Promises promised vs. promises kept
The American voter tends to vote for the candidate whose promises sound better than the promises of the opposing candidate while, at the same time understanding at some level of consciousness, that neither candidate intends nor will be able to fulfill all of his or her promises. It is like we are all party to some kind of inside joke. But wait. If someone comes along who is intent on fulfilling each and every campaign promise that would be very different and even unsettling to those who thought campaign promises were merely campaign promises. After all, candidates for office should not be taken too seriously lest the status quo of the Ancien Régime be ripped asunder.
Thus far, in the early days of the presidency of Donald J. Trump, we have seen a lot of what appears to be asunder-ripping; however, it is mostly sleight-of-hand because what President Trump has been doing so far is not breaking new ground but rather rescinding what were the patently unconstitutional acts of his predecessor. Rather than breaking truly new ground, President Trump has been busy resetting the Constitutional clock.
It remains to be seen if the restoration of our once-vaunted military, of our sovereign borders and the American job market will win Mr. Trump a place in the Pantheon of great American Presidents. What we do know is that prosperity trumps (no pun intended) poverty. If President Trumps pledge to "rebuild a rusting America" produces a booming economy, then his positive place in history is likely assured.
Like President Obama in 2009, President Trump begins his quest with his political party in control of both houses of Congress. While President Obama was able to get some favorable 5-4 votes from the U.S. Supreme Court during his first two years in office (ObamaCare comes to mind), President Trump will have the opportunity to nominate a number of jurists of his Constitutional liking to the Supreme Court. Thus, President Trump may well have the advantage of four plus years of a Court that leans toward the "original intent" of the Constitution.
But as Lord Acton (1834-1902) famously said, "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely." A president bullet-proofed on one side by a sympathetic Congress and on the other side by a compatible Supreme Court will, no doubt, hear Lord Acton quoted repeatedly by his political opponents. On the other hand, if the actions of his political opponents are perceived in the Court of Public Opinion as designed to keep the American economy in the doldrums, President Trumps imperious manner is not likely to matter.
But, as soldiers are wont to say: "The enemy has a vote in what happens." And, despite the efforts of President Trumps military and foreign policy team, if the forces of radical Islam cannot be subdued, we may not see President Reagans "Morning in America" again.
Meanwhile, the bust of Winston Churchill is back in the Oval Office. The bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. remains in the Oval Office as well. And foreign leaders, friend and foe alike, are flocking to the Oval Office to check out an American President who is unlike anyone they have ever seen before.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and is a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2017. William Hamilton.
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