Even though I cast my vote for Evan McMullin on Tuesday, I watched the election returns with considerable satisfaction as Trump won swing state after swing state. No, I am not convinced he will be a great or even a good president; if I had been so, I’d have voted for him. But the prospect of the sun rising on November 9, 2016, to a world that would see Hillary Clinton depart from the political stage was too great a prospect to ignore.
Believe me, I didn’t ignore it and duly smiled most of the morning and laughed not a little at the anguish of various and sundry of Hillaristas, all of whom found the dawn less than hilarious. Just consider their antics. One Hollywood star after another now promises to relocate to Canada or other “remote” parts, one supposes to enjoy a healthy national climate approximate to what they hoped they’d get once Hillary took the reins of power. Katy Perry, Lena Dunham, Cher, and, almost certainly, Barbara Streisand will be packing their bags shortly—alas! I suspect symbolically.
But there’s always hope they really will leave and head north to lavish Justin Trudeau with praise he probably will never quite live up to—unless he gets a sex-change operation. On the college front, students at Harvard demanded that exams be postponed to allow a period of grief, and the Elis of Yale congregated for a “primal scream”—in a safe space, of course (I assume an appropriately primal tree). Will they head north as well? The arctic is a hop and a skip away.
However, Trump really is president, and most of us can do little more than hope and pray that he will out-perform all expectations great and small. Everyone will have his Trumpian Christmas list, and here is mine.
Taxes. Marginal rates should drop to Reagan-era levels at least—but with two major emphases. First, high-income earners should not have major write-offs unless they are demonstrably for concrete investment in something productive. Second, all income earners should pay taxes. That 47% of all taxpayers pay nothing is a scandal. A bottom rate of 5% for the lowest wage earners would be quite manageable. Corporate taxes should drop to 15% for starters.
“Entitlement” reform. Trump’s vaunted savings on waste and corruption are good and well, but they’ll never address the lavish spending our central government has grown all too accustomed to. Welfare must be analyzed for its real contribution to helping those who genuinely cannot help themselves and for its ability to make those who can independent wage earners once again. Trump must push and push hard for a strict work requirement and try to slowly turn welfare back to the states. As for the notorious unfunded liabilities, both Social Security and Medicare “as we know them” cannot continue their reckless distribution of the younger population’s money with a population so much smaller than it was when the programs (especially Social Security) were inaugurated. Hard, although one hopes not Draconian, measures must be implemented to save the system. And impossible though it may seem, the private option for Social Security ought to be on the table again.
Abolish Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act (affordable, indeed!) is an abject failure, a grim joke. Removing that burden from the states and, more important, from small business will encourage full-time employment, especially for entry-level earners. But if it is abolished, Republicans must come up with a limited alternative for the small number of people who cannot pay for health care. For the rest of us, portability of insurance would be a good start to solving a complex problem. Trump has gifted Republicans (Avik Roy, Bobby Jindal) who know more about health care than Einstein knew about physics. He should recruit them as soon as he can. Beyond that, a critical look at the way insurance companies operate and how hospitals jack up prices due to gov’t subsidies would also help.
Immigration. States should get the word that they may prohibit both illegal and legal immigrants from services reserved for taxpaying citizens. School districts should be allowed to charge tuition for legals; welfare should be strictly forbidden for all non-citizens. Sanctuary cities should be punished severely as modern nullifiers. Any non-citizen who commits a misdemeanor or felony should be deported permanently. Bi-lingual requirements should be repealed.
Foreign Policy. ISIS must be destroyed. Our best military minds will need to attend to this. We don’t want to make the same mistake George W. Bush’s did with Iraq of sending too few men on such a mission. But complete destruction of this pernicious group should be the non-negotiable goal. Elsewhere, NATO should be strengthened simply because our role in Europe is much more important than Trump imagines. The degree to which NATO has kept the peace must be understood; it has saved lives and money on the balance and prevented a repeat of world war.
Hillary. President-Elect Trump promised he would appoint a prosecutor to delve into the infamous Clintonian shenanigans: the server and the money-laundering scheme that masquerades as a foundation. Let the prosecution begin by prohibiting any future security clearance for the Clintons, just in case they contemplate future “public service.”
Appointments. The members of the cabinet, the Supreme Court, the National Security Advisor, the Ambassador the U.N. (an organization I’d love to see minus the USA and relocated to, who knows, Baghdad), and a host of lesser appointments collectively will be one of Trump’s first major acts as president. I cannot speak for too many of these, but concerning the cabinet, I long to see an aggressive pro-American Secretary of State (John Bolton for me) and an equally determined Attorney General (possibly and realistically Rudy Giulani). Someone to advise the president on the necessity of cutting most spending and holding much needed national defense to realistic goals will be welcome.
And I could go on. But, let’s face facts, President-Elect Trump has yet to call me for my two cents. So be it. For the time being it will be a very good beginning on this day after the election if somebody whispers in his ear the words of Henry V from Shakespeare’s play: “Praised be God, and not our strength, for it!”—and keeps whispering them.