The media can’t stop fixating on Donald Trump or congressional Republicans, who currently have little influence on the bad decisions being made by Joe BidenJoe BidenFirm behind Arizona audit says no data was destroyed, contradicting GOP allegations Stacey Abrams on not being Biden’s VP: ‘He picked the right person’ Overnight Defense: Top Dem backs off request for Israel arms sale delay | Afghanistan withdrawal up to 20 percent done | Esper returns to defense industry MORE and the Democrats. In that spirit, here is an honest appraisal of what Donald Trump did right in his four years of office and what he did wrong.
What he did right
1) He expressed unambiguous love for America and its history. After eight years of the Obama apology tour, this optimistic view of the American people was sorely needed and it exposed the leftists who we now know have a dim view of our country and its rich history.
2) He unshackled the economy from burdensome taxes and oppressive regulations and the economy exploded as a result.
3) He refrained from getting us into any more foreign wars and tried hard to get us out of the wars we are already hopelessly mired in.
4) He spoke directly to the hopes and fears of the forgotten working class of all races, creeds and colors. He understood that Washington and its economic policies had hollowed out the middle of America and he took positive action to return power, capital and jobs back to the heartland.
5) He was a true outsider who smashed the political globalist consensus of America as the world’s piggy bank, reestablished the idea of enforceable borders and made our allies pay their fair share for their own security.
6) He made inroads with Black voters: He signed criminal justice reform. And he played the Kanye-Kardashian card very effectively.
What Trump did wrong
1) He totally mishandled COVID-19: The 30-day pause to stop the spread was one of the dumbest policy decisions in our national history. He didn’t stand clearly against the mask mandate. He forfeited the messaging to experts who wanted to see him lose the next election.
2) He lost control of the bureaucracy. The “deep state,” if you want to call it that, had its way with the president. He didn’t take adequate care at the beginning of his administration to fill the political positions with skilled administrators who shared his vision of restoring American greatness.
3) He spent too much money: Republicans like to talk about deficits and debt when Democrats are in charge, but they ignore it when they are in charge. The president made a big deal about the cost of a new Air Force One plane, but that was a pittance compared to what the administration and the Congress wasted daily. The debt exploded on President TrumpDonald TrumpNew York prosecutors investigating Trump Organization in a ‘criminal capacity’ Firm behind Arizona audit says no data was destroyed, contradicting GOP allegations Trump calls for Jan. 6 commission debate to end ‘immediately’ MORE’s watch and that spending spree will reverberate for years to come.
4) He had no coherent press strategy: He called the media “the enemy of the people” and then he had more press availabilities than any other president in history. Yes, he was authentic and yes, that had its appeal. But why would he talk to Bob Woodward when he knew that Woodward was going to screw him? It boggles the mind.
5) He didn’t take the threat from Big Tech seriously enough. Nobody was better for Twitter than Donald Trump. No campaign spent more advertising dollars on Facebook than the Trump campaign. And what did the president get for his efforts? He was deplatformed by both of them. Big Tech has been a clear and present danger to conservative voices for years. Instead of taking them on in a systemic and thoughtful way, Trump continued to make them more relevant and important throughout his tenure, only to realize too late in the game how much power they had amassed which they used effectively to beat him in his reelection campaign.
6) He made it unnecessarily easy for the left to attack him: His comments after Charlottesville were stupid and they hurt him badly. He kept the Russian collusion narrative alive by meeting secretly with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinHillicon Valley: Democrats urge Facebook to abandon ‘Instagram for kids’ plan | ‘Homework gap’ likely to persist after pandemic Biden waiving sanctions for Nord Stream 2 pipeline firm: report Russian spy chief denies responsibility for SolarWinds hack MORE. And his tweets. Always his tweets.
Should Trump decide to run again, Republican voters have to decide whether the good things the former president accomplished outweigh the big mistakes that he made during his tenure. The president had some real successes, but many of his accomplishments were undermined by some significant failures that tarnished his legacy and sank his reelection chances.
Feehery is a partner at EFB Advocacy and blogs at www.thefeeherytheory.com. He served as spokesman to former Speaker Dennis HastertJohn (Dennis) Dennis HastertFeehery: 6 positive things about the Trump years and 6 bad things Feehery: The right choice to lead the Conference Feehery: Biden seems intent on repeating the same mistakes of Jimmy Carter MORE (R-Ill.), as communications director to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) when he was majority whip and as a speechwriter to former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).