Now that we have entered the first full day of President Donald Trump’s second year in office it’s a good time to ask this question.
Is Trump a conservative?
“Yes,” is my firm answer.
Fascinatingly, Trump doesn’t talk about conservatism much, nor did he as a candidate. Contrast the president with the dozens of Republicans elected to Congress since the Tea Party wave of 2010 who talked a tough game on issues such as ObamaCare, illegal immigration, and shrinking the government. But once in power, many of these GOPers backed away from strong conservative stances on those issues.
But here we have a president in Trump who didn’t campaign as a conservative but who is governing as one.
Trump’s first major move in office was to nominate Neil Gorsuch to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. So far Gorsuch has been a solid conservative voice on the nation’s highest court. While there have been some qualification issues on a few district court nominees, the president has nominated a solid group of conservative jurists on the district and appellate levels. As for the latter, Trump set a record for the most appellate nominees confirmed in a first year of office.
Our military, with the aid of allies, has had great success against the Islamic State, to the point where we can say that it’s likely that ISIS has been defeated. A strong national defense is the backbone of any conservative playbook.
Amazingly, Trump is exceeding even Ronald Reagan’s pace in slashing regulations.
And last month the Republican tax cut bill was signed into law–which has already fattened the wallets of Americans. Included in that bill was the elimination of the unpopular ObamaCare individual mandate, which may lead to the unraveling of the signature law of Trump’s predecessor.
The cut in regulations and taxes have spurred an unprecedented rally in the stock market since Trump’s election.
Yesterday, although by video hook-up, Trump became the first president to address the annual March for Life rally.
On his radio show last year Mark Levin called Trump “the most conservative president since Reagan.”
America has a conservative president again—one who didn’t campaign as one.
It’s an inconsistency I can live with happily.
Today there is a government shutdown–why? Because Trump is standing up for conservative policies.
John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.