--Will Rogers, three weeks before the 1932 Presidential Election.
As candidate Mr. Trump made a bold statement, he promised to "Make America great again." For many of us who supported him the issue of the contest was, as in 1992, "the economy, stupid." For a generation we have seen the rich get richer, the middle class get poor, and the poor get condescended to and/or scapegoated. Mr. Trump has promised to change that, to make the economy work, again, for ALL Americas. It's a big promise, I do not know how much he can deliver. He has four years (two years if the 2018 midterm election yields a Congress unwilling to advance his agenda) to deliver on his promises. Mr. Trump is a Republican and his party will be in the majority in both Houses of Congress in the 115th Congress (in fact the last time Republicans enjoyed such strength in Washington was after the 1928 election). His positions on trade are in some ways close to those of many Democrats, so there is hope that, at least on trade and the economy, his agenda can advance with bi-partisan support.
On his website www.donaldjtrump.com, President-Elect Donald J. Trump sets forth a "7 Point Plan To Rebuild the American Economy by Fighting for Free Trade"
His seven points are:
"1. Withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has not yet been ratified.
"2. Appoint tough and smart trade negotiators to fight on behalf of American workers.
"3. Direct the Secretary of Commerce to identify every violation of trade agreements a foreign country is currently using to harm our workers, and also direct all appropriate agencies to use every tool under American and international law to end these abuses.
"4. Tell NAFTA partners that we intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers. If they don’t agree to a renegotiation, we will submit notice that the U.S. intends to withdraw from the deal. Eliminate Mexico’s one-side backdoor tariff through the VAT and end sweatshops in Mexico that undercut U.S. workers.
"5. Instruct the Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator.
"6. Instruct the U.S. Trade Representative to bring trade cases against China, both in this country and at the WTO. China's unfair subsidy behavior is prohibited by the terms of its entrance to the WTO.
"7. Use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes if China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets - including the application of tariffs consistent with Section 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962."
To my many good and close friends and family who supported the other candidate and party I say, You will live to fight another day. Calm down, President Trump can't do one-tenth of the Bad Things you fear he'll do. He likewise will not do one-tenth of the Good Things I'd like him to do. As the poet lariat noted on the eve of another realigning election (yes, just four years after winning HUGE majorities in 1928 the GOP was repudiated in 1932), this country is too big for any one man to spoil.