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One Year Out and Donald Trump Is a Rock Star

Image: One Year Out and Donald Trump Is a Rock Star
Barron Trump listens as President Donald Trump speaks during the National Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoning Ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Evan Vucci/AP)

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Tuesday, 21 November 2017 05:19 PM Current | Bio | Archive

One year out — How does the Trump presidency compare? It depends on who you ask. It depends on your metrics.

In terms of promises kept to the people who elected him? I rate Donald Trump the greatest president since FDR, including Ronald Reagan. By that standard, Donald Trump is a rock star! We’ve seen nothing like it.

Most presidents campaign on one track and then do the opposite after the election.

Trump has increased jobs, reduced illegal immigration, cut regulations, driven ISIS out of its cities, turned around the Supreme Court, finally fixed the worst flaws in the Veterans Administration and given Americans hope in their future. In terms of draining the swamp? He has been relentless, with pressure on both political parties.

The stock market is at an all-time high. Unemployment is at a 17 year low.

So What Will Academia Say?

Presidential historians and the corporate media will give Donald Trump almost universal condemnation for his first year.

Historians will typically ask the following questions. Did he have a great legislative record? Did the economy grow? Did he impact the Supreme Court? Did he change the executive branch, for example, add new cabinet posts? Did he wage and win a popular war? Did he give us soaring rhetoric that can be inscribed on marble somewhere?

By those standards, FDR was a great president. He had them all. Trump has two, a growing economy and turning around the Supreme Court, although they won’t like the Court’s direction. As for soaring rhetoric, critics will say that Trump has tweeted away his first year.

The problem with such analysis is that historians and academics cheat. They can be agonizingly subjective. By their own standards George W. Bush was a great president. He could check off every box except one, the economy. And John F. Kennedy was a failed president who only gave us soaring rhetoric. But historians despise Bush and love Kennedy.

In the case of Bush, the failed economy outweighs everything else and drags him down.

And why do you say that Trump is a success?

For the opposite reason. The successful economy covers a multitude of sins.

The political base that sticks to Trump, in spite of relentless, transparent opposition from the national media, is still solidly in place.

Turning around the U.S. Supreme Court is a good example of how he makes it look easy. It took President Reagan and President George H.W. Bush, multiple attempts over a period of years to do it and the first choice, by Bush, John Sotter, didn’t accomplish what was intended. Trump looked like Willie Mays catching an over the shoulder fly ball to center field. No problem. Just a routine fly ball.

If the 1992 Clinton political machine was right, "It’s the economy stupid," then Donald Trump has been a glorious success in his first year. It is hard to imagine better economic numbers. They are still fragile and they are layered with nuance, but one can argue that he has done in one year what Obama could not do in eight. And much of it was won by his contagious, outrageous, positive attitude.

There are certainly political dangers ahead. By attaching himself to the stock market, Trump will take a hit when it goes into a correction. And his controversial tweets could at any point hit critical mass, and be the snowflake that breaks the branch. But his first year is in the bank and no one can take it away from him. As far as his base is concerned, he is a success.

In the end, to paraphrase FDR, the only thing we apparently needed to hope for in this first year of Trump, was hope itself.

So there you have it. Ask the academics about Trump’s first year and they will sneer. Ask the people who elected him president and they will declare him a rock star.

Doug Wead is a presidential historian who served as a senior adviser to the Ron Paul presidential campaign. He is a New York Times best-selling author, philanthropist, and adviser to two presidents, including President George H.W. Bush. He is the author of "Game of Thorns: Inside the Clinton-Trump Campaign of 2016," which is due to be released on Feb. 28, 2017. Read more reports from Doug Wead — Click Here Now.

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Ask the academics about Trump’s first year and they will sneer. Ask the people who elected him president and they will declare him a rock star.
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2017-19-21
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 05:19 PM
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