With the leftist media singularly focused on the issues of impeachment, taxes and an array of other scandals, they ignore lots of positives of the Trump presidency. The chief executive is not perfect and no one is saying he is. Plenty of scandals with his administration have merit including the current impeachment mess. While this is true, even broken clocks are right twice a day. Just like the broken clock, Trump is doing good things even in the midst of the web of scandals.

            Yesterday, he signed an executive order creating a task force on missing and murdered American Indians. In doing so, the president highlighted an often overlooked issue, that of significant numbers of American Indian women and girls going missing. During the press conference, Trump referenced a sobering statistic that “more than 5,000” went missing in a year. As of December 31, 2017, the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database contained 88,089 active missing person records. What this task force will do in reality is make collaboration between different levels of government and law enforcement organs go smoother. Any practical affect this will have is unknown at this time.

            The only drawback of this endeavor was that the executive order was signed in the Oval Office –right in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson. The 7th president is remembered for two things: Jacksonian Democracy, the expansion of suffrage to most white men and the Indian Removal Act. Of course, the former is laudable but the same cannot be said of the latter which resulted in the Trail of Tears. For this reason, President Jackson and American Indians do not mix terribly well. Tribal leaders were present for this occasion in the Oval Office. Signing the executive order in the presence of American Indian officials with a large portrait of Jackson on the wall was a simple blunder that could have been avoided by signing it anywhere else in the White House. Diplomatic faux-pas like this make one wonder if anyone in the White House took a history course.

            On the counterterrorism front, Trump did some work. A day before the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, the president signed an executive order reorganizing sanctions to better combat terrorism. One of the things this act does is expand the entities classified as terroristic in nature. According to the State Department,

“Today, the Department designated Hurras al-Din, an al-Qa’ida-affiliated group in Syria, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).  The Department has also designated as SDGTs 12 leaders of previously designated groups, including Hizballah, HAMAS, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, ISIS, ISIS-Philippines, ISIS-West Africa, and Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan.  In addition to these actions, the Department of the Treasury has designated 15 terrorists affiliated with ISIS, ISIS-Philippines, ISIS-Khorasan, al-Qa’ida, HAMAS, and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force under the same authority.”

-State Department

            The other part of the executive order is the denial of the financial institutions of the United States to the blacklisted entities. Since more parties have found themselves on the blacklist, the logic is that financing their operations will be more difficult. Sanctioning terrorists isn’t new. America has been doing it to Islamic terror groups for a long time. In fact, the executive order Trump signed is really just an expansion of one Bill Clinton signed in 1995 (Executive Order 12947). Regardless of what someone thinks about Trump’s taxes, the mess with Ukraine or any of his other scandals, it is hard indeed to disapprove of fighting terrorism more efficiently.

            Building on that, Trump revealed on Tuesday that Mexican drug cartels will be designated as terrorist organizations. The same logic that applies to Middle Eastern terrorist groups applies to Mexican and Central American drug cartels. Regulations on commerce with the organization and material support of it will come into effect when the declaration comes down. The New York Times elaborated,

“Once a group has been designated as a terrorist organization, it is illegal for people in the United States to knowingly provide support for it, and its members are barred from entering the country. Financial institutions are also forbidden from doing business with the organization.”

-New York Times

            Beyond the economic implications of this counterterrorism move, Trump didn’t rule out the military option. In the original interview with former FOX News anchorman Bill O’Reilly, the president was asked if he would consider drone strikes in Mexico. Trump responded, “I don’t want to say what I am going to do, but they will be designated.” It is telling that force wasn’t ruled out in the interview. Whether this is precursor to further action against the cartels, even action of the military persuasion remains to be seen.

            The Trump administration is plagued by scandals and they do deserve lots of media coverage. While the press has a duty to cover those, they also should cover the genuine positives that the president has accomplished. In the midst of the constant negative pounding by the press, good things are happening –even if the press isn’t covering them.

Photo credit: President Trump Says Mexico Will Pay for the Wall. But His Tax Plan Means Americans Will” via Fortune

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