RealClearPolicy Newsletters: Original Articles

"A New Vision Will Govern Our Land"

"A New Vision Will Govern Our Land"
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool

Dear Reader — 

If the inaugural address gave warning, this past week offered proof that Donald Trump means what he says. Whether or not he succeeds in enacting his agenda — and whether or not that agenda is always discernible in its details — President Trump appears intent on keeping his campaign promises, disabusing reporters and pundits of the notion that he is inconsistent or lacking principles. The president has been particularly consistent on one, unifying principle, which he recently dubbed “America First”: renegotiating trade deals, restricting immigration, reconsidering our foreign entanglements — all symbolized, perhaps, by his famous wall.

Though he plans to build his wall, President Trump seems equally intent on tearing down much of the regulatory state, beginning with the Affordable Care Act. Rather than getting government out of the way, this Republican president would reapportion federal power. Will it work? While a growing economy — spurred, conservatives hope, by deregulation — may offset the combination of tax cuts and increased government spending, President Trump’s challenge will be to forge a nationalism that appeals to our whole nation, on pain of contradiction. 

Will the party of budget hawks and free trade go along with this new nationalism, characterized as it is by public-works projects and protectionist policies? It appears it may well. The Democrats, meanwhile, show surprisingly little interest in cooperating with a president who, among other things, supports a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan, preserving entitlements, and protecting working-class jobs. Perhaps it is our political parties, not our president, who want for constancy of principle. 

These are some of the many issues taken up at RealClearPolicy over the past week. Below you will find just a few highlights.

— M. Anthony Mills, editor | RealClearPolicy


Anti-Elitism, the Trump Version. According to The American Prospect’s Harold Meyerson, Trump’s populism overlooks “the real American elite: Wall Street.”

Revenge of the Bureaucrats. Politico’s Nancy Cook & Andrew Restuccia look at the potential consequences of Trump’s freeze on hiring federal workers.

Will Tax Reform Benefit Anyone Beyond the C Suite? For the Brookings Institution, William A. Galston evaluates whether the GOP’s proposed corporate tax cuts would really boost middle-class jobs. 

Is Donald Trump the Next Jimmy Carter? In The New Republic, Scott Lemieux considers whether Trump, like Jimmy Carter, represents the last gasp of a failing coalition or a new political era. 

Obama's Mixed Legacy on Immigration. In our own pages, Alex Nowrasteh considers the lessons lawmakers can draw from Obama's approach to the contentious issue. 

The Jacksonian Revolt. In Foreign Affairs, Walter Russell Mead places Trump’s populist insurgence in the context of American political history. 

Donald Trump's New Republican Deal. Also in our pages, Paul Hoffmeister urges the new administration to pursue a bipartisan “grand bargain” that marries smart infrastructure policy with smart tax reform. 

Outsourcing Jobs Is Not Immoral. For The Federalist, Rachel Lu defends free markets while recognizing the toll globalization can take on American workers. 

Scott Pruitt and the Environment. In Defining Ideas, Richard A. Epstein considers the impact Scott Pruitt, Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, might have on administrative law.

The Republicans' Slippery Slope on Obamacare. In a RealClearPolicy op-ed, Tom Haynes argues that GOP efforts to preserve popular provisions of the law will undermine health-care reform. 

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