Wednesday 18 September 2019

Niamh Horan: Don't follow the herd on Trump, look at the successes his presidency is delivering


President Donald Trump. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP Photo
President Donald Trump. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP Photo
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

You'd be forgiven for scratching your head at the hoopla surrounding the new book on Donald Trump.

Pitched as "riveting" and "explosive", Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury contains about as much excitement as a family holiday slideshow.

My guess is that if a bestselling author were to dig up the past of the average man (with help from his frenemies), there would be more skeletons than have supposedly been unearthed on the world's most powerful man.

Burgers in bed, the name of his hair-dye, a lock on his door and a penchant for stripping his own bedsheets, have all been stealing the most headlines.

As the late Peggy Lee sang: "Is that all there is?"

But here's the real clincher: the biggest revelation Trump's critics are celebrating is that he didn't actually want to win the election. Yet these same critics have spent the past year telling us Trump colluded with the Russians because he wanted to win. And they claim Trump lacks credibility?

I remember last summer, chatting to President Trump's youngest son, Eric. Like a man with a secret the world has not yet cottoned on to, he was already preparing for the 2020 elections and fully intent on winning. He baulked at how his father's critics were making the same mistake over and over: becoming distracted by trivial on-loop news stories the US public cares little about, while failing to see the big strides Trump was making on jobs and the US economy.

Trump has made even more headway since. My advice, if you want to know if he will survive or not, is to keep an eye on his actions, not what he says.

In less than a year, the Islamist terror group has been driven out of Syria and Iraq, rubbishing predictions that his appointment would ignite a holy war. Though no one can be complacent about the continuing threat of terrorist acts, their main battlefield has been cleared. Remember, the group thrived in Syria and Iraq during Barack Obama's tenure.

Or look at America's domestic front, where Trump has overseen pretty impressive economic growth.

In his first year, 2.1m jobs were added to the economy and job losses in critical sectors were reversed. In manufacturing - a key priority for Amer­ica's bible belt - 16,000 new manufacturing jobs were created every month last year.

Compare this to the 1,000 manufacturing jobs lost each month in 2016.

Overall, unemployment is at a 17-year low. As part of this, African-Americans, and Hispanics are enjoying historic employment gains under Trump's reign.

Compare this to Barack Obama, who won well over 90pc of the black vote, then from 2009-2014 oversaw employment fall more for blacks than for any other racial or ethnic group.

Turn to the stock market. Under Trump it is breaking new records. On the same day that people went into a tailspin over Michael Wolff's tell-all book, the Dow Jones industrial average broke above 25,000 for the first time.

This was a response to stronger-than-expected jobs data and to the Trump administration's corporate-friendly push for deregulation.

Big Macs in bed or not, Trump remains on a roll.

If he continues this economic success, the former real estate developer will bulldoze into the 2020 election with a massive advantage, and it is very difficult to lose an election on the crest of a booming economy.

So the liberal elites can pour over their copies of Fire and Fury in their plush apartments on the east coast of America while dissecting the latest revelations.

They may think they only have to wait four years for Trump's antics to bring about his undoing, but as long as the booming economy continues, Trump can eat fillet of Bambi in bed and dye his hair bright pink for all his supporters care - he'll still get re-elected.

Sunday Independent

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