Despite record job growth, the Dow over 22,000, illegal immigration down 70 percent and massive deregulation, the mainstream media still reports that Donald Trump’s presidency is a failure. To put the final nail in the coffin of the opposition (Republicans, Democrats and the failing mainstream media) President Trump needs victories in three areas: legislative, the court of public opinion, and national defense and diplomacy.
First, legislative – more specifically, health care. A handful of Republicans – after campaigning, raising money on and promising the repeal of ObamaCare – failed to deliver. This is why “we the people” like the president more than Congress. But it is not too late for Trump to post a victory here. He can propose a bill to repeal only the individual mandate and he needs to do it louder than anything else he has done to date. That is the single most unpopular element of the health care law and might even garner support from across the aisle – even Democrats have admitted it needs changes. This would be very hard to vote against and the president would post his first legislative victory.
And for those Republicans who vote against this? Find and support primary opponents against them in their districts, and campaign hard for them. Send the message. Get on board the Trump Train or get run over.
Also in the legislative column: tax reform. What legislator would not want to go home to constituents and be able to say “we put more money in your paycheck?” Here is how you roll it out: send Sarah Huckabee Sanders to the podium with an average middle class American making $50-60,000 a year, hold up his current paycheck, what he makes and what he takes home. Then you hold up a second paycheck with the same salary under Trump’s tax plan highlighting the difference in the take home pay. “This is what President Trump stands for. Congress, the bill is on your desk, make it happen.” She walks out without taking any questions and does not hold a press conference until Congress votes on it.
This will allow the White House to go on the offense. It is now Congress’ fault that the White House is not taking questions and the media will naturally turn its sights to the Republicans in Congress for not helping the middle class American, forcing their hand. During this time, Trump, like he did against Hillary and her days since her last press conference, counts the days on Twitter. Boom, second legislative victory in his first year.
In the court of public opinion, Trump has been convicted by the mainstream media of Russian collusion. The problem, though, is they have yet to produce any evidence for any of their criminal allegations. Here’s the play: Trump challenges his largest critics on this. Calling out Schumer, Pelosi, Waters and a few more saying that he will participate in the investigation to the fullest for 90 more days on the condition that if nothing is found, they resign their seats. Look, there is no precedent or legal grounds for this. If they don’t respond in 10 days, he fires Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It’s simply a PR play, they will NOT agree to this which gives Trump the opportunity to go on the offense and say, “The Democrats don’t even believe in this investigation.”
Finally, national defense. Even with the 15-0 global decision against it at the UN Security Council, North Korea is going to continue to push the envelope until we do something. Sanctions will not work and will only further enrage the regime. North Korea is so poor that people are eating the frogs and bugs in the streets – any sanctions placed on them simply re-directs any limited funds away from his people and back to his military complex.
We have a military machine unlike anyone else. Time to use it! Park three carrier groups off the coast. When North Korea launches another missile, we will assume – due to recent threats – that it is not a test and will shoot it down. When they fire another one we shoot that down and destroy the installation that it came from. Then shoot the next one down and destroy three more military establishments. During this time, the president needs to use his PR machine at the White House to continue to encourage Kim Jung Un to come to the table. Put the ball in his court, get him to the table.
President Trump is a different type of politician. He made his mark by doing things aggressively and thinking outside the box. I encourage him to stay the course. Mr. President, do what you do best, run over your opponents and don’t look back. As Eric Trump said recently, “The Left would rather see our country fail than Trump succeed.” That is the nature of the opposition. With newly assigned General Kelly at the helm, I have no doubt that this administration is being steered back to the right course.
Carl Higbie was a Special Operator with SEAL Team Ten, Echo Platoon. He deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His most recent book is "Enemies, Foreign and Domestic: A SEAL's Story."