Many of those who have been watching and participating in politics for decades were surprised by this week’s Trump victory. How it happened and why will be questions debated by political scientists for many years to come. What is really important – however – is whether or not he can unite the Republican Party as well as the Conservative Movement, in a broader sense.
Let’s be honest. Conservatism is deeply divided right now. We have a President-elect who has never actually won anything, in the traditional sense of attaining majorities. Yes, technically he won the nomination. He certainly was the nominee. However, he did not attain a majority in the popular vote and the votes he did receive were tainted to a great extent by the number of non-Republicans in “open primary States” who came in to vote for him. He won the Delegates in terms of numbers but many of “his” Delegates actually ended up being loyal to other candidates. Yes, he won the general election. However, he not only did not receive a majority of the popular vote, but he also ended up with fewer popular votes than his opponent. Instead of a coattail effect, his Party actually lost seats in both Houses of Congress.
And many, many Conservatives voted third Party and remain deeply distrustful of him. I am among their number.
Yes, he is a President but he is a President without the traditional indicators of a popular national mandate. He has literally none of them.
Therefore, in order to assert himself and remain viable – as well as to ensure that Congress stays a Republican institution after the 2018 mid-term elections – he needs to reach out to Conservatives who opposed him by enacting radical programs which are both unexpected and which would appeal to the anti-Government sensibilities of his GOP opponents.
Some examples of such initiatives would include:
- A declaration that he will not enforce or execute Federal laws, regulations or Court Orders which violate the text of the Tenth Amendment. He could base that on his Oath of Office which requires him to preserve and defend the Constitution. He could state that – just as the Supreme Court gave itself the power of Judicial Review in 1803 – he is giving the Office of the President the power of Executive Review. Perhaps he could create a Tenth Amendment Review Commission to which the States could direct petitions to have laws, etc. declared “Constitutionally Unenforceable.” If a petition receives no answer in 30 days, the State can consider itself free to deem the law a violation of States’ Rights with a promise of no enforcement action by the Federal Executive Branch.
- An immediate audit of Federal lands to determine which such lands were acquired contrary to the Constitution. The audit should take no more than 180 days with a series of auctions commencing within 90 days of publication of the end of the audit, the auctions being aimed at liquidating as much of the illegal Federal land inventory as possible.
- Call for Congress to declare that the Federal Government is the guarantor of the Citizens’ Constitutional Freedoms and that the States are not free to violate such Freedoms, per the Fourteenth Amendment and the Full Faith and Credit Clause. Accordingly, State laws which do not recognize the Rights of residents of other States are Constitutionally invalid. Specifically, State laws which do not recognize firearms carry permits issued by other States per the issuing States’ conditions are null and void. New York – for example – would no longer be permitted to bar those who do not hold New York carry permits from carrying in New York State. Carry permits would have to be accepted in exactly the same manner in which marriages and drivers’ licenses (among other similar things) are now accepted.
- Call for Congress to immediately repeal the Affordable Care Act. Let the Democrats yell and scream that reconciliation is not the appropriate parliamentary tool to apply to the vote. Once it is done, it is done. The Courts have long ago decided that they will not interfere in the internal procedural issues of either House of Congress. Don’t wait for a new bill to be drafted to “replace” Obamacare. Repeal it in its entirety and worry about the rest later. And include provisions for refunding any and all fines collected from those who did not have appropriate insurance. Ask Congress to declare – per the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution – that States do not have the power to forbid a corporation licensed to operate in one State from operating in all States, with particular attention to health insurance companies.
- Pledge to appoint Strict Constructionists to all Federal Courts, including the Supreme Court. Pledge to appoint people no older than 45 to the Supreme Court and no older than 40 to the other Courts, to allow them to be the driving force in the American Judicial Branch for three decades or more.
- Eliminating the Department of Education requires Congressional approval. That may be difficult to obtain. What is not difficult is to change the operations of the Department. Have the new Secretary issue regulations turning over authority over ALL educational matters to the States. All previous regulations are rescinded. For the duration of the Trump Administration, a hands off approach to education will prevail.
- Repeal ALL EPA regulations related to the phony theory of “climate change.”
- Ban all Federal agencies and Departments from granting money to any organization – domestic or foreign – which promotes abortion or is in any way affiliated with Planned Parenthood.
- Have the Secretary of Homeland Security issue a declaratory statement (and related necessary regulations) allowing State and local police and county Sheriffs to enforce Federal immigration laws by arresting those who are reasonably suspected of being in the country illegally and delivering them to USCIS for processing. Certainly, police cannot be obligated to make such arrests. However, if they so desire, such arrests would be permissible.
- Direct the Secretary of Defense to draft a military plan within 30 days for the swift and decisive destruction of ISIS. Implement it immediately upon approval by the Cabinet.
- Recognize Jerusalem as the capital and exclusive territory of Israel. Allow those US citizens who were born in Jerusalem to have their Nation of Birth listed in their passports as Israel. End all financial support for Hamas and the Palestinian Authority..
- Declare that any and all terrorist attacks on the US, Israel or our treaty allies will be treated as acts of war against the USA and will result in military action against any Governments shown to be involved and against the organizations responsible. If responsibility cannot be determined, US military forces will find and execute three Muslim Imams who have called for violence against non-Muslims for each death caused in the attacks in question.
Certainly, more examples could be conceived of without much effort. The point is that Trump needs to take action which is not only impressive to Conservatives but can – for the most part – be undertaken without Congressional approval, using simply the native powers of the Executive Branch. These acts must also have far reaching implications, beyond the term of his Presidency.
Trump’s words got him into the White House. Only his actions will prove him to be the right choice. If he wants to be seen by the Conservative Movement overall as the person best suited for the job, he needs to make an extreme effort and quickly act to repudiate eight years of Obamunism. Many of us are doubtful of his good faith and ability. Most of us would prefer to be proven wrong, if that means the Nation is on the road to healing. For the moment, there is no sign that Trump will do what he has promised. Millions of Americans will be watching him very closely.