President Donald Trump has flexed his executive muscles to expeditiously push through policies he promised on the campaign trail. He’s actually taking a page out of former President Obama’s book by relying heavily on executive orders to pass policies that may have difficulty getting through Congress. Ironically, Trump is now using that same authority to reverse the initiatives of the Obama administration and institute his own.
For months during the campaign we heard from Trump’s political adversaries and the liberal media that he was promising the impossible. In a little over a week, however, he delivered on many of his core campaign pledges.
In his first six days in office, Trump signed executive orders aimed at rolling back Obamacare, building a wall on our southern border with Mexico, hiring more border and immigration officers and cutting federal funding to “sanctuary cities” that do not enforce federal immigration laws on undocumented immigrants.
Perhaps the most controversial was the president’s temporarily ban on immigration from Muslim countries deemed a “threat to national security” — specifically Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen. Refugees and migrants from those seven mostly Muslim countries would not be allowed to travel to the U.S. for three months as the president and his staff considered extreme vetting proposals.
That executive order moved thousands of protesters to flock to Kennedy Airport and the Brooklyn federal courthouse after news broke that more than a dozen immigrants and refugees had been detained at JFK as a result.
Judicial rulings in several cities across the country attempted to block enforcement of the ban, but the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement making it clear that it would continue to implement the executive order.
Friends, we need to ensure that the proper vetting procedures are in place when we’re dealing with nations that produce or support radical Islamic terrorists. The security of this nation starts at its borders, and we must ensure that we are not allowing potential threats into the country.
Trump has been a divisive figure for Americans. Many around the nation are still complaining about the outcome of the election. What these people have lost sight of is that, once again, Democracy has prevailed. Once again, our nation has successfully transferred power from one administration to the next, quickly and, more important, peacefully.
The entire nation and the media should be commending Trump for taking such quick and decisive action in his first week in office. We haven’t seen anything like this in decades of American politics.
Trump’s first week in office was reminiscent of the days of Ronald Reagan. Trump exudes many of the same leadership characteristics of Reagan. It is obvious that Trump is able to make a decision and stick to it. That’s one characteristic that made President Reagan so great, and helped him confidently handle the Iran-Contra affair, the air traffic controllers’ strike and many other events that were affecting the nation early on in his presidency.
Trump brings that same attitude to the White House. He has attacked problems, and has not wavered on his promises. For years during the Obama administration, we sat and waited for policies to be undertaken, but many initiatives remained stalemated.
Trump has set out to prove that his administration will not suffer from the same indecision that had become the trademark of Obama’s. His decisiveness comes from his deep-rooted belief that the government should serve the people. Under Obama it was just stalling, and as a result, wages stagnated, jobs left the country, thousands of criminal immigrants were put back on the streets, our infrastructure crumbled and the international community no longer looked to us for leadership.
The failures of Obamacare needed to be addressed, we needed to secure our borders, and we needed to start putting America first and pursue bilateral trade negotiations that will promote American industry, protect American workers and raise American wages. Trump addressed all of those issues in one week’s time.
I believe that his “must-do” attitude and decisiveness will spread to members of Congress, international leaders and business executives. This is a new day in Washington, and our new president’s swift and unwavering decision-making will benefit us all in the long run.
Al D’Amato, a former U.S. senator from New York, is the founder of Park Strategies LLC, a public policy and business development firm. Comments about this column? ADAmato@liherald.com.