The American electorate has been flip-flopping between Democratic and Republican control of government. Although elected officials like to claim American voters are trying to endorse Republican or Democratic priorities, the truth is that voters do not wholly support the agendas of either party. Clearly, Right-leaning voters tend to embrace Republican policy priorities and Left-leaning voters tend to embrace Democratic policy priorities, but the consensus mandate voters are giving all elected official is to clean up government. Reflecting on the loss of Hillary Clinton in 2016, the loss of Mitt Romney in 2012, the loss of Congressional Democrats in 2010, along with the Occupy Protests and the Tea Party Movement, the common theme is political reform.
In 2008, Barack Obama, for example, campaigned on a platform that included healthcare reform, which he achieved in the face of unrelenting Republican opposition by catering to special interests. Obama was, however, elected to make the economy and government work for the American People, which is he and his party have faced so much criticism. Republican opposition to any kind of change eventually forced Obama to circumvent Congress through unsettling tactics, such as the overuse of executive actions, and the embrace of Left-wing priorities in order to regain the support of Left-wing special interest groups. Donald Trump now faces similar opposition from the Left and a lack of strong, broad-base support from the Right, as well as the Middle, which threatens the prospects of government reform.
Professional media outlets have shamefully seized upon images of anti-Trump protesters crying to sell politics as entertainment, yet the stars of this drama do actually an important message that their new President needs to hear. People have the right to protest and cry like children when they do not get their way, which is something Republicans officials had been doing since Obama was elected, but this kind of behavior tends to be ineffective. Unless protests communicate a clear message and course of action, they are perceived as nothing more than a bunch of people whining, because they did not get their way. Protesters need to explicitly communicate what policies of President Trump they fear will hurt them and offer compromise options. If Trump wishes to actually clean up Washington, he needs to listen.
Donald Trump also needs to recognize Right-wing factions intend to hijack his drive to fix government in order to dismantle Left-wing and moderate policies as they enact the policies of Right-wing special interest groups. In order to combat the influence of special interests, Donald Trump needs to make government reform his top priority. The Left does not expect a Trump Presidency to uphold its priorities, so it will continue to make Trump the enemy of the People for a 2018 victory or recall vote. In recognizing and addressing moderate concerns that coincide with Leftist views, Trump can disarm such obstacles. Recognizing the sentiments of the “Never Trump” movement still exist, Republicans will seek to use the Trump Presidency to enact their priorities while hampering any reforms. If Trump is to fulfill his mandate to the American People, he must not simply pursue a Right-wing agenda.
To pursue their agenda, Right-wing politicians will cooperate on priorities that they share with Donald Trump. Once they get what they want, they will refuse to work for what the majority of the American People need. Consequently, Donald Trump would be wise to prioritize what the American People need the most in order to capitalize on initial Republican cooperation and foster moderate support. Recognizing the deep divisions and strength of the anti-Trump forces, he needs to do this in order to demonstrate his willingness to govern for the American People, instead of the special interest groups that are the problem in Washington. Looking at Trump’s goals for his first hundred days in office, Trump needs to devote his attention and effort to those things that can easily be pushed to the backburner, yet America needs the most.
Trump must prioritize the following:
Unfortunately, the pursuit of change requires time, effort, and cooperation rooted in political capitals, which are all very limited resources. At the same time, Donald Trump must recognize that some of his public policy initiatives are not as important as others while they may not be effective or even prudent.
These likely include:
With that said, below are the share Republican priorities that Trump can easily pursue. It will be tempting for Trump to immediately jump on these public policies, but doing so will hurt his long-term chances of solving Washington’s bigger problems. Once Republicans enact the following, they will stop cooperating with Donald Trump on the top priorities for the American People.
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