Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

How to Revive the Trump Presidency

I consider myself to be patriotic, and I always try to conduct myself as a sensible person. In 2017, no sensible person can deny the tumultuous and chaotic nature of the Trump White House. A steady flow of unhinged and divisive comments have torn our polarized nation into further extremes, and the effects of this separation are evident in many aspects of American life. This presidency is young, however, and opportunities for success and failure exist with each waking moment. I would like to explore options that could make this Presidency a positive and historic one that benefits everyone.

An obvious and pressing concern is how President Trump interacts with the media. It isn't hard to see that the White House should deal its communications woes by establishing a less hostile relationship with the press. President Trump’s frequent condemnation of the news as dishonest has only alienated much of the media and diminished the positive aspects of his agenda. The American people can't hear over all the shouting that President Trump initiates. If President Trump were to dial back his hostile language, perhaps there would be more of a discussion about economic growth, a tax bill, or even a bipartisan healthcare initiative. If the president led a real discussion and the mainstream media covered these critical issues, a dialogue about these problems would more likely permeate Capitol Hill and stimulate needed action. In short, if the White House demonstrated more discipline and patience, Washington might be able to function, establish clear goals, and diligently pursue legislation without distractions such as NFL player protests, antifa, Cabinet secretary air travel, and bizarre Twitter rants.

Next, it's worth remembering that all Presidents are held responsible for the state of the economy. President Trump and Republicans in Congress are governing in the best economic climate in 10 years, yet they haven't used the momentum this would ordinarily create. The timing is right for the first major tax overhaul since 1986. Such a substantial legislative victory would make a big difference for President Trump. He needs to prove that he can govern effectively. And good policy is the best politics. If President Trump passes pro-growth legislation and lessens the burden of government regulation on the private sector, the economy will expand. History shows that a president's approval ratings rise with voters' confidence in the economy. Unlike the Affordable Care Act, a simplified tax code and more robust economy will appeal to millions of Americans, including many who did not vote for Donald Trump.

Finally, when Trump feels attacked, he has the immature tendency to respond hastily. When President Trump arrived in Washington, he expected rapid action and was shocked to witness the discourse that is our democracy. In response, he attacked members of his adopted party as part of an impulsive response. President Trump didn't have many allies to begin with; irrationally attacking the few he did have made the laborious task of running the United States even more difficult. President Trump should welcome any friendly face, whether it's in Congress, the White House or across the globe. White House resignations are becoming routine, and conservatives in Congress are becoming more hesitant to align themselves with President Trump, if this trend is not reversed soon, I fear this presidency could evaporate. Americans would suffer the consequences.  

--Hal Rogers '18