As President Trump concludes his second month in office, his presidency is already being deemed a success or failure, depending on which cable news channel you are watching. But the fact is, the judgement of his presidency will be determined by the next 46 months more than the last two. Like all presidents, Mr. Trump wants to leave a positive legacy and imprint on American history. And he can do that. It’s really not even that complicated. If he will focus on these ten goals, he will go down as a great success. So Mr. President, here’s what you must do to be a great success.
1. Keep your promises.
If President Trump puts his promises ahead of his donors, he will be in a small crowd, to be sure. Because he didn’t get here via the traditional route (i.e. kissing up to big money), he is beholden to no one. So Mr. President, drain the swamp, build the wall, and do the other things you said you would do. Even those who don’t agree with your agenda will respect you for it.
2. Make great Supreme Court appointments.
With Judge Neil Gorsuch, you are off to a great start! If you have one or two more appointments to make, know they won’t be as easy to gain confirmation. But don’t back down. Appoint strict constitutionists in the mold of Antonin Scalia, and you will secure a legacy as a change-president.
3. Join a 12-step group – Tweeters Anonymous.
There was a man in the Bible named Nehemiah. He too built a great wall. In the process, two men nagged and chided him – Sanballat and Tobiah. They tried to distract Nehemiah from his stated goal. He said, “Why should I come down off this wall to talk to you?” Mr. President, every minute you spend on Twitter, responding to those you will never win over anyway, is a minute you could have spent actually getting something done. Admit your powerlessness over Twitter and seek your Higher Power for help.
4. Be a servant.
Visit poor areas of the country. In addition to your “Make America Great Again” rallies, throw in a few trips to the inner city. Adhere to the words of Groucho Marx – “In politics, sincerity is everything. Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” Better yet, don’t fake sincerity and compassion. Let that define your character. Be a servant.
5. Fix the economy.
This has always been the most important issue for American voters. While unemployment is low, our GDP must go up to remain competitive with China. President Obama’s economy featured the weakest recovery in American history. Grow the economy at 3 percent per year, and you will be touted a genius on all things economic.
6. Fix immigration.
Build the wall/fence. But that is a beginning, not an end. Mr. President, be willing to part ways from many in your own Republican party who pretend we will ever deport 12 million illegals. Say it with me – “We all know that it not going to happen.” Work with both parties to draft legislation that provides a pathway to legalization. That is not citizenship. But it faces reality and actually addresses (and largely fixes) the problem. Show leadership. But also show compassion.
7. Reduce the social divide.
This may be your most daunting task. But you must find a way to unite all communities. This includes whites, LGBTQ minorities, and all those who have opposed and continue to oppose you. America is at her best when people feel like they are on the same team. Look to the spirit of Ronald Reagan as your precedent.
8. Don’t make the Middle East any worse.
You can’t fix the Middle East. It is a mess of biblical proportions and has been since biblical times. Just don’t make things worse, and only send/keep American troops in the Middle East when our national interests are really at stake. Protect Israel, for sure. But beyond that be more of a Libertarian than anything else.
9. Solve health care.
Today, the House of Representatives hopes to vote on your health care law. Getting this legislation through the Senate won’t be easy. The American health care quagmire may be your greatest challenge, but it must be met.
10 Be a good listener.
Listen to a broad and diverse group of Americans, especially those out of power. The Bible says to be slow to speak and quick to listen. This may be the most difficult biblical command, and one of the most important, for you to follow, Mr. President. But your success depends on it.