To the Editor:
As we say goodbye to our 45th President, we should honestly evaluate his influence on our nation over the past four years.
Donald Trump was not a politician. He was brash, loud, rude, combative, and clearly did not fit the “Presidential” mold. His personality is understandable considering his combative and competitive business background, but it made him a very rough fit with his Republican party and totally unacceptable to his ever-vocal Democrat opponents. Considering this inherent lack of support, it is surprising he accomplished or contributed to anything of significance during his four-year tenure. But he did and the list of accomplishments that he can lay claim to, or claim contribution to, is actually quite impressive.
During Trump’s term, the United States became energy independent (exporting more oil than importing) for the first time in 63 years. The unemployment level was the lowest in 51 years and average family income became the highest ever ($68,700). Not surprisingly, poverty was at the lowest level ever recorded (10.5%), while Black or Hispanic unemployment was at or near record lows. Inflation was basically stagnant while the number of employed was, understandably, at an all-time high.
Given his temperament, his foreign policy accomplishments were as divisive as they were innovative. In the Middle East, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (it is) and moved our embassy there. His diplomats also added three countries to the 164 that recognize Israel, including the nearby states of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Internationally, he attended 12 summits and had face-to-face meetings with the leaders of fifteen nations, including a meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and a historic first meeting with the reclusive leader of troublesome North Korea.
On the national front, he steadfastly refused to be economically bullied by China or other countries and negated or created several trade deals. In addition, he fulfilled several campaign promises by, among other things, cutting middle-class taxes, reducing federal regulations, allowing free access to the pharmaceuticals market, increasing the quality of veteran’s healthcare, raising tariffs on imports, reshaping the judiciary, bombing ISIS, and attempting to curtail illegal immigration through several means, including the actual construction of 450 miles of Mexican border wall.
As controversial as he was (and still is), I believe that, based on his many accomplishments, unbiased historians will, in time, view President Trump’s administration in a very positive light.