Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.
President Trump promised in his first inaugural address that his administration would be guided by one “crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.” He went on to say that “every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.” His first year in office has been the story of promises kept.
And while the president’s critics reflect on a year full of sound and fury, the president and his supporters will take satisfaction in a year of successes despite unyielding opposition.
By eery measure of personal and national prosperity, the nation is better off than it was one year ago. The Trump administration has overseen a renewed respect for citizenship. Gone is the lofty sounding rhetoric of globalism that led to unwinnable foreign wars and open borders. Back is talk of what we can do together as Americans.
You’d hardly know of his accomplishments by watching cable news, which continue indulging its perverse obsession with Russian conspiracy theories, West Wing intrigue and the president’s Twitter feed. It’s exhausting — and also largely beside the point.
Also conspicuous were the dogs that didn’t bark. These are the predictions of imminent calamity certain to accompany a Trump presidency that have, happily, failed to materialize. For one, nuclear war did not break out, despite this being one of the Trump detractors’ favorite predictions. Nor did the president sell the country down the river to Russian President Vladimir Putin, he didn’t ignore court orders, didn’t shut down the free press, and didn’t fire special counsel Robert Mueller.
After a year of peace and prosperity, more people are likely to believe that such outlandish predictions tell us less about the president and more about the temperament of his critics.
So what did Trump accomplish? For one thing, he appointed an all-star Cabinet that has been quietly and dutifully implementing the president’s agenda even as their boss runs interference for them, taking the slings and arrows of a hostile media. He has appointed more judges to the federal bench in his first year than any president ever, including Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. And they are constitutionalists. This alone will represents a signal triumph that will resound for the next few generations.
There’s more. Under Trump, construction has begun on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines even as the United States will soon achieve oil production of 10 million barrels per day, will become a net exporter of oil sometime in the next decade, and is set to rival Russia as the world’s largest oil producer by 2019.