Heller: The good things Trump has accomplished

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It’s exceptionally easy to point out everything wrong with Donald Trump’s presidency. Everyone, including some people in the Republican party, do it all the time. However, there’s far more to the story than just simply hating Trump. You’d have to be extremely partisan not to see that, in some ways, President Trump has somewhat tackled the presidency in a surprisingly positive way.

From a purely objective point of view, it’s hard not to give Donald Trump admiration for his handling of ISIS. ISIS, until Trump’s unlikely win over Hillary Clinton, was a force to be reckoned with. It wasn’t just a well run terrorist organization; this was a group of thousands upon thousands of true believers that actually carved out their own country out of the sovereign nations of Syria and Iraq.

ISIS is horrific and they needed to be dealt with. However, President Obama was reluctant to begin the fight and honestly you can’t really blame him. He was elected in 2008 in large part as a response to end the war in Iraq as well as bringing a slow transitional end to the war in Afghanistan.

America was reluctant to commit their brave sons and daughters to another endless war in the Middle East and as we saw with his so called “Red Line” with Syria, Obama had no appetite for action. Things were slow going and progress was extremely frustrating. Yet under Trump, ISIS controlled territory as of late last year dropped close to 90 percent and with their capital city of Raqqa gone, ISIS seems to be on the run and looks to turn into a typical underground terrorist network such as Al-Qaeda which brings to it a host of new challenges and dangers.

However, the message seems to be loud and clear. Trump has changed the rules of engagement, eliminating Obama era guidelines on how the fight should be handled. He also removed the handcuffs around the Pentagon. It’s all worked.

Even Trump’s fiercest opponents admit that ISIS is in the process of being gone and is now, in some aspects, a massive win for the administration. What is baffling to some is that success occurred faster than any political analysts and military experts expected. Add to this factor that Trump froze money earmarked for Pakistan due to their rather open support of terrorism and you have yourself an administration taking radical Islamic terrorism head on. For some, this is good for both America and her allies.

The Trump administration’s stance on NATO is also worthy of applause, even though whatever Donald Trump tries to do the situation was indelicately handled. NATO is a Cold War relic but an important one. It’s a military alliance that tethers us to our closest political, social, and economic partners around the world and that it remains a reliable alliance against a resurgent Russian threat. Many may be surprised that the United States pays by far the most in the alliance in both GDP and manpower, and 23 out of the 28 countries were not meeting their obligations.

Trump’s brash twisting of these European leader’s arms have finally reinstated to these countries. It brings the idea that “Although America is with you in alliance, that said alliance must be mutually beneficial.”

Trump hasn’t had success dealing with the American opioid crisis. It’s a real and troubling problem, with deaths exceeding both the deaths of Vietnam and the AIDS crisis combined. This crisis has ravaged the American heartland, rustbelt, and other rural areas around the country. There are places where Trump both flipped and did exceedingly well during the 2016 election.

Heroin is one of the main causes for this epidemic, but in reality the problem goes far deeper. There is too much prescription of medications and pain killers that individuals eventually abuse.

Trump needs to keep pressing the issue to the American people. This isn’t only a public health crisis, it’s also a social and economic crisis. These addicts often have families. They can’t work. They live off the system. They get medical care off the system. Their dependence therefore lives off the system and so on. If we’re acknowledging what Trump may have done right, then it’s only logical that we effectively examine what Trump could get right next.

Tackling this issue could be the ultimate watershed moment for Trump’s presidency. However drug addiction is a difficult issue to handle as we saw how Reagan handled his War on Drugs initiative and its impact on the poor and minority communities more than 30 years later.

Is Donald Trump a good president? Well with an approval rating barely reaching 40 percent, many Americans don’t think so. Many critics point to the fact that he’s a poor communicator, has no guiding principles, flip flops on issues, continually surrounds himself with incompetent individuals and seems to be unwilling to compromise for the sake of actually getting things done both within his own party and his White House staff. However. it’s important to acknowledge some of the good that came out of Trump’s chaotic presidency so far, out of fairness to those who still believe that Donald Trump could still succeed as president.

For questions/comments about this column, email editor@thewhitonline.com or tweet @TheWhitOnline.

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