During his interview with Sean Hannity on Thursday night, President Donald Trump laid out his second-term agenda. He championed many important issues, like school choice, VA accountability and choice, defending the Second Amendment, and continuing his work of restoring the federal judiciary.
First, the president mentioned he would lead the U.S. to “defeat the invisible enemy,” the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, “and we’re well on our way.” Trump noted that the “morality rate is ten-fold down.”
“We’re going to rebuild the economy, we’re going to bring back jobs from all of these foreign lands that have stolen our jobs on horrible trade deals,” the president added. “We’re going to continue to make great trade deals.”
Trump pledged that during his second term, “We’re going to finish rebuilding our wall, it’s going to be almost complete by the end of this year.”
He also promised to keep rebuilding the military and “fixing up the VA for our vets.” Trump has signed legislation to reform the Veterans Administration after numerous scandals involving long wait times and horrible conditions at VA hospitals under the Obama administration. “If they’re sick, they don’t have to wait for five weeks, six weeks, two weeks — so we’re going great with the vets,” the president insisted.
Trump pledged to keep protecting Americans’ right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.
“We need more judges and more justices, you see that now with the Supreme Court more than ever,” he added. “I’ve had two and the next president’s going to be able to pick two or three or one. That means everything, whether it’s for life or other things.”
Indeed, restoring the federal judiciary so that judges actually apply the Constitution as written is a tremendous project and the president has made great strides in that direction. He recently reached an impressive milestone: nominating and getting confirmed a whopping 200 federal judges. Yet Trump predicted that by this time next year, “We’ll be up to almost 300 judges.”
While many liberals have accused Trump of packing the courts with judges who support his particular goals, his judges hold to an originalist philosophy of applying the law as written, rather than redefining it to suit their interests. Although not every judge has always upheld this important vision, the president’s nominees have proven stellar on the whole.
Trump also said the administration is currently working on lowering drug prices and “knocking out special interests,” initiatives he would continue in a second term.
The president also pledged to further school choice, which he has called the civil rights issue of our time.
“We’re fighting for choice, we did it for the veterans, now we’re doing it for schools, too. We want choice in schools so a parent can take their child to a school of their choice,” he explained.
Trump showed his typical bravado and exaggeration in declaring that “nobody has done what this administration has done.” Since the administrative state has grown by leaps and bounds in recent decades, there was more for President Trump to undo, and he has indeed proven very effective in curbing the excesses of former President Barack Obama. His impact in the judicial realm is particularly impressive, thanks in large part to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Trump has achieved a great deal, but he still has much more to do. This second-term agenda builds on some of his signature achievements and presents a key vision for November. In further speeches, the president should also emphasize cutting regulations and preserving religious freedom, two ares in which he has made significant progress.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.