Post#: 359-18 – Words: 1056 – Audio: N/A
One possible home run, a couple triples, maybe a single or two.
Given it’s Christmas and I am in a charitable mood toward Trump (don’t worry.. that’s likely not to last long because of Trump will destroy the mood) I thought I’d try and give him a little credit on things that he managed to do that was constructive for the greater good of the nation… and not simply to pander to his base. In doing a bit of research to make this post (trying to get some “objective” reporting) I did run across a couple samplings that seemed to make a bit of sense.. that I could agree with. One in particular was a post by CNN anchor John Avlon (you can read it HERE if you prefer).
Avlon outlines five “accomplishments”, or “positives” that Trump managed for 2018.
Criminal Justice Reform – I would call this his only home run of the year. It was an amazing feat itself just getting non-partisan support to pass this bill, but the bill itself… according to Avlon…
“The law blends common sense and compassion, redeeming reformed lives while saving money in the process. It promises to lessen the sentences of nonviolent criminals and reduce frankly racist sentencing disparities. And it’s the kind of bill that could only command Republican support if it were backed by a law-and-order candidate, which itself speaks to the stupid partisanship that usually outweighs policy.”
Getting Tough On China – Trump gets credit here for a single.. getting a “man on base”. While there were no victories, particularly in trade, Trump seems to have managed to press back on China in regards to some of their practices. Avlon states…
“Team Trump has realized that time is running out to have any leverage on China in the effort to get it to act like a responsible global power. And while I don’t support Trump’s trade war tactics — mostly because they have lumped in allies like Canada with China — the President has been right to call out abuse of trade treaties by China that have created an unequal playing field on issues from manufacturing to intellectual property to massive state sponsored cyber theft. Past administrations’ attempts to engage China have been mistaken for weakness by the Marxist Leninist regime.”
I have a marginal acceptance of this as some sort of “2018 accomplishment of note” for Trump. First off, he didn’t start firm with the Chinese; it was party time at Mar-A-Lago, full of chocolate cake and the usual Trump overstating his accomplishments at his style of “diplomacy” as being great. Second, China played him. But… this does reflect Trump’s apparent coming around in getting firm.
Economic Opportunity Zones – I admit, I did not realize this was part of that disastrous tax cut package. I’ll give a “double.. man on second” credit (and maybe the future will result in a “triple”). Avlon has the best explanation…
“The tax cut bill most often trumpeted as the prime achievement of the Trump era was actually a disaster. It stimulated an economy that was already overheated, promises to exacerbate the growing gap between the rich and poor (as well as the super-rich and middle class) and its failure to close corporate loopholes is already exploding our deficit and debt, reducing tax receipts in a booming economy.
The hangover from this party is going to be brutal. That said, there is an excellent and overdue provision in the otherwise lousy tax bill — economic opportunity zones. Consider this the belated love child of Jack Kemp’s dwindling influence in the Republican Party, incentivizing investment in poverty-stricken neighborhoods through tax breaks on capital gains. It’s exactly the sort of smart, targeted government action that may finally spur development in our atrophied regional economies.”
Right-To-Try Legislation – I’m getting old so I suppose I am a tad more interested in this one than likely the average Millennial. I’ll give Trump a “triple” for this one, even though it’s not gotten a lot of coverage. According to Avlon…
“Basically, it allows terminally ill patients to have access to experimental drugs. The logic is simple: what do they have to lose? Why not give patients and their families access to whatever experimental drug they want if it might be able to save or prolong their life?”
A number of states already supported this concept but Trump made it legal nationwide.
Music Modernization Act – “Huh?” you might be saying, as I did. I recall reading a mention of this somewhere a while back. Avlon explains it…
“You wouldn’t typically consider Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the savior of rock n’ roll musicians. He’s more of a barbershop quartet kind of guy. But Hatch sponsored, and Trump signed, a worthwhile and overdue piece of legislation that stops musicians from getting screwed by streaming services and cuts down on the power of predatory middle men.
I still feel like bars shouldn’t be stalked by ASCAP for playing music on the jukebox, but the musicians definitely deserved to get paid for their work — whether they recorded it this year or fifty years ago when Woodstock reigned.”
This is worth a “triple” from me and primarily for the idea that this is the kind of “technology update” legislation that’s needed, not only for the music industry but with other industries as well that are affected by the popularity and constantly changing social networking. It’s part of assuring business fairness and also defining creative copyright laws.
You will note that this meager list of five is not meant to be a judgement on Trump’s record for fulfilling campaign promises. Save for the getting tough on China, the other items were not even on his list of promises. Simply reversing Obama decrees (or anything else with the “Obama” name on it) is not, to me, a true success for the nation. That is just political push-back that has yet to make any difference. His immigration efforts have been more a detriment to America’s traditions of compassion and human rights. Now, he has raised some interest in the opioid epidemic but so far there’s nothing formal going on. I’d personally love to see an effort for a national mental health policy, but given 2019 is likely to be rather tenable for Trump there’s no breath-holding here.
The next year could be a far greater challenge than 2018 was.
My other sites… if you’re interested…