President Donald Trump may have lost re-election in one of the strangest and most contested elections in American history, but he achieved a great deal in 2020. While Americans are exhausted by the constant warfare between Trump and the left-leaning legacy media, the president will leave a solid legacy on a great many issues.
The annus horribilis of 2020 was a tough year for the president. He survived impeachment, but Mitt Romney became the first U.S. senator to vote for the removal of a president of his own party. Trump had been warning about China for many years, and while the COVID-19 pandemic proved his warnings correct, it also devasted the economy his policies had helped to strengthen. Trump thought himself lucky to face Joe Biden in the election, but he let himself go too much in the first debate and the legacy media buried Trump’s successes while spewing out almost 100 percent negative coverage.
Even though it seems Biden will replace Trump next month, Republicans picked up seats in the House of Representatives and Trump won more Hispanic and black voters in a powerful rebuke to the Left’s identity politics narrative.
Despite Trump’s struggles in 2020, he achieved at least five important victories this year.
1. The March for Life
Trump became the first sitting president to attend the March for Life in person and he gave a powerful speech in defense of the unborn.
“Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House,” Trump declared. He mentioned his administration’s efforts on the Mexico City Policy, a pro-life rule on Title X funding, support for the Little Sisters of the Poor, new rules preserving faith-based adoption, and his 187 confirmed originalist federal judges.
“Sadly, the far-left is actively working to erase our God-given rights, shut down faith-based charities, ban religious believers from the public square, and silence Americans who believe in the sanctity of life,” the president declared. “They are coming after me because I am fighting for you and we are fighting for those who have no voice, and we will win.”
While some pro-life Americans — including me — did not trust Trump, who previously identified as pro-choice, to become a champion for the unborn, the president defended life in his words and his policies. His historic March for Life speech served as an important capstone for his pro-life legacy.
2. The Mount Rushmore speech
After George Floyd died in police custody, peaceful protests across the country devolved into violent and destructive riots. President Trump sent federal officers to fight the violence and he may have forced Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s hand in moving against the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), but it often seemed he could do little more than tweet “Law and Order” while the media and Democratic officials insisted that the destructive riots were “mostly peaceful protests.”
Amid all the lawlessness, Trump delivered a powerful Fourth of July speech at Mount Rushmore — a speech that not only rebuked the riots and the destructive ideology behind them but defended America’s goodness at a time when so many leftists claimed America was institutionally racist down to its foundations.
“Make no mistake, this left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution,” Trump warned. “In so doing, they would destroy the very civilization that rescued billions from poverty, disease, violence, and hunger, and that lifted humanity to new heights of achievement, discovery, and progress.”
“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children,” Trump warned. “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our Founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities. … Make no mistake, this left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution.”
“For the sake of our honor, for the sake of our children, for the sake of our union, we must protect our history, our heritage, and our great heroes,” the president declared.
In this speech, Trump effectively countered the destructive ideology that links the violent riots with The New York Times‘ “1619 Project” and the movement to erase America’s heritage and find hidden “racism” behind every aspect of American society. This speech was a highlight of Trump’s presidency.
Trump Eviscerates the ‘Web of Lies’ Behind the ‘Angry Mob,’ Defends Mount Rushmore for Fourth of July
3. Operation Warp Speed
Under President Trump, the federal government teamed up with companies like Moderna and Pfizer to fast-track a vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
When Pfizer announced that its vaccine had proven 90 percent effective and was nearly approved by the FDA, Trump explained that the average vaccine development process takes 8 to 12 years, yet “through operation Warp Speed we’re doing it in less than 1 year. … This is five times faster than the fastest prior vaccine development in history. Five times faster.”
COVID-19 shares some aspects with other coronaviruses, but the development of vaccines in less than a year is an astounding accomplishment.
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) November 13, 2020
4. Amy Coney Barrett
After Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away in September, Trump nominated a pro-life originalist, Amy Coney Barrett, to replace her. While it seemed drastic for him to nominate a justice mere months before the election, his late nomination was not unprecedented and the Senate did indeed confirm her before the election.
Senate Democrats had previously condemned Barrett, as they had condemned many Trump nominees, for her associations with conservative Christian groups. With the election so close, they chose to avoid such a risky strategy. Instead, they attacked Barrett on Obamacare and Trump’s nominee deftly responded to their false claims.
Barrett impressed Democrats — and Americans in general — by providing cogent and sophisticated answers to complicated legal questions without even needing any notes.
VIRAL MOMENT: Amy Coney Barrett reveals she has no notes at hearing.
Sen. John Cornyn: "Can you hold up what you've been referring to in answering our questions? Is there anything on it."
Barrett: "A letterhead that says United States Senate."
Cornyn: "That's impressive." pic.twitter.com/xHmwjIjn60
— The Hill (@thehill) October 13, 2020
Trump’s successful nomination of Barrett once again confirmed his promise to restore the federal judiciary with originalist judges and justices who will faithfully interpret the Constitution as written, rather than unilaterally amending it as the Supreme Court did with abortion in Roe v. Wade (1973) and with same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015).
5. Peace in the Middle East
What happens if a president brings historic peace to the Middle East and the legacy media tries to bury the news? The annus horribilis of 2020 shows what happens: the president loses reelection.
In January, Trump ordered an airstrike that killed Iranian Quds Force General Qassem Soleimani after Iran-backed militias attacked the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. Soleimani orchestrated the Islamic Republic’s terrorist activity throughout the Middle East and was reportedly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers. Of course, the legacy media demonized Trump for it.
Soleimani’s death crippled Iran’s stranglehold on the Middle East, freeing up Arab states to make peace with the country Iran considers “the Little Satan,” the Jewish State of Israel.
Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) normalized relations with Israel in the Abraham Accords. Muslim-majority Kosovo and Christian-majority Serbia made a historic agreement that included promises to set up embassies in Jerusalem. Sudan and Morocco also normalized relations with Israel. The UAE even agreed to order hotels to serve Kosher foods in Abu Dhabi, delivering a powerful symbol of Jewish acceptance in a notoriously anti-Semitic part of the world.
These historic diplomatic successes have brought Trump multiple Nobel Prize nominations, but the legacy media largely ignored them. In a post-election poll, 43.5 percent of respondents who said they voted for Joe Biden said they had no idea about the agreements. Five percent of Biden voters said they would have changed their votes had they known. This seems a small percentage, but if 5 percent of Biden voters hadn’t voted, Trump would have won the election.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.