Even Donald Trump has effected change that everyone can praise
There are a lot of things that almost all people can agree on. We generally agree that spring is better than winter. We generally agree that cat pictures are cute even if we would never have a cat for a pet. The show Friends got boring in the last couple of seasons. Pizza for breakfast is the best. Everyone should wear a bib when eating spaghetti with tomato sauce. Redwood and sequoia trees should never be cut down. Playing Vegas games online is better than traveling to do the same at the real Vegas. The two most iconic places in baseball stadiums are the Green Monster in Fenway Park and the basket in Wrigley Field. Books are better as books and newspapers are better as newspapers. Men should never be seen in public licking a lollipop. Virginia is much more than the land bridge between Gettysburg and Washington.
That brings us to the Nation’s Capitol, politics, divisions among us, and President Trump. Yes, we know that Donald Trump is far from being the most popular US President of this generation! Nevertheless, we felt that we could find ten accomplishments that everyone could support, even his biggest detractors. In fact, we found sixteen! Here they are.
- In February, President Trump joined with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada to form the United States-Canada Council for the Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business leaders.
- In March, Trump ordered an audit of all government agencies with the purpose of reducing wasteful spending.
- In April, Trump signed a law that enables US military veterans, who live too far from a Veteran’s Administration medical facility or have too long a wait to be seen by a doctor through the Veterans Administration system, to see a doctor privately and have the cost picked up by the government in Washington.
- In May, Trump authorized a military strike against a Syrian air base from where a chemical attack on Syrian civilians had been launched.
- In June, Trump signed an executive order redefining the term navigable waters as not including man made ditches or ponds that form after heavy rain.
- In June, a new hotline, devised to help veterans and set up by the White House, began operations.
- In June, President Trump signed a bill called the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act that was designed to protect people from within the Veterans Administration from reprisals by superiors if the lower ranking officials reveal misdeeds by the VA.
- In June, the President saw through the uniting of the Defense Department’s medical records data base with the VA’s data base thus ending a long-term conflict between the two departments regarding veterans’ medical records.
- In June, the secretary-general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, announced that member nations had increased their own payments to NATO by a cumulative ten billion dollars after President Trump stated that member nations were expected to pay their fair share of NATO’s costs.
- In June, the President oversaw the return of beef exports from the US to China. Exports had been suspended since 2003.
- In August, the President announced the administration’s goal to reduce bureaucratic approval times for infrastructure projects by 80%, to two years.
- In October, the President revitalized the US space program by reviving the National Space Council for the first time since 1992, calling for more emphasis on exploration and discovery.
- In October, the President’s economic initiatives since taking office were reported to have resulted in a 13-year high in consumer confidence.
- In November, the President ordered the release of almost 16,000 documents from the National archives relating to the assassination in 1963 of then-President John F. Kennedy.
- In November, the President visited China where he announced trade accords that may be worth 250 billion dollars or more in renewed trade a between the two countries, especially exports of American manufactured goods, and agricultural and ranching products.
- In December, the President announced that he had issued an executive order, pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Act of 2016, which executive order declared that abuses in human rights around the world constituted an existential worldwide threat and a national emergency in the US.
Not All Cherry Blossoms
We admit that most of the things President Trump did in his first year in office were not universally liked. In fact, they were extremely divisive such as actions on abortion rights, the environment and climate change, the tax bill, shrinking the EPA, beginning the undoing of Obamacare, reducing the size of the Federal Government, reducing regulations, taking credit for the loss of the Caliphate, pushing The Wall, allowing fracking, allowing oil exploration in Alaska, taking credit for all those bonuses, and a lot more.
Hope of Unity
But, at least we have a few things we can all agree on. Virginia really is a lot more than a highway system that leads to the Lincoln Memorial.