21A007 Things Trump Didn't Do by Jim Davies, 2/16/2021
Vastly preferable though he was to his 2016 rival, as well as to 8% Joe last year, President Trump was and is no libertarian (as stated in the ZGBlog for March 1st 2016) so what he achieved in his first term was far short of ideal.
His enemies in The Swamp (Democrats and some Republicans, in Congress and in the bureaucracy) very actively obstructed his attempts to honor his promises, so he wasn't able to carry all of them out, whether or not they were wise or useful. Had he been a libertarian, with much more radical aims, that opposition would have been far more vicious yet, and that fact underlines the folly of supposing that freedom can be achieved by political means.
He did achieve some good things. Some taxes were reduced. Interference with gun ownership was limited. The obscenity of forcing US workers to subsidize their foreign competitors was ended. Conservatives were appointed to SCOTUS, and on balance that's preferable to having it stuffed with socialists. He opened a dialog with North Korea, in the hope of removing the trip-wire there for a nuclear war. And without doubt, Trump inspired a healthy spirit of national pride, by openly declaring he favored "America First" as his priority and starting the big process of pulling back troops from foreign squabbles - and he became the first President in a very long time not to start a new war. Tragic, that even such modest progress has halted.
But, not being a libertarian, there are many actions he might have taken, but did not. Here are a few.
1. While issuing Presidential Pardons to a list of his friends and helpers whom the Democrats had helped imprison, he failed to act in the cases of Julian Assange, Ross Ulbricht or Ed Snowden as suggested here.
2. Instead of dealing with immigration by letting the market work, he tried to bar the way - by imposing limits and building part of a Wall. Had he instead relied on the market, no government welfare would have provided an artificial incentive to immigrants and no government laws would have artificially inflated wages and benefits being provided; they would have come to work here only the basis of what employers chose to offer or what business opportunities were found.
3. He was Commander in Chief, so could have simply ordered the military to disengage from the Middle East and bring the troops home - for demobilization. Likewise he could have ordered the closure of the ~200 US bases located overseas. But he didn't.
4. He said during his 2016 campaign that he "hated the IRS" yet after being elected he did nothing to fire its Commissioner or 80,000 workers who were on his own staff. He could have abolished the IRS on his own; but did not. Now, if he had, there would have been a mighty screeching from Congress, saying he was failing to execute its will and laws, and he would have been impeached accordingly; but he was impeached anyway on some other, trivial excuse. Would the impeachment have succeeded, had he ended the FedGov's primary revenue producer? - perhaps, but perhaps not. The IRS is the most-hated of all Federal agencies and Senators would have taken note of popular sentiment in their States when voting on whether to remove him from office.
5. He failed to abolish the NSA, or even to curb its monstrous program of spying on every email and phone conversation on to which it is able to latch. True, he never promised he would - unlike Obama, who did so promise but broke it; but to have done so would have pleased his supporters.
6. As a businessman he must know full well the destructive effect of bogus, fiat money - yet he did nothing to abolish the Federal Reserve and detach government from money, leaving the market to choose its form(s) - or even re-establishing a gold standard in conformity with the Constitution. True, the FedRes is a creature of Congress, so Congress alone can repeal its charter - but Trump did nothing to push for that while his own Party had the power.
7. He caved in to pressure and abandoned his original perception that Covid-19 was "no big deal" - and thereby exposed himself to a serious threat to his re-election, for that volte-face enabled Governors to ruin the economy, destroy businesses and jobs, and impose vicious restrictions on liberty. As it happens, he did not in fact lose support from that weakness (he actually increased his vote total on 11/3/20!) but that was a nice surprise he could hardly anticipate. He could, in February 2020, have listened harder to such as Professor Bhakdi instead of Dr Fauci, and stood his ground. It would have brought him credit, exposed the massive nature of the Democrat fraud, saved us all a lot of hardship and avoided the "need" to print vast sums of "money" as a "stimulus."
It's not yet possible to know how much these failures resulted from a change of mind, or betrayal, by Mr Trump - and how much it came from active, heavy obstruction by Pols and bureau-rats in The Swamp; I hope he publishes his memoirs in due course so that we can judge that better. But to the large extent that obstruction played a part, we have yet another powerful demonstration that a free society can not be obtained by political action. Had a libertarian been elected in 2016 instead, the opposition he'd have met would have been far more savage yet; it could well have taken the form of assassination, as it did for JFK.
There is a far better way.