By PERRY HOOPER, Jr.
President Donald J. Trump approached 2018 just as he did 2017–fulfilling campaign promises and meeting new challenges head on. Here are some of his major accomplishments for the year:
- Confronting China – Much of the heartland anxiety that vaulted Trump into the Oval Office can be directly attributed to the abusive economic warfare waged for decades against the United States by China. No president, since the Chinese were allowed to join the World Trade Organization, has had the intestinal fortitude to confront China head-on until the election of Donald J. Trump. At long last American Workers have a champion in President 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 the theft of our intellectual property.
- Rebuilding our Military – President Trump fulfilled yet another campaign promise in signing into law a defense bill that authorizes the building of hundreds of new planes, ships and tanks. The law adds thousands of troops to the size of the military, raises pay, modernizes the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and lays the groundwork for Mr. Trump’s proposed “Space Force”, in what the president called “the most significant investment in our military and in our war fighters in modern history.”
- Trump’s Historic Impact on the Federal Judiciary – As horrific as the process was, the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh secures another conservative jurist with an original, constitutional approach and a restrained view of judicial power. With Neil Gorsuch and Kavanaugh in place, President Trump has kept his promise to remake the high court with young, conservative thinkers set to influence the Supreme Court for generations. He is also reshaping the federal judiciary by continuing to have federal judges confirmed at a record pace — 30 appeals court judges and 53 district court judges, all lifetime appointments.
- 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.
- Middle-Class Wages Increase, Unemployment Falls, and Optimism Rises – Incomes in general soared in 2018, with average hourly earnings finally eclipsing a three 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. African American 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–13 of those months have unfolded under the leadership of President Trump.
- Progress with North Korea – Since the cease fire, nine different US presidents tried to stifle North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and failed. In an historic summit President Trump and President Kim Jong-un signed an historic joint statement that marked the beginning of a process for North Korea’s complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization. Progress on other issues should soon follow, such as improvement in human rights and political reform, economic openness, and perhaps even reunification with South Korea.
- 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 confront its tyranny and prevent its nuclearization.
- Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem – Trump proved once again how different he is than past presidents who promised on the campaign trail to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem as required by US law since 1995–only President Trump made good on his pledge. He honored our ally, and recognized the obvious reality that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel.
- Smashing the ISIS Caliphate – 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.
- Holding the Line with Migrant Caravans – In the face of continual demagoguery from liberal politicians and their allies in the 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.
What am I predicting for 2019? One thing we can count on is that Trump will continue to be Trump, overturning the tables of the temple of the establishment much to the chagrin of the left and the delight of everyday Americans.
My new year’s resolution for the Senate, The White House, and the Democratically controlled House is that they take the “high road” and work together to continue to make America Great Again!
Perry Hooper is a former State Representative from Montgomery who serves on the Alabama Republican Party Executive Committee. In 2016 he chaired Alabama’s Trump Victory campaign.