For someone his critics say is a compulsive liar, Mr. Trump has been remarkably true to his word. Especially compared with his predecessor, he doesn’t moralize. It’s classic Trump to be openly exasperated by the Group of 7’s hand-wringing hypocrisy. Unlike almost every other democratic leader, Mr. Trump doesn’t try to placate critics. He knows it’s more important to get things done than to be loved.
The holder of the world’s most significant office should always be taken seriously. Erratic and ill-disciplined though Mr. Trump often seems, there’s little doubt that he is proving a consequential president. On the evidence so far, when he says something, he means it—and when he says something consistently, it will happen.
He said he’d cut taxes and regulation. He did, and the American economy is at its strongest in at least a decade. He said he’d pull out of the Paris climate-change agreement and he did, to the usual obloquy but no discernible environmental damage. He said he’d scrap the Iranian deal, and he did. If Tehran gets nuclear weapons, at least it won’t be with American connivance. He said he’d move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and he did, without catastrophe. He said he’d boost defense spending. That’s happening too, and adversaries no longer think that they can cross American red lines with impunity.
In Mr. Trump’s first year, he acted on 64% of the policy ideas proposed in the Heritage Foundation’s “Mandate for Leadership” agenda—not bad compared with Ronald Reagan’s 49%.
It’s a pity that he kept his promise to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But his concerns about that deal shouldn’t be dismissed. In the short term, freer trade can be better for rich people in poor countries than for poor people in rich ones.
|Tony Abbot, Former Australian Prime Minister|