Once again I find Zanesville, Ohio, right where I left it.
Zanesville is a great place. Nestled in the edge of the Appalachian foothills, it’s a small town of big trees, plenty of deer and turkeys on the hillsides, the nation’s only remaining Y bridge and a whole lot of salt of the earth, solid flyover country folks. This is a flying trip, in Tuesday, out Friday, to be followed by… Well, I don’t know yet. Possibilities include North Carolina, Indiana and Japan. You never know what’s next in this business.
Moving right along: The always-worth-reading Dr. Victor Davis Hanson urges The Donald to move quickly once installed in the Imperial Mansion. Excerpt:
If in the first 100 days Trump can push through tax reform, deregulation, Keystone, clean coal, new leases for fracking and horizontal drilling on federal lands, an end to the crony-capitalist Solyndra-like subsidies, a cut-off of federal aid to sanctuary cities, support for school vouchers, the wall, deportations of those illegal aliens who committed crimes or have no work history, plans to rebuild the military, a freeze on federal hiring, trade renegotiations — then surprising things will follow.
Success in getting these initiatives passed will be proof of strong-horse leadership. And even Trump’s critics will for a while defer to his power, both in private admiration that he did what they could not, and in public out of fear that he might do even more — and, again oddly enough, also in mordant curiosity about whether the Trump agenda might in fact jump-start America. After all, many leftists believe in the acquisition of power alone, not necessarily in the practical utility and effectiveness of their own agendas.
Trump should study failures of what eroded the reelected Bush administration in early 2005. He should for now just leave alone Social Security. If 2004 is any reminder, assume that most intellectuals calling for preemptive military action will bail the first moment things get rough, blaming poor “execution” by others for not fulfilling their own brilliant strategic agendas. What undermined Bush in Iraq was not just a failure to deal promptly with the revolt in Anbar Province that was eventually crushed in 2007, but the sudden flip-flop flight of many of his original architects of intervention (“my wonderfully successful war, his terribly failed occupation”).
In other words; ignore your critics and move smartly. That’s probably good advice for any new President, especially one with a friendly Congress. Not every President has followed that advice; President Obama did, and it cost Democrats the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014. If Trump’s actions are seen as helpful and positive by the public, then he’ll still have a friendly Congress in 2018 and 2020; if not, then he’ll get “shellacked” as did his predecessor’s party.
That’s how the game is played.
It remains to be seen if The Donald will indeed march down this path, but it’s important to note that his background is business, not politics, and (at least in my experience) the key to success in a new venture is to hit the ground running. Get moving, stay moving, bring things in under budget and ahead of schedule; that’s been part of my reputation and is supposed to be The Donald’s hallmark as well. If he keeps a number of campaign promises in his first 100 days – or at least makes strong moves in that direction – he’ll be off to a good start.
Still, it’s up to the voters to affirm that success. Or not.