By John Ubaldi
Contributor, In Homeland Security
The American people have spoken. They have shown their disenchantment with the current political establishment by electing Donald Trump as the next President of the United States.
This repudiation of the political establishment extends well beyond Trump’s election to the presidency. The Republican Party hung on to its majority control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
No one could have predicted the outcome of this race. Many political pundits forecast a Clinton victory. Clinton had many elements in her favor, including money, a strong political organization, a sitting U.S. President actively campaigning for her and a large portion of the media firmly in her corner.
Clinton’s Defeat in Perspective
The most glaring aspect of Clinton’s defeat was her email server scandals. Other contributions to her failure were the alleged corruption at the Clinton Foundation, a slowly recovering economy and the rising healthcare costs of Obamacare.
Many Americans felt left out and frustrated; they wanted a different type of government. They voiced their frustration at the ballot box by repudiating the policies of the Obama administration and with it Hillary Clinton’s deep ties to the political establishment.
Now that Trump has won the presidency, what kind of president will he be? Can he effectively govern the United States?
Who Will Be Trump’s Advisers?
In the coming weeks, we will get an idea how Trump’s presidency will begin. Trump will eventually select his Cabinet members.
Typically, an incoming Republican administration chooses individuals from previous GOP administrations, but numerous aides from the last Republican president opposed his candidacy. It will be interesting to see what a Trump administration will look like.
NBC News reports that among the names being considered as advisers to Trump are Rudy Giuliani for Attorney General, Newt Gingrich for Secretary of State and retired Lt. General Michael Flynn for Defense Secretary or National Security Adviser. Other potential picks are Trump finance chairman Steve Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary and Republican National Committee finance chair Lew Eisenberg for Commerce Secretary.
The First 100 Days as the President
How will a Trump presidency begin? We have some ideas from a speech he gave last month in historic Gettysburg. Trump outlined what he would accomplish in his first 100 days. We can expect to see substantive changes. Throughout the campaign, he pledged to undo all of President Obama’s executive actions, especially concerning immigration, the defining issue of Trump’s campaign.
The top issue that many Americans have complained about is the sluggish U.S. economy. Trump promised to jump-start the anemic economy through tax reform and to attack what he sees as Washington’s regulatory straitjacket on American businesses.
What will be his trade policies? What actions will he take against China? How will he address NAFTA with Mexico and Canada? What about other trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
The most important decision for Trump’s first 100 days is his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump must replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly earlier this year. Exit polls showed that the upcoming replacement is one reason why conservatives voted for Trump for president.
Trump’s Healthcare Reforms: What Will Replace Obamacare?
The one issue Trump has campaigned on is the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). His promised revisions to healthcare helped him win the White House and retain the Republic Party’s domination of Congress.
Republicans have clamored for repealing Obamacare since its passage in 2010, but what would replace it? Republicans now control all three branches of the U.S. government. If they want to replace the ACA, all the mechanisms are in place.
Republican must develop an effective alternative to Obamacare so that healthcare costs remain low and individuals retain their healthcare coverage. How would Trump rein in the rising cost of healthcare and its impact on the federal debt?
Also, Trump needs to consider how to make reluctant Democrats cross party lines and repeal Obamacare. Trump will not enjoy the super majority of one-party rule in the House and the Senate that Obama enjoyed in his first two years in office.
Trump Faces Many Challenges in Foreign Policy
The Trump administration must also deal with the many challenges the U.S. faces around the world. The new president must cope with defeating ISIS and confront an emboldened Iran fresh from signing a nuclear agreement with President Obama. Trump labeled this nuclear agreement as the worst deal ever signed by the United States.
Will Trump be more conciliatory toward our allies? He has made negative comments about U.S. alliances across the globe, especially about NATO and Asian allies Japan and Korea. Who will he appoint in the key foreign policy position of Secretary of State? Who will be in the Department of Defense?
How will Trump deal with Russia and President Vladimir Putin? His praise of Putin became a contentious issue during the campaign.
During the next few weeks, the euphoria of winning the presidency will recede. As Trump begins to build his administration, we will get a better understanding how he will govern the U.S. here and abroad.