Every newspaper and TV network will be doing their year-in-review issues around now. Considering they will primarily be re-hashing their own partisan attacks and intentional undermining of a duly elected American president, they’re not worth consuming.
But America and the American people actually had a much, much better year than the deeply discredited media and than Democrats — which are basically the same people. In fact, it was a downright amazing year — if you think America remains the best nation in the world, a shining city on a hill, a beacon of hope. For eight years we had people running the federal government who thought roughly the opposite. But 2017 brought a dramatic change to the White House and to the hopes of millions of Americans — and actually, the world.
The amazingness of the year is multiplied if you were unsure of what policies President Trump would pursue and his effectiveness in pursuing them. Many people voted against Hillary Clinton for good reason, but held their breath on Trump.
However, if you are conservative, traditionalist, pro-American or even libertarian, there has been an amazing amount of achievements to like in 2017 — even some Trump opponents admit that — generational tax reform and cuts, a booming economy and historically low unemployment, pulling out of the Paris climate accords, decertifying the Iran deal, the Jerusalem embassy, military revitalization, deregulation, immigration control, Obamacare mandate repeal, destruction of ISIS, Justice Gorsuch and the rest of the judiciary.
Amazing. Here’s the full look:
➙ Conservative judiciary. This of course starts with Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, but extends far beyond. Once Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell broke the Democrats’ obstructionism on every appointee, Trump’s picks began slowly flowing through and they are amazingly conservative and originalist. Trump has nominated 12 constitutionally conservative appellate justices alone — a record for a president in his first year.
➙ Tax reform. The unnecessarily scorned tax reform law lowers corporate taxes sharply from 35 percent to 21 percent. We were by far the highest in the industrialized world which made it hard for American companies to compete globally and was creating the perverse incentive for them to create offshore entities to limit tax liability. The passage of this morally and economically right legislation was followed immediately by a stream of major American corporations announcing new investments, employee bonuses or hiking their own minimum wage to $15/hour — something Democrats are fighting for through the heavy hand of government. On the individual side, the reform is much more modest, but most Americans outside of some in high-tax states will get a pay raise or no change due to reduced tax rates. This is Trump’s only major legislation of 2017, but it is a generational change — as big as those by Presidents Kennedy and Reagan.
➙ Repeal of Obamacare mandate. This was part of the tax reform bill and unburdened Americans from the most Constitutionally questionable and liberty onerous provision. The Supreme Court should never have found it acceptable, even with the contortions it went through to do so, to force Americans to buy a private product. Striking this heavy hand of government from law is an amazing accomplishment considering full Obamacare repeal failed.
➙ De-regulation. The Trump Administration has eliminated 22 existing regulations for each new regulation it instituted. While some will wail that the world is ending, the voices are small and marginal because these were so overly burdensome, driven by ideologies of the previous administration and too often paybacks for political supporters. These have received very little news coverage because every tweet is more important, apparently. But they undoubtedly have had a huge impact on the booming economy.
➙ Keystone Pipeline and ANWR. This crucial pipeline that will create economic impact along its corridor and provide better oil prices and more energy independence for America, was needlessly and recklessly blocked by the ideologies of the Obama administration. It frustrated and angered everyone except environmental activists — a key Democrat constituency — and it hurt American workers. Many years after Obama and Democrats blocked any oil exploration in the mammoth and relatively uninhabited Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northern Alaska, Trump signed legislation to open up the empty region for oil drilling.
➙ Rocking economy. After eight years of paltry growth that left Americans depressed and in a malaise, the jump in measurable economic activity in 2017 is astonishing. GDP growth is the best it has been in a decade and well above expectations. This has naturally led to a rapidly increasing workforce participation rate — more people with jobs and more people once again looking for work — and the lowest unemployment rate since 2000. We are sitting at near what economists consider full employment, and that will help everyone as such competition will create upward pressure on wages — if immigration is controlled properly.
➙ Immigration. Trump’s efforts to put a temporary ban on a handful of nations where terrorism is rampant, or actually government-supported, was initially blocked by politically-motivated liberal judges in one circuit. But the ban has since been lifted and is expected to be found constitutional and is now in place. Immigration controls help the American worker and much still needs to be done, but Trump has moved in the right direction. The administration has also beefed up border security forces and policies on enforcement of existing laws. The Department of Homeland Security found in October that the Border Patrol is stopping people trying to cross illegally at almost twice the rate of the past decade. Unshackled, the Border Patrol can do a lot more, and Trump unshackled them. However, the border wall itself is still just talk. This must begin to be reality in 2018 because a new president one day can simply undo the executive policy changes. He or she won’t demolish a wall.
➙ Paris Climate Accords. Walking away from this bit of fictional environmental salvation — but real-world economic harm — was a bold stroke by Trump and good for America. He knew the “world community” would come down on him like a ton of bricks, despite the fact that by its own measurement, the accords would not accomplish much on global warming while the biggest contributors of carbon emissions weren’t likely to ever be part of it. That means it was just going to competitively disadvantage the United States without being beneficial to its own, stated cause. This was always just a feel-good accord among people who would not individually be harmed by it. But Trump was right to pull out.
➙ De-certifying the Iran Deal. This awful and inexplicable deal enabled the worst state player in the Middle East to be put on a path to nuclear weapons, and be given hundreds of millions in cash, much of which Iran would promptly distribute to its Islamist terrorist arms to attack our ally Israel and perhaps even America. This was an unconscionable deal as part of a bumbling foreign policy. De-certifying is a start as it was unconstitutional on two grounds, but the United States needs to walk away entirely and re-institute sanctions. Unfortunately, we can’t get back the cash the Obama Administration literally flew to Iran on a plane.
➙ Jerusalem. Acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a campaign promise made by multiple presidents, including Obama and Bush, but which was never kept — until now. Trump kept his and will move the U.S. Embassy to the capital. Amazingly, despite the constant noise from the left, actually very little terrorism and outrage has happened. It was the right thing to do as it is the historic capital of Israel and countries have a right to choose their own capitals.
➙ Destruction of ISIS. This amazing accomplishment has been largely ignored by the media, for the obvious reason that it is great news under Trump. ISIS’ territorial holdings — it’s primary claim to a caliphate and recruiting power, are essentially gone. Not only is the caliphate gone and ISIS now reduced to another terrorist organization — dangerous but only a shadow of its former terror — nothing worse has popped up in its place at this point. Outstanding. It’s sad to think the world possibly had to endure the plague of ISIS for so many years unnecessarily.
➙ Military revitalization. Trump rightly jettisoned the hand-tying rules of engagement for the military that existed for eight years and allowed military commanders to make military decisions more freely. This resulted in the rapid destruction of ISIS. Trump also altered America’s military’s strategic timeline in Afghanistan and continues to push for a more fully-funded military after the readiness erosion of the previous administration.
➙ Asserting sovereign right at the U.N. When the United States acknowledged the reality of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the world had a conniption fit and the United Nations, a weak but negative influence on world affairs, opposed our sovereign foreign policy and voted to condemn us. Those votes included most of our allies and the murderous dictators around the world that inhabit the U.N. and that we give aid to. Ambassador Nikki Haley said the U.S. will remember those who we have been generous to and then spit in our face. Funding cuts have already begun. Hopefully, 2018 will see a defunding of this anti-Semitic and anti-America institution.
This is not the list you will be seeing in your local newspaper or TV station, nor on any of the national media outlets. That will be a reiteration of what they got wrong in the first place — Russia collusion and other non-stories. But this list is true.
Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.