September 19, 2019 | 49° F

SURIANO: Trump should stop hurting his own causes

Opinions Column: A RINO's View


Saturday marked the one year anniversary of President Donald J. Trump’s inauguration, so let us take a look at his presidency from a conservative perspective though please note, I did not vote for Trump. 

The biggest success thus far of the Trump administration has been the transformation of the federal judiciary. A premier example of this is the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to replace former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch is a top-notch jurist and his originalist philosophy should make any lover of the U.S. Constitution happy. 

But it is not just the Supreme Court. Trump has also done an incredible job ensuring the lower federal courts are packed with experienced and principled conservative judges. He has nominated 23 judges to date which is the sixth fastest out of the last 19 presidents. But just looking at numbers is not enough. Quality is what matters and I am not predisposed to trusting Trump’s judgment or his devotion to conservative ideology. Luckily, Trump has largely kept to picking judges approved by the Federalist Society, the leading conservative legal association. This should comfort the hearts of my fellow Trump-skeptic conservatives who want good judges to preserve the Constitution. 

Now that we have seen his greatest triumph, let us move on to some of Trump’s more shaky work namely his legislative agenda.

Trump’s legislative agenda has been more of a mixed bag. Firstly, he failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Republicans took the House, Senate and the White House on the back of opposing the ACA and still failed to pass any repeal. Now we can not completely blame Trump for this failure, since a president can not make a law on their own. Mitch McConnell, who failed to whip the votes and Republicans who voted no should share the blame. But I do blame Trump because the buck stops with the president. 

When former President Barack Obama was pushing the ACA, it was his plan, which he used his own charm to sell to the American people. In contrast, Trump had no clear repeal and replace plan, had little effect in getting votes in congress and never put his back into selling the repeal. Why did the president not rally across America to sell the bill? We all know he loves large political rallies. 

On the other hand, Trump’s major legislative success is the Republican Tax Reform. Congressman Tom Cole has said “God made Republicans to cut taxes,” and he is right. So, it should not come as a shock when I say I approve the Republican tax cut. This is a good law that cuts every tax bracket rate, doubles the standard deduction and slashes the corporate tax rate so much so that approximately 125 U.S. employers have given their employees bonuses or raises due to its effects.

Trump has had some achievements and some setbacks in regards to foreign policy. Early on in his presidency, he set the tone by ordering the bombing of a Syrian military base in response to Bashar al-Assad gassing his people. Because of this, Assad has not done so again. Trump can boast many other foreign policy achievements. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is on the run and all but defeated, he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, begun to sell lethal arms to Ukraine and has provided more pressure than ever on the North Korean regime.  Even after all that success, Trump shoots himself in his own foot as he angers allies, under staffs the state department and feuds with his own secretary of state. 

So Trump, if I can offer some advice, do more of the good things, stop insulting countries along with specific groups of people and please never tweet after midnight! 

Robert Suriano is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in History. His column, "A RINO's View" runs on alternate Mondays.


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Robert Suriano

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