A year ago, you could not have convinced me that we would be facing a Donald J. Trump presidency. All of my political science professors were telling me that their colleagues’ equations and algorithms were predicting a Trump win, but none of them could really explain why. But, “lo and behold,” as our elder generation would say, if he didn’t pull it off. For conservative Americans, Nov. 8 was a great day and, even better was Jan. 20.
Normal campaign rhetoric became a to-do list for President Trump in his first weeks of office. During this time, his series of executive orders have largely been to rescind some of the largely unpopular executive orders of President Obama. Others of these orders have been a series of “deregulation,” some that have set in motion rapid growth in jobs availability and in business profit.
Another executive order is one that would halt the expected influx of Syrian refugees. As promised in his campaign, this temporary travel ban is an effort to protect against the threat of radical Islamic extremism. While it is temporarily delayed due to the ruling of a federal appellate court, it is evident that the actions of the new White House administration are echoing back to those campaign promises.
After the death of the Honorable Antonin Scalia, the conservative right was in fear for the state of constitutional interpretation for the next few generations. This past Tuesday, Jan. 30, rang with the headlines of Neil Gorsuch’s nomination for this empty seat on the Supreme Court. After a look at his brief biography, it is evident from his past decisions that he adheres to a pro-life stance (specifically on issues like euthanasia and assisted suicide), states’ rights advocacy, religious freedom protections and textual originalism in interpretation. All of these things are values that the right has been praying over for years.
Already, President Trump’s foreign policy behavior has been a strong front, sharply in contrast with the last few years. In the face of Iranian nuclear tests, he and Congress have been in talks of imposing additional sanctions on some Iranian entities in an effort to curb extreme possibilities.
An addition to this, his promises to rebuild a diminished military personnel and budget will only add to the positive effect of a strong foreign policy. As I heard someone say once, “extremists don’t respect bowing. They respect strength.” Not to mention, General James “Mad Dog” Mattis’s control of the Department of Defense will be a stark difference from that of his predecessor in Ash Carter. I believe this stronger approach is further promise of America’s return as a respected world power.
I cite all of these recent examples simply to say that the new executive is a relief to the conservative right, an answer to their prayers. Those who hadn’t been seen at the polls in years suddenly showed up and changed history. This is further proof that conservatism is not obscure and unworthy in modern America. In fact, this presidential victory in Donald J. Trump only adds to the momentum of a Republican-controlled Congress, a majority of gubernatorial houses, a majority of state houses and a soon-to-be majority in the Supreme Court. The majority has spoken, it seems.
However, the progressive left is obviously unhappy, as every news alert on our handy little smart phones will show us. Almost every evening when we watch the news, we see new protests by groups all over the country. One of the most recent features UC Berkeley students and faculty shouting, setting fires on sidewalks and offering “free speech safe zones” to those who wished to protest.
I wish to submit this before you, friends. Opposing opinions will always be incendiary to the wrath of the other side, but that does not grant permission for violence. This republic does protect the views of the minority opinion, but this time it simply didn’t win. When the right was indignant after the election of Barack Obama, there was no looting, no fires on sidewalks, no inflammatory interruptions and certainly no rock-throwing or screaming of profanities to the law enforcement communities protecting us. While they might have been just as passionate, they might have had trouble getting the time off work. Our First Amendment does indeed grant protection of those who suffer for their views, but it most certainly does not permit anarchy and violence.
The double-edged sword of free speech is one the right has battled for years. A sidewalk silent prayer group in front of an abortion clinic launches a firestorm of the left screaming, “Hate speech!” But a parking lot full of rioters setting fires and screaming profanities at police is continually protected by “free speech.” Free speech is free speech whether you agree or not; we can’t protect one side and not the other.
Let us all keep in mind that there is a respectful manner in which to share and discuss views, one in which to have healthy and valuable political debate. Our ultimate goal should not be to satisfy our human need to be right, but it should be to communicate the needs of the greatest place on planet earth, to protect the liberty that was earned with blood, sweat, tears and prayer to Jehovah God.
By Julie Williams, copy editor