Ken Blackwell is Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at Family Research Council. This article appeared in Patriot Post on April 24, 2017.
President Donald Trump is nearing his 100th day in office. Unlike his predecessor, President Trump doesn’t spend much time on the golf course. He’s busy issuing executive orders, appointing strong conservatives, bombing Islamist terrorists, and safeguarding our borders.
Some of the president’s critics didn’t think he’d make it through the first 100 days. They imagined that they could drive him from office — using the violent tactics that work so well to shut down debate on college campuses.
Others on the Left figured the courts would do their dirty work. Activist judges would issue a few rulings blocking his plans and he’d give up.
The Clinton crowd and Democratic establishment hoped that their Republican counterparts, those more interested in making nice than fighting for the people, would kill the president’s plans. Torpedo a bill or two and force the president to go “bipartisan.”
But President Trump proved that he is made of sterner stuff. He’s made it clear he will not retreat from the principles that got him elected.
His high-profile accomplishments are obvious enough. He nominated one of the best legal minds in years to the Supreme Court. Justice Neil Gorsuch is now deciding cases along with his colleagues.
Illegal immigrants are being sent home. Despite staunch opposition, the president is pressing forward to stop terrorists from entering our country. He appointed market-oriented deregulators to handle health care and environmental policy. Energy production again is a national priority, highlighted by approval of the Keystone Pipeline.
President Trump presented a plan to rebuild our national defense while cutting nonessential spending. The Left is horrified at having to defend the herds of sacred cows that graze throughout Washington.
On foreign policy, the president increased efforts to defeat ISIS and contain Iran. He challenged China over its support for North Korea. He reaffirmed America’s support for its Asian and European allies. And he brought home an American couple illegally imprisoned in Egypt for the last three years.
Yet some of his most important accomplishments have received far less attention.
Consider his appointment of Sen. Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. For the first time in eight years we have as the nation’s top legal official someone who respects the Constitution and the rule of law.
AG Sessions believes that the people’s elected representatives, not unelected judges, should make laws. And he’s determined to infuse this philosophy throughout other departments of government. In contrast, the Left believes legal and judicial interpretation is supposed to make up for bad legislative decisions.
As noted earlier, the first Supreme Court nomination was a home run: principled, qualified, and prepared. There likely will be more to come, as well as scores of appointments to the lower federal courts, which decide most cases.
Within the Justice Department the AG is appointing people similarly committed to enforcing the law, instead of selectively upholding or ignoring rules depending upon what they say or who they affect. AG Sessions supports existing immigration law. People in America illegally should be deported. “Sanctuary cities” shouldn’t be able to thwart law enforcement while collecting federal cash. He’s prepared to cut off funding to those jurisdictions that now let criminals go free because they are here illegally.
The attorney general also believes that federal drug laws must be enforced. States are free to change their statutes, but that does not relieve the national authorities of their responsibility to uphold the law.
Under AG Sessions the Justice Department is ending frivolous and burdensome lawsuits, such as over who can use which bathroom. Some issues don’t belong in court. They should be decided by people of good will with concern for the interests of everyone, not just a chosen few.
Even more important, AG Sessions is committed to ensuring the integrity of America’s electoral system. In this he clearly reflects the president’s interest. Although we can’t say for sure how many votes were cast illegally in 2016, we need to strive to have no illegal votes cast in the future.
Democracy requires protecting the honesty of the vote. And preventing those who are not eligible from voting. Illegal ballots negate the political voice of citizens.
The administration has elevated the safety and integrity of our electoral system to include a commission headed by Vice President Mike Pence. Across the nation voter rolls bulge with the names of people who have moved away, the dead, non-citizens and felons. Each ineligible name provides an opportunity for a fraudulent vote to be cast.
The previous Justice Department blocked states from safeguarding their ballot boxes. Its actions exposed an agenda to encourage illegal voting. The Democrats obviously know who their friends are.
A few months ago, the usual pundits said a Trump presidency was impossible. But voters had a different idea. Now we have a president who is leading from the front and delivering strong, practical, and conservative government that serves all of us.