7 February 2018

Note from Norm: An American Moment for A Shining City on the Hill

In his State of the Union Address to the nation President Trump announced we are on the cusp of a new “American Moment”

This much is certain:  America is growing again.

As cited by the President in his speech:

  • “Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.
  • “Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.”
  • “Small business confidence is at an all-time high. The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value. That is great news for Americans’ 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts.”

He also proudly, and rightfully so, celebrated a massive tax cut and reform package passed by the GOP Congress and signed into law that is already showing significant gains for American workers, companies and families.

The President reminded Americans making less than $50,000 a year that they no longer will be punished because “…. they could not afford government-ordered health plans.”

Those families of four making $75,000 a year will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000 – cutting their tax bill in half, the business tax rate has been cut from 35% to 21% resulting to an estimate increase to the average American family’s income by more than $4,000.

And, small businesses, the economic engine of America, will now be able to deduct 20% of their business income.

Yes, as the President says, there is no better time to begin living the American Dream.

Yet, on the horizon, not far off, the storm clouds are beginning to gather as, every day, we get closer to the November mid-term elections.

History shows us, with exceptionally few exceptions, that midterm elections can be brutal for the party of an incumbent President.

Over the past 21 midterm elections the President’s party has lost an average of 30 seats in the House and an average of 4 seats in the Senate.

In only two of those elections has the President’s party gained seats in both houses.

For those keeping score the current composition of the House is 238 Republicans, 193 Democrats and 4 vacancies.

This means that Democrats need to win only 24 seats to gain control of the House.

The current make-up of the US Senate is 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats – and obviously a historic average of a shift of four seats could well spend the end of the Republican majority in that body.

Imagine, if you will, President Donald Trump in the White House with a Democrat controlled Congress.

The image is not pretty.

All it takes is looking at their reaction during the President’s State of the Union Speech.

They sat on their hands during the State of the Union at the mention of paid family leave, pathway to citizenship and a $1.5 trillion infrastructure programs.

Bad manners aside there’s something else more unsettling if Democrats regain power in Washington.

Putting aside the political no-brainer that Democrats will use their newly found perch of power to seek the impeachment of the President.

Most damaging for America and its people would be the abrupt end to a nascent American Moment.

Gone will be optimism in a powerful and growing economy that an entire generation has never known before, and those who have can barely remember it.

In its place will be a furious effort by a new Democratic Majority to roll-back those hard-won gains by American workers and families to appease what is no longer their left-wing fringe but the very basis of their existence and being.

The dramatic progress made under this Administration to put conservative judges on the bench that honor the Constitution by adhering to it, already subjected to Democratic foot dragging, will end entirely.

The effort to reduce government red tape, enact comprehensive immigration reform and expand freedom and liberty throughout the world – all will take a back seat to a left-wing obsession with turning government loose on American family paychecks, American business operations and American Exceptionalism.

It’s important for me to pause a minute here and articulate that I believe government works best when everyone – Democrats and Republicans – find ways to work together to get things done.

Bipartisanship should not be a thing of the past.

On immigration – infrastructure – foreign policy – and other issues – there’s no reason Democrats and Republicans can’t – no reason they shouldn’t – find common ground.

To be honest, the only thing preventing that is Tuesday, November 6th – Election Day.

While the political pundits, including those on the opposite side of the President, gave him high marks for his State of the Union Speech, within 24 hours the blush was off the rose.

Nothing changes in America faster than the political fortunes of its politicians and political parties.

Today, the numbers and polls don’t look good for the President.  And, subsequently, the Republican Party.

There is some comfort in the fact that Democrats still have no cogent message to offer the American people other than their virulent opposition to the President.

Which is not a bad strategy as American heads closer to the November midterm elections.

Will it be enough at a time when the American economy is exploding on all fronts, generating new jobs, bigger paychecks and greater opportunity for all Americans who choose to begin living the American Dream?

It remains to be seen.

The State of the Union in America is strong.

Of this there is no doubt.

Whether that strength has the endurance to withstand the onslaught of a determined Democratic Party we can only know on Election Night.

The only thing, the best thing that the President, and Republicans in Congress, can do between now and then is work together to get things done.

Americans want their government to get things done.

Much of what we see, hear and read about in Washington, D.C. is little more than background noise for most of America.  The media may find every “Breaking News” tidbit they post, air and publish to be breathtaking and indicative of an America finding itself further divided and weakened.

Yet, in America, it is the people that decide elections.  Not the government.  Not the media.  Not the pollsters.

If the President and the GOP Congress work together, and get things done, the American Moment the President spoke of will not just be words on paper of a speech.

Words will become the bright shining City on the Hill far too many Americans have been waiting for far too long.