Trump’s First Year in Review

In a couple of weeks, President Trump will have completed his first year in office. I’ve been asking myself a lot lately how that first year has been. Overall, I am quite pleased.

Trump was not my first choice as to Republican candidates. With all my reservations about his style, character, and lack of political experience, I voted for him simply because I could never vote for the corrupt Hillary Clinton. Besides, Trump was running on a conservative platform, which I supported.

First of all, Trump has spent the first year facing an unrelenting opposition from the media (Fox News excepted). CNN has all but passed MSNBC in launching  daily attacks on everything Trump says or does.  The media and the Democrats in Congress are determined to destroy his presidency and remove him from office. From CNN’s Don Lemon to Maxine Waters, they have made themselves look very foolish.

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The centerpiece of this effort has been the investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with the Russians in working to sway the election to Trump. Robert Mueller has been appointed special prosecutor and has hired known Clinton supporters to investigate the allegations. Thus far, nothing has been turned up (at least publicly) to corroborate the accusation.

To be sure, Trump has aroused concern even among many of his supporters with his tweets and willingness to get down in the gutter with his enemies. Many, including me, wish he would just do his job and ignore the critics. But Trump is Trump, and he has been effective.

In terms of accomplishments, let’s look at his efforts to get rid of Obama Care. He has supported the efforts of (most) Republicans in Congress to bring in a new health care plan. He has awaited the deal with pen in hand, ready to sign, Yet, because of a handful of Republicans, the deal has yet to reach his desk. I blame this on the Republicans in Congress. They had two Obama terms to come up with a better plan that would pass muster.

Of course, Trump’s biggest success legislatively is the tax bill. Job well done.

Trump’s Supreme Court appointment of Neil Gorsuch was brilliant. Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court, and we can only hope Trump will have more picks.

We still await the border wall. Yet, it seems that illegal crossings are way down because would-be immigrants (for lack of a better word) perceive that there will not be such a welcoming climate for them here under President Trump. His attack on sanctuary cities has elevated the topic to national attention. If he follows through, I think he will prevail. These cities like San Francisco and LA have no legal leg to stand on.

Trump has certainly attempted through his travel ban to limit the number of potential terrorists entering the country. He has been thwarted by federal judges at every turn, but ultimately, I believe the courts will rule in his favor. The president has the right to stop certain classifications of people from coming here, and nobody has the legal right to enter the US just because they want to. Similarly, he is working to stop visa lotteries and chain migration. These are sensible policies.

In foreign affairs, Trump has unleashed his military commanders in the fight against ISIS. Together with our allies, ISIS has lost virtually all of its caliphate and is now reduced to pockets. However, those fighters who make their way back to Europe or America will pose a huge security risk. They must be stopped from getting back to America. The Europeans are failing badly in this.

Of course, North Korea is out there with the potential to explode any day. How Trump handles this problem will play a large part of his eventual legacy.

Trump has gained very little cooperation from our major allies. The Europeans are turned off by him. That was shown when he announced that we would move our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Countries like the UK, Germany and France voted to condemn the move in the UN, which was shameful. Public opinion seems to be on Trump’s side as our distrust of the UN only grows. In spite of my concerns over Rex Tillerson as secretary of state (for his seeming pro-Arab stance), the Trump administration is showing that we stand behind Israel-as opposed to the Obama administration. As I write, rumors abound that we are breaking off ties and monetary support to the Palestinians (PA).

As for the Europeans, given their own problems, we need no lectures from them. I would like to see Trump lead the way in convincing them to reverse their insane immigration policies and make it clear we will not follow their lead on this, nor will we assist them by taking in some of the riff-raff that are pouring into their countries.

On that note, our UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, has performed marvelously in responding to the UN after their shameful vote against us in the Jerusalem issue. She stood tall and told the UN that they will not dictate to us where we can put our embassies. This has been followed up by a $285 million reduction in US funding to the UN.  Trump may have appointed some questionable people in the first days of his administration (whom he has had to replace), but Nikki Haley is not one of them. She is on the rise.

On that note, I am still withholding judgment on the appointment of Jeff Sessions as attorney general. I think he is a good man, but in the first months of the administration, he seemed paralyzed. Add to that the fact that due to the controversies surrounding Judge Roy Moore, a senate seat has been lost to the Democrats in Alabama of all places, the seat formerly held by Sessions.

Lately, however, the DOJ has announced investigations into the Clinton morass, their foundation, the Uranium deal with the Russians and other Obama-related scandals. That is encouraging. Along those lines, departments like Justice and State need to weed out and get rid of those Obama hires that are still working to thwart the president’s agenda.

While Trump’s style is that of a bully, I suspect he has been rather masterful in sending his enemies down a bunch of rabbit holes where nothing exists. One thing is for sure; he knows how to make his enemies make themselves look bad.

All in all, I think Trump has done a solid job in spite of all the bumps and the massive opposition to him from the left. I still think he has the potential to become a great president. Much of that will depend on how much support he gets from the Republicans in Congress. It is vital that they maintain both houses of Congress.

Keep up the good work, Mr. President and stick to the platform which got you elected. If we have a good economy, secure border, a safer country (from the threat of terror), good judicial picks, less government intrusion into our lives, a stronger military, your prospects for re-election will be very good.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Gary Fouse

Born 1945 in Los Angeles. Currently employed since 1998 as adjunct teacher at University of California at Irvine Ext. teaching English as a second language.
Education: BS in Police Science and Administration California State University at Los Angeles (1970)
Master of Education at University of Virginia (1993)
Served three years in US Army Military Police Corps at Erlangen, Germany 1966-68.
1970-1973- Criminal Investigator with US Customs
1973-1995 Criminal Investigator with Drug Enforcement Administration. Stationed in Los Angeles, Bangkok, Milan, Italy, Pittsburgh and Office of Training, FBI Academy, Quantico, Va until retirement.
Author of Erlangen-An American's History of a German Town-University Press of America 2005
The Story of Papiamentu-A Study in Slavery and Language, University Press of America, 2002
The Languages of the Former Soviet Republics-Their History and Development, University Press of America, 2000

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