While the most arrogant President in modern American history pontificates that if only he had been permitted to run for a third term he would have been easily reelected, President-elect Donald Trump is methodically preparing to assume office as the first true reformer since Ronald Reagan. Media pundits love to speculate on what Trump’s “First 100 Days” will look like. However, the country’s 45th President-in-waiting likely will press an agenda that can accomplish more in his first month than most of his predecessors accomplished in their first year.
After all, what is so magical about the “first 100 days”? It is nothing more than an arbitrary benchmark for critics and supporters of a new president to cheer or denounce the new White House occupant. Moreover, there is much a new president can accomplish immediately on assuming office and in the days following. For President Trump, a few recommended “first steps:”
1. Deliver a bold foreign policy address at a major international forum, within one week of January 20th.
As last week’s terror attacks in Germany and Turkey continue to demonstrate, dealing with acts of terrorism will face Trump as soon as he is sworn in. As I wrote last week, America remains in desperate need of a foreign policy reboot. Obama’s default position has been one of submission; an odd mixture of mealy-mouthed rhetoric, coupled with efforts to shift focus away from the real problem – radical Islamic terrorism -- to pet domestic agenda concerns such as gun control.
Trump needs immediately to signal a change in course. To do this, he must demonstrate a clear shift from the “kinder and gentler” mentality of the Obama Administration, to a bold and firm declaration that our enemies once again shall be on notice that any attack on America, her citizens, or her interests, will be met with force. Furthermore, just as he did when he took the historic call from the Taiwanese president, Trump should make it clear that no other country – especially China – will be dictating what we can or should do when pursuing what is best for America.
2. Ignite America’s energy policy.
Trump’s declaration of a new American foreign policy must be coupled with a sweeping reform of America’s energy policy. To help secure our long-term security, America must become more energy self-sufficient -- a direction abandoned by Obama in favor of “green energy” subsidies and favors to global warming activists and liberal donors.
As President, Trump will have the power to – and therefore should -- take steps immediately to undo many of the anti-energy policies implemented by his predecessor. Thus, within his first days in office, Trump should approve the fourth phase of the Keystone XL Pipeline; which collected cobwebs on Obama’s desk for six years, only to be symbolically rejected when Democrats needed to score P.R. points with their liberal base.
Trump also should instruct the Army Corp of Engineers to reverse its decision to block the proposed North Dakota Access Pipeline -- a decision made after intense pressure from Obama and his cadre of environmental extremists.
These two shots across the bow of the Oil Cartel and the environmental lobby will make clear there is a New Sheriff in Town who will indeed put America back to work and in charge.
3. Restore Justice and Federalism.
For eight years, our once vaunted Department of Justice has been politicized and used as a club to beat up on and control local law enforcement agencies. Rehabilitating the Justice Department’s shattered reputation, and restoring a proper balance between federal and state/local law enforcement responsibilities should be among the highest priorities for the new President. So long as the reputation of the United States Department of Justice remains at an all-time low, credibility of all federal agencies and responsibilities will continue to erode.
To set the stage for a rebirth of Justice, as soon as Jeff Sessions is confirmed by the Senate as the nation’s 84th Attorney General, the new President should deliver a major policy address, from the Great Hall at the Department of Justice,declaring in clear and unambiguous terms, that the “war on cops” is over, and that historically and constitutionally-based priorities at the Department will be restored and implemented.
4. Nominate Sen. Mike Lee to fill the vacancy of the Supreme Court.
This is a no-brainer, and should announced as early as January 21st. It will send Liberals into conniption fits, but put a smile on the face of Lady Justice.
These four simple but important steps by the new President Trump will set the stage for a rebirth of the Constitution at home; place the country on a firm, new path to security and energy independence; and lay the groundwork for the legislative challenges facing the Administration in the following months, including repeal of Dodd-Frank, and repeal and replacing Obamacare.