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Trump’s Second Term Agenda Revealed, Sort Of

Yuval Rosenberg

It’s President Trump’s party now. Yes, we’re referring to this week’s Republican National Convention, where Trump formally was renominated on Monday to take on Joe Biden in November’s presidential election. But we’re also referring to the Republican Party itself, which chose not to adopt a new platform for 2020 and instead over the weekend passed a resolution saying that it “has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda.”

What’s on that agenda for the next four years? Trump has struggled repeatedly to answer questions about what he wants to accomplish if given a second term, but his campaign on Sunday released a bullet-pointed list of 50 “core priorities” under the banner “Fighting for You!” Even for a PowerPoint era, the lack of detail was glaring, though the campaign said that Trump would provide some additional details in speeches over the coming weeks.

Some examples of the big promises on Trump’s list:

  • Create 10 Million New Jobs in 10 Months

  • Create 1 Million New Small Businesses

  • Cut Taxes to Boost Take-Home Pay and Keep Jobs in America

  • Develop a [Covid-19] Vaccine by The End Of 2020

  • Return to Normal in 2021

  • Make All Critical Medicines and Supplies for Healthcare Workers in The United States

  • Cut Prescription Drug Prices

  • Lower Healthcare Insurance Premiums

  • End Surprise Billing

  • Cover All Pre-Existing Conditions

  • Protect Social Security and Medicare

  • Teach American Exceptionalism

  • Pass Congressional Term Limits

  • Stop Endless Wars and Bring Our Troops Home

The Republican National Committee resolution said that “the media has outrageously misrepresented the implications of the RNC not adopting a new platform in 2020.”  Here’s what they had to say:

The Reactions

The Washington Post Editorial Board: “The Republicans are announcing that they stand for nothing. The party’s only reason for being is to gain and retain power for itself and its comparably unprincipled leader. … Many of the party’s senators and other leaders used to have principles, or at least claimed to. They believed in fiscal rectitude, free trade, limited executive power. Now they have fallen in line behind a president who believes in none of that. So, are they the party of managed trade, unbridled presidential power, unlimited debt? No one wants to say that. Instead, they define themselves as the party of Donald J. Trump.”

Politico’s Tim Alberta: “It can now safely be said, as his first term in the White House draws toward closure, that Donald Trump’s party is the very definition of a cult of personality. … Everyone understands that Trump is a big-picture sloganeer—‘Build the wall!’ ‘Make America Great Again!’—rather than a policy aficionado. Even so, it’s astonishing how conceptually lifeless the party has become on his watch. There is no blueprint to fix what is understood to be a broken immigration system. There is no grand design to modernize the nation’s infrastructure. There is no creative thinking about a conservative, market-based solution to climate change. There is no meaningful effort to address the cost of housing or childcare or college tuition. None of the erstwhile bold ideas proposed by the likes of Newt Gingrich and Paul Ryan—term limits, a balanced budget amendment, reforms to Social Security and Medicare, anti-poverty programs—have survived as serious proposals. Heck, even after a decade spent trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans still have no plan to replace it.”

Bloomberg’s Jonathan Bernstein: “So Trump is supposedly going to produce 10 million new jobs in 10 months, but there’s nothing — really, nothing at all — about how to fulfill that promise. Same with a million new small businesses. The president plans to ‘Build the World’s Greatest Infrastructure System,’ which sounds nice, but given that he’s been promising the same thing for almost four years and hasn’t yet sent a bill to Capitol Hill, some might find it hard to take it seriously. ‘Wipe Out Global Terrorists’ also seems ambitious, but the plan contains nothing about how it would be done in practice or how it squares with the promise to ‘Stop Endless Wars and Bring Our Troops Home.’”

The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman: “The truth is that the resolution more clearly describes today’s Republicans. They have some things they want to do, sure — cut taxes, gut environmental regulations, restrict abortion rights — but mostly, what unites the party is that they hate Democrats and they worship Trump. That’s about all you need to know.”

The Republican National Committee resolution said that “the media has outrageously misrepresented the implications of the RNC not adopting a new platform in 2020.”

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