As one who predicted back in August 2015 — five months before the Iowa caucuses — that the presidency was Donald Trump’s to lose, I should quit while I’m ahead.
But I won’t.
Throwing caution to the (where else?) wind, I now have another prediction.
Donald Trump will prove to be one of the greatest and most consequential American presidents, at least since Ronald Reagan and possibly before. No one will ever approach Washington or Lincoln, but Trump is positioned to be one of our most important leaders and be a true change-maker, turning this country around at a time when American power and greatness were on the wane.
Although I had previously suspected as much, I was convinced of this watching his performance on 60 Minutes Sunday. What we saw was Trump in the presidential mode he has long promised and he slipped into it remarkably easily, as if it had always been there and needed no coaxing. The daffy Donald of the primaries and later was far in the rearview mirror. (Was it ever real or just a masquerade?)
The interview demonstrated, as did his Gettysburg speech, the man knows what he intends to do. They are good and necessary things for our country. And the stars are aligned for him to do it. He is coming into office with a Republican Congress poised to get things done, a Supreme Court waiting to be filled, and a military largely grateful for new leadership.
Will he get everything he wishes accomplished? Of course not. But he is wasting no time in moving forward and willing to make smart compromises to get things done. On healthcare, he would keep two popular features of Obamacare — the guarantee of insurance for preexisting conditions and the ability to keep children on the family plan to age 26. On immigration, he is open to some of the wall being a fence.
None of these things should be faintly surprising to anyone paying the slightest attention. Trump has indicated, even told us at times, his stances are negotiating positions. That’s what businessmen do, in case you haven’t heard. And there’s nothing America needs more right now than a businessman who can finally get things moving.
Similarly, his first public actions were to appoint as his two principal consiglieres Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon — two men of radically different backgrounds and styles, but two that have already proven they can work together for victory. A Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside. Trump recognizes what many business leaders do — that you get as many disparate stakeholders as you can to achieve your goals, bring as many factions as possible together and convince them what they want is what you want. Not only is that good business practice, it’s politics at its best and straight out of the pages of Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, and Mario Puzo.
Trump is by instinct and profession a doer, a builder. Ideology will be in the back, not because it’s bad, but because it’s in the way. I have no doubt that he will have to push some people and alienate others in his headlong desire to get things accomplished. He will be in constant conflict because he simultaneously wishes to lower taxes and rebuild the infrastructure. But somehow I think he will succeed in that balancing act.
But if you ask me what Trump’s signal achievement will be at the end of his (yes!) eight years, I further predict it will be this: Donald Trump — not Barack Obama — will be the one to end our forever national nightmare about race and revive our African-American inner cities that have been (okay, I won’t you use the inaccurate “decimated”) laid waste to by fifty years of Democratic Party rule. He will bring businesses and jobs to people who haven’t seen them in decades and rewrite the alignment of our political parties, upending identity politics. He will bring all of us together as never before or at least back to that time before Obama when racial tensions had cooled and people weren’t transfixed with race, as they are now. They could just live their their lives devoid of pervasive political correctness.
Quite an accomplishment, no? Ah, you’re skeptical that could happen in eight years. Well, get behind him anyway because, as the man said, what have you to lose?
And if you’re worrying about the state of the world while all this is going on, can Donald deal with international leaders, etc., this just just popped up in my inbox from the Presidential Transition Team Communications Office as I was wrapping up this column:
(New York, NY) – President-elect Donald J. Trump spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday night and thanked him for the President’s well wishes and congratulations after winning a historic election. During the call, the leaders established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another, and President-elect Trump stated that he believes the two leaders will have one of the strongest relationships for both countries moving forward.
Isn’t that those Chinese who have been stealing all our jobs? Is Donald Trump selling out already? No, the negotiations have begun.
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already.