The opportunity, lost

I keep being right over and over again.

Back in March 2019, I wrote that the first term of the Trump presidency was effectively over and that there would be no legislation ,or much of any progress on anything. So far, it looks like i was right. Progress on ‘the wall,’ in spite of $2.5 billion of funding, has been minimal to non-existent, according to Wiki “In July 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed that, although they had begun to replace old fencing, no new wall had yet been built. At least 60 miles of replacement wall has been completed since 2017, with 450 miles (720 km) of new barrier planned to be constructed by the end of 2020. A private organization called We Build the Wall has constructed .5 miles (0.80 km) of new wall on private property near El Paso, Texas, with Trump’s encouragement.” Props to the private sector for pulling through when the government cannot. Some guy with a kickstarter campaign is more effective than a trillion-dollar government.

After so many setbacks and so much capitulation in 2017-2018, there isn’t much to be excited about for 2019 and 2020, nor is there much reason for optimism should Trump be reelected. I predict that if reelected, the second term of his presidency will be much of a repeat of the last 2 years, in which little gets done. There will be scant wall progress, or on any of the important issues that he campaigned on in 2016, such as immigration or returning jobs to America, and maybe a single piece of watered-down legislation about something inconsequential, at best. Maybe another tentative weekend ‘trade deal’ with China for the 7th time. The economy and stock market will continue to boom for the rest of his first term, and, as I predict, all of his second term, too, so Trump has that going for him.

I predict Trump will go down as one of the least consequential presidents in recent history, accomplishing little legislatively but otherwise overseeing a period of unprecedented peace and geopolitical and economic stability in American and much of the world. I think Trump is most analogous to Warren Harding, who oversaw a strong economy and stock market during his brief tenure but otherwise accomplished little of import, because there wasn’t much need to, and also due to scandal. Or maybe Calvin Coolidge. WW1 and the Russian Civil War were over, the ‘roaring ’20s were underway’, and the Great Depression and WW2 were still years away. In the case of Trump, the scandal is inflicted by the media and within his administration and the FBI, rather than any wrongdoing on Trump’s part. But for the aforementioned reasons–those being a strong economy and world peace–Trump will rank higher than George W. Bush. That’s not bad. There really isn’t much need for legislating when the US economy is doing so well and there is peace and stability domestically and abroad, yet the opportunity for Trump to leave his mark, whether ‘draining the swamp’ or dramatically overhauling America’s porous immigration policy, seems to have been lost or squandered. At best, American conservatism has proven itself to be a weak counterweight to liberalism.