Russia. Twitter. Impeachment. These are the words that USA Today, CNN and The New York Times want you to believe describes the first six months of Donald Trump’s presidency. While they choose to dwell on dead-end stories from eight months ago, President Trump has been putting the American people, jobs and safety first. And in spite of Democrat obstructions to his political appointments, he has still accomplished good things for America.
Trump’s pro-growth policies have strengthened the economy and created jobs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has increased 17% since Election Day last year. In this year alone, it has already hit new highs 25 times. In addition, since January, the American economy added 863,000 new jobs, 821,000 of which are non-government jobs, including 79,000 construction jobs, 42,000 mining and logging jobs, and 41,000 manufacturing jobs.
Trump takes regulation as a barrier to growth seriously. He has signed 14 Congressional Review Act resolutions to end Barack Obama’s growth-choking regulations. He signed an executive order that requires two old regulations to be eliminated for every new regulation implemented. According to the American Action Forum, these regulation reductions have cut costs by $70 billion.
Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord, participation in which could have cost the American economy $3 trillion dollars, 6.5 million industrial sector jobs and 3.1 million manufacturing jobs, according to NERA Consulting.
On trade, Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and is renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He has sped-up the permitting and approval process of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export terminals, including the Lake Charles LNG terminal in Louisiana. He has also increased U.S. oil exploration by approving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, which has created 42,000 jobs and $2 billion in earnings.
Trump is restoring the Rule of Law to immigration. He ordered the hiring of 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, including 5,000 border patrol agents. Compared to this time last year, illegal border crossings have been reduced by 53%, Enforcement and Removal Operations conducted by ICE increased by nearly 40%, and arrests of criminal aliens have increased by 20%.
Under Trump’s leadership, the Department of Veterans Affairs has restored integrity by firing more than 500 employees, suspending 200, and demoting 33. Trump also signed legislation that allows our veterans to seek medical care outside of the VA system.
Rather than leading an apology tour, President Trump supported the opening of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Saudi Arabia, which helps Muslim-majority countries counter radicalized minorities. He understands that extremist ideology, not lack of “understanding,” is the root cause of radical Islamic terrorism.
President Trump has worked with our partners and allies in the Middle East to combat the Islamic State and Iraqi forces have recaptured Mosul, a huge victory. In addition, the U.S. recently sanctioned 16 entities and individuals who have supported Iran’s military in the development of military equipment.
The president has supported the dignity of human life. On the third day of his presidency, Trump reinstated the Mexico City policy, which prohibits non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive federal funds from advocating or providing abortions.
Meanwhile, he’s draining the swamp of government lobbyists through an executive order that bans executive branch political appointees from becoming lobbyists for at least five years after they leave their post.
Finally, the biggest win of all: President Trump fulfilled his promise to the American people by nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
Despite — or, rather, because of — these great accomplishments, President Trump has faced needless obstructions to his appointments and nominations. Consider this: The Senate has confirmed just four of 135 judicial vacancies, seven of 24 nominations for the Department of Defense, three of 29 nominations for the Department of Justice, three of 13 for Health and Human Services and less than half of his nominations for the Department of Homeland Security. In total, the Senate has confirmed 23% of Trump’s nominations. At about the same time in Obama’s first term, the Senate had confirmed 69% of his nominations.
This not only highlights the aggressive obstructionism of the Democrats but also gives context for why the Trump administration appears to be running with less fuel. It has less fuel — by Democrat design. Democrats have purposefully attempted to slow the confirmation process so that the Trump presidency will be understaffed and thus unable to achieve his policy goals.
And yet… Despite these obstructions and the resulting understaffed administration, President Trump has been able to strengthen the economy, increase jobs, reduce crime and illegal immigration, protect human life abroad and achieve a victory over the Islamic State in the recapturing of Mosul. All of this without taking a salary, but rather donating his first six months’ salary to the National Park Service and the Department of Education. These accomplishments, in spite of the purposeful obstructions by Senate Democrats, reveal a president who has done more to achieve safety, prosperity and human flourishing than anything we saw in the previous eight years. For this, he deserves our gratitude and support.
Image Credit: Senate Republican Policy Committee
What began as a single campaign on a college campus in 2010, has grown into a worldwide movement. It does not simply focus upon climate change or Green living, but rather de-funding the fossil fuel industry. They call it divestment.
Fossil fuel divestment, the opposite of investment, means the selling of fossil fuel stocks. Recalling the successful 1980’s divestment campaign against Apartheid, fossil fuel divestment advocates hope to create both financial and social pressure to ruin the fossil fuel industry. Whether it is college students protesting for the divestment of the school’s endowment or citizens marching for the divestment of the state’s pension, the movement has become a popular way for people to feel like they are fighting to save the earth from both the disaster of climate change and the evil of corporations.
Bill McKibben, one of the leading advocates of the divestment movement, co-founded 350.org, a global climate-change advocacy group which has held 20,000 rallies in every country in the world except North Korea. In 2012, he wrote in the Rolling Stone magazine that “a rapid, transformative change would require building a movement, and movements require enemies…And enemies are what climate change has lacked.”
In order to transform the climate change debate into a movement, McKibben needed an enemy. So he started the divestment movement which casts the fossil fuel industry and those who invest in them as the morally sinister destroyers of the environment. McKibben’s admission of creating an enemy to bolster his campaign should delegitimize the moral claims of the movement. But it hasn’t.
GoFossilFree.org, one of the leading voices in fossil fuel divestment, speak of the moral motivations for their cause:
Fossil fuel divestment takes the fossil fuel industry to task for its culpability in the climate crisis. By naming this industry’s singularly destructive influence — and by highlighting the moral dimensions of climate change — we hope that the fossil fuel divestment movement can help break the hold that the fossil fuel industry has on our economy and our governments.
Go Fossil Free holds the fossil fuel industry responsible for destroying the planet and morally injuring its inhabitants. While McKibben created an enemy, Go Fossil Free has made the fight against that enemy a moral one, citing floods and natural disasters allegedly caused by climate change. This they claim as the “morality” of their cause.
However, one study notes that deaths related to climate (flood, drought, storms, extreme heat or cold) have dropped 98% since 1920. The energy industry has facilitated the building of homes, heating, air conditioning, proper irrigation, and disaster warning systems.
Another fallacy upon which the divestment movement relies is that fossil fuels have created extreme amounts of pollution. Yet, according to Forbes magazine, air pollution in the US has declined 72 % since 1970, in spite of a 47% total increase in energy use. In addition, developed countries which use fossil fuels, have cleaner environments than underdeveloped countries where dumping waste in rivers and streams prevents access to clean water. In fact, one of the key differences between third world and first world countries depends upon access to reliable energy.
Alex Epstein, founder of the Center for Industrial Progress and author of New York Times bestseller, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, notes that there are 7 billion people on the planet who need access to inexpensive, reliable energy in order to flourish. 3 billion of those people have virtually no energy. For much of the world, lack of energy, not use of energy, has been the greatest barrier to growth and productivity
While the divestment movement has succeeded in creating both an enemy and a moral cause based upon fear and guilt, the evidence points to the reality that energy has helped hedge against climate-related disasters, and provided food and healthcare to aid human life. Supporters fail to grasp how energy powers every modern convenience from a warm shower (natural gas), to adequate hospital care (electricity), to food (diesel-powered farm equipment) and offer few, if any, real solutions to our planet’s energy needs.
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