It is not difficult to find news stories on what President Trump got wrong. For many readers, it seems as if the mainstream media’s full-time, 24/7 job over the last four years was to meticulously catalogue every wrong thing he did while in office, no matter how small. Even National Public Radio could not avoid admitting how news stories in Trump’s first 60 days in the White House were documented to be more than twice as negative as those covering the early weeks of the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations. That likely did not change through the rest of his administration.
But with President Trump and his family leaving the White House to return to private life, The Daily Citizen wanted to make sure we do not miss the substantial gains the Trump administration made in the areas we care about so deeply: marriage, parenting, sanctity of human life, religious liberty, the importance of male and female, the courts, Israel, and peace in the Middle East. So, what follows is a round-up of these accomplishments. When you look at them collectively, it is a genuinely impressive list.
Former George W. Bush chief speechwriter and American Enterprise Institute Fellow Marc A. Thiessen carefully documented the 10 best conservative and pro-family victories the President and his Cabinet won each year in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
Our friends at the Family Research Council have also carefully documented all the impressive pro-family gains of the Trump Administration. The White House also provides a quick but exhaustive survey of its executive, legislative, and judicial victories through President Trump’s years there.
The Daily Citizen captured a quick overview of these highlights here by category:
- The divorce rate in America reached its lowest point in decades.
- The Child Tax Credit was doubled from $1,000 to $2,000 per child and expanded eligibility.
- Created the first-ever paid family leave tax credit for employees earning $72,000 or less.
- Signed into law a provision that enables new parents to withdraw up to $5,000 from their retirement accounts without penalty when they give birth to or adopt a child.
- Household net worth rose $7.4 trillion in 2020 to $112 trillion, an all-time high.
- Doubled the standard deduction – making the first $24,000 earned by a married couple completely tax-free.
- Virtually eliminated the unfair Estate Tax, or Death Tax.
- African American homeownership increased from 41.7 percent to 46.4 percent.
- Unemployment rates for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and those without a high school diploma all reached record lows.
- Women’s unemployment hit its lowest rate in nearly 70 years.
- Nearly 7 million people off food stamps dependency.
- Poverty rates for African- and Hispanic-American children and parents reached record lows.
- Income inequality fell by the largest amount in over a decade.
- The bottom 50 percent of American households saw a 40 percent increase in net worth.
- Since coronavirus lockdowns ended, the economy has added back over 12 million jobs, more than half the jobs lost.
- Jobs have been recovered 23 times faster than the previous administration’s recovery.
Sanctity of Human Life
- Became the first sitting president to give remarks in person at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.
- In his first days in office, reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which blocks funding for international organizations that perform or promote abortion.
- In his 2020 State of the Union Address, President Trump called on Congress to pass legislation banning late-term abortions
- In 2018, issued proposed regulations on conscience protections related to abortion. Specifically, the regulation proposed to implement 25 laws that protect pro-life healthcare entities and workers.
- In 2020, President Trump’s Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board issued recommendations on the ethics of fetal tissue research proposals. The board recommended against funding 13 of the 14 proposals because of ethical concerns.
- In 2020, President Trump signed an executive order reinforcing existing protections for children born prematurely, with disabilities, in medical distress, or who survive abortion.
- In 2018, HHS finalized regulations to protect conscience and religious liberty from long-running problems with the Obamacare contraceptive mandate.
- In 2019, put California on notice its law requiring Pregnancy Resource Centers to post information on obtaining abortion violated federal law.
- At start of 2019 Congress, President Trump sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promising to veto all legislation weakening pro-life laws.
- At the 2019 World Health Assembly, the Trump administration issued a joint statement on behalf of the United States and eight nations calling on other countries to build a global coalition to promote women’s health while also protecting unborn life and strengthening the family.
- In 2019, conducted an extensive audit of fetal tissue research policy and announced major pro-life changes in the enforcement of research contracts.
- In 2019, HHS Secretary Alex Azar delivered a statement at the UN General Assembly stating that there is no international right to abortion, and that the U.S. does not support ambiguous terms like “sexual and reproductive health” in UN documents.
- In 2020, Secretary Azar hosted 34 countries for a meeting on how to promote women’s health and protect the lives of the unborn. This meeting followed an invitation sent by Secretary Azar and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to 70 different countries inviting each to join a coalition to oppose international efforts to enshrine abortion as a human right.
- Amid the coronavirus pandemic, HHS issued a strong statement reminding health care entities of their obligation to treat persons with disabilities with the same dignity and worth as everyone else.
- In 2020 USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa sent a letter to the UN Secretary General advocating that the UN not push abortion during the coronavirus crisis because it is not an “essential service,”
- Launched Operation Warp Speed to initiate an unprecedented drive to develop and make available an effective vaccine by January 2021.
- Pfizer and Moderna developed two vaccines in just nine months, five times faster than the fastest prior vaccine development in American history.
- In 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order on Advancing International Religious Freedom, recognizing the promotion of international religious freedom as a moral and national security imperative.
- Ended the Johnson Amendment from interfering with pastors’ right to speak their minds.
- In 2018, Mike Pompeo was confirmed as Secretary of State, a leader who cares deeply about religious liberty. Pompeo launched the International Religious Freedom Alliance to unite government leaders from like-minded nations to strategize ways to promote religious freedom and protect religious minorities around the world.
- Sam Brownback was confirmed as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. On March 8, 2019, Brownback criticized China’s poor religious freedom record in a speech he delivered in Hong Kong.
- In 2018 during a press conference with Nigeria’s president, President Trump raised the issue of religious freedom and the killing of Christians in that country.
- In 2017, President Trump signed the “Religious Liberty Executive Order,” setting forth religious liberty as a policy priority of the administration requiring all federal agencies to take protective action.
- In 2018, The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue defending the First Amendment rights of parents and students attending religious schools.
- In 2019, President Trump hosted a meeting during the U.N. General Assembly and gave a speech solely on the topic of religious freedom. He announced a U.S. policy initiative to protect places of worship with an additional $25 million in funding to protect religious sites and relics.
- In 2018, HHS announced a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within its Office of Civil Rights to enforce federal laws that protect conscience rights and religious freedom.
- In 2018, the State Department held the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. Political and civil society leaders from around the world gathered in Washington, D.C. for a three-day summit to discuss religious freedom issues and solutions. A second event was held in 2019.
- The DOJ announced a Religious Liberty Task Force to fully implement religious liberty guidance and policy across all components of the DOJ.
- In 2019, the State Department placed targeted sanctions on Russian officials for their religious freedom violations and torture of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
- In 2019, Attorney General Barr delivered a striking defense of religious liberty at Notre Dame Law School, noting, “[t]he imperative of protecting religious freedom was not just a nod in the direction of piety.”
- In 2020 the Departments of Education and Justice issued directives on constitutionally protected prayer and religious expression in public elementary and secondary schools.
- During the COVD pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security included “clergy for essential support” in its list of personnel and entities deemed “essential” for purposes of responding to the coronavirus.
- Attorney General William Barr directed federal prosecutors to monitor and take action to correct state and local policies that discriminate against religious institutions and believers while battling the coronavirus pandemic.
Protection of Male and Female
- In 2018, the White House and Department of Defense (DOD) issued new policy directives protecting our military from trans activism.
- In 2017, the Departments of Education and Justice rescinded President Obama’s guidance that required public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and showers of their choice.
- In 2017, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court defending baker Jack Phillips in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
- In 2019, Health and Human Services (HHS) removed burdensome requirements that all grantees, including those that are faith-based, must accept same-sex marriages and gender ideology to be eligible to participate in grant programs including foster and adoption services.
- In 2020, the DOJ filed a statement of interest defending the constitutionality of Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, ensuring that only biologically female athletes are permitted to compete in female sports.
- In 2020, USAID released an updated Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy with the purpose of empowering women and girls to participate fully in their societies, taking into account the biological differences between males and females.
- Expanded School Choice, allowing parents to use up to $10,000 from a 529 education savings account to cover K-12 tuition costs at the public, private, or religious school of their choice.
- In 2020, the Department of Education published a final rule on “Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities” ensuring First Amendment rights are upheld on campuses.
- Launched the 1776 Commission, a new pro-American lesson plan to combat the deeply problematic 1619 Project.
- Prohibited the teaching of Critical Race Theory in the Federal government.
- Called on Congress to pass the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act to expand education options for 1 million students of all economic backgrounds.
- Issued updated guidance making clear that the First Amendment right to Free Exercise of Religion does not end at the door to a public school.
- Signed into law the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, providing over 13 million students with high-quality vocational education.
- Prioritized support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), making permanent $255 million in annual funding for HBCUs and increasing funding for the Federal Pell Grant program.
- Signed legislation that included more than $100 million for scholarships, research, and centers of excellence at HBCU land-grant institutions.
- Fully forgave $322 million in disaster loans to four HBCUs in 2018, so they could fully focus on educating their students.
- Enabled faith-based HBCUs to enjoy equal access to Federal support.
- Appointed three Supreme Court justices, expanding its conservative majority to 6-3.
- Justice Neil Gorsuch replaced Justice Antonin Scalia.
- Justice Brett Kavanaugh replaced Justice Anthony Kennedy.
- Justice Amy Coney Barrett replaced Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
- President Trump nominated and confirmed over 230 Federal judges.
- Confirmed 54 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals, making up nearly a third of the entire appellate bench.
- Filled all Court of Appeals vacancies for the first time in four decades.
- Flipped the Second, Third, and Eleventh Circuits from Democrat-appointed majorities to Republican-appointed majorities. And dramatically reshaped the long-liberal Ninth Circuit.
Israel and Peace in the Middle East
- Recognized Jerusalem as the true capital of Israel and promptly moved American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
- Acknowledged Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and declared that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are not inconsistent with international law.
- Removed the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Council due to the group’s blatant anti-Israel bias.
- Brokered historic peace agreements between Israel and Arab-Muslim countries, including the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain, and Sudan.
- Negotiated a normalization agreement between Israel and Morocco, and recognized Moroccan Sovereignty over the entire Western Sahara, a position with long standing bipartisan support.
These are all substantial accomplishments that will go far to help families in such a trying age.
Thank you President Trump, to your entire family, and Administration.
God bless you.
Photo from The White House