Happy New Year!
I have a confession to make. I am quite pleased with the results of President Trump's first year in office. While we were all told that the world would end if Donald Trump became President of the United States, it turns out 2017 was a good year. In fact, 2017 was the best year conservatives have had in many years.
Conservative writer Matt Lewis summed the year up best:
"GOP can say they (a) passed tax reform, (b) repealed individual mandate, (c) confirmed Gorsuch AND a ton of fed judges, & (d) got rid of job-killing regulations.
12 circuit court judges confirmed in one year- more than any president."
If you are a conservative voter, you probably held your breath and voted for Trump. Hoping for the best, most Republican voters and lots of conservative Independents and Democrats were willing to give him a chance because the thought of Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office was a bridge too far. For many, the Supreme Court and judicial nominations were at the top of the list of reasons to vote Republican. Economic issues and a strong national defense were all factors, too. After eight years of overreaching regulations and several world apology tours, it's good to hear the full-throated support of America and her people, especially when Trump travels overseas.
2017 was a wild ride, that's for sure. Standard, traditional thought in politics and governing were tossed out and a new approach to old problems began. That's not all bad. We are reaping the benefits of a businessman at the helm, though, and not a typical politician. Do any of us honestly think that if another Republican candidate had been the victor in 2016 (it's doubtful that any of them would have been able to beat Hillary) the economic markers would have moved into such positive territory?
It is fascinating to see how the #NeverTrump holdouts navigate in today's reality. Some are so bitter that acknowledging any successes for conservative governing is impossible. This is why the holdouts are rendered not relevant. The old political class of consultants and advisers - those who made lots of money off Republicans in the past - no longer hold court in D.C. Attention to flyover America is finally taken. The swells on both coasts scrambling to be taken seriously while most people now just scroll past their tweets and Facebook remarks. Is there anything more pathetic than tweets from Matt Dowd or consultants who used to get gigs on cable television? How about John Kasich or Evan McMullin? Political writers like Bill Kristol and Max Boot claim conservative purity forces them to continue their temper tantrums - Boot even proudly boasted he'd vote for Hillary Clinton. There was absolutely nothing pure and conservative about giving Hillary Clinton a vote. These two, among others, will never be taken seriously by conservatives again and that is fine by me.
Overseas, Trump and America are doing much better than I expected. Trump has been instrumental in the release of Americans held by brutal dictators. Even stupid college basketball players acknowledged his help in their release after stealing high-end sunglasses from a store. Former President Obama refuses to leave the stage and spouts off overseas when traditionally that is not done. America's relationship with Israel is strong now. There may be a reason to be hopeful for the people of Iran who now are rising up against their corrupt theocracy. The successes of Nikki Haley at the U.N. are unprecedented.
I'll continue to be thankful for the successes. It's a good start.