asylum statutes. Such provocations validate the need for a border wall along with reforms to immigration laws.
- Record American Oil Production – In 2018, the U.S. surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of crude oil. Through aggressive regulatory relief and pro-energy moves like green-lighting the Keystone XL pipeline, President Trump paved the way for an independent energy future.
There were missteps, to be sure. For example, the Helsinki press conference with Vladimir Putin belied the normally assertive Trump. Still, good news abounded in 2018 as America reaped the benefits of a commander-in-chief committed to restoring the greatness of our republic. The intelligentsia of the permanent political class may howl, and complicit pseudo-journalists will balk, but the reality of the Trump track record reveals a country growing in prosperity and security.