By Matthew Rosen
To all of the returning students, welcome back to Binghamton! And almost more importantly, welcome to all of the new freshman! I expect 2018-2019 to be a crazy year, so let’s start of with some expectations for both President Trump, and the Binghamton Review. This article will stray from my typical writing style and be more of a checklist for things I want to see happen politically this year. Hopefully at the end the year, we can reflect on these expectations and detail the good, the bad, and the covfefe of this year.
Jumping right back into politics, let’s talk about the optimistic and pessimistic predictions for President Trump’s foreign policy. Optimistically the best policy options for the Trump team would be a crackdown on North Korea and Iran. Best case scenario: both countries stay quiet, and no major moves are made on the international stage thanks to strong foreign policy. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that the appropriate crackdown on North Korea in particular won’t happen. I hope President Trump proves me wrong, as strong responses to North Korea’s refusal to denuclearize is the only good foreign policy option left on the table. I doubt anyone really expects North Korea to denuclearize right away, so we must make them choose between either a functional economy or a nuclear weapons program, but not both.
As for the economy, there isn’t much I can say. Unemployment is at a low, we have huge economic growth, wages are increasing, the stock market is up, etc… I mean most people can admit that President Trump’s economy is a success. To be more specific, we are at only 3.9% unemployment, 4.1% economic growth, 3.2 million jobs added, and a deficit of $532 billion, all better than President Obama during this time in his Presidency. By some polls, like Rasmussen, President Trump even has a higher approval rating than Obama did at this time as well. I want to be fair and acknowledge that Obama was coming out of a recession, but that doesn’t discount President Trump’s staggering economic growth that nearly every critic claimed would be impossible. Remember when Democrats claimed the economy would collapse under President Trump? Remember when Obama asked how Trump would magically make new jobs? Well, here we are. Keep it up President Trump! Optimistically, we will continue to see these numbers, take more steps to dismantle Obamacare, lower the deficit, continue to cut regulations, and negotiate towards zero tariffs with our allies. I do not expect to see all of that, especially in only one year, but that is best case scenario.
I also fully expect another government shutdown, which really isn’t as big of a deal as the media makes it out to be. However, this is now the second time President Trump has threatened to shut down the government over border security. I find it awful that President Trump was largely elected for border security and to deal with illegal immigration, yet he is stopped by the Democrats everytime. Last time, President Trump tweeted the morning of the budget deadline that he would shut the government down, but he didn’t! He signed the budget that day! The next deadline coming up is September 30th, right before the midterm elections. Hopefully President Trump can win this stand off and check off another promise that he kept to his voters. I mean the Democrats have no problem spending money on illegal and economically harmful government programs. Is it too much to ask to spend a little money on enforcing our laws?
I am very weary of making midterm predictions, especially with this election cycle where everything is more polarized than ever. Logically, if this election were to follow the pattern that history has shown, Republicans would win a couple seats in the Senate, and the Democrats would win twenty-something seats in the House, leading it to being a toss up, probably with the Democrats winning a couple seat advantage. That being said, this election cycle doesn’t seem like it is definitely going to follow history’s pattern, and both could be a toss up. Republicans are chanting “Red Wave” and Democrats are chanting “Blue Wave.” If I were a betting man, I would bet on Republicans keeping the Senate and Democrats narrowly winning the House, but that’s only because of the little evidence we are given. With the polarized media, it is hard to see who is really winning. I, of course, want to see the Red Wave, and large Republican turnout to keep both chambers. If Republicans keep the House, I predict that Steve Scalise will become the next Speaker of the House, despite the fact that Kevin McCarthy seems like the heir, and despite the fact that I personally would probably endorse Jim Jordan. Regardless, any of the three is better than Nancy Pelosi.
Let’s also all hope that this illegal witch hunt known as the Mueller investigation finally ends on its own. Speaking of witch hunts, BREAKING NEWS! As I am editing this article, Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, plead guilty to campaign finance violations, and claims that he did it under the direction of then-candidate Trump! This obviously means that President Trump is going to get impeached, convicted, and spend the rest of his life in jail right? (And also something about Russia!) Well, wrong. First of all, the President cannot legally be indicted. Second of all, Trump did not commit a crime because (1) There is no limit to how much a person can contribute to his own campaign, (2) campaign finance violations require intent, (3) it clearly wasn’t even a campaign contribution, but rather a personal expenditure, and (4) even if it was a campaign contribution, failure to report campaign contributions is a crime that the campaign committed which results in a simple fine, NOT a crime that the candidate committed. This is an easy win for any lawyer, as it should be for Trump’s lawyers if it comes down to it (which it won’t). Many experts like Constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission Bradley Smith, campaign finance lawyer Jan Baran, and many others have made these arguments in favor of the President. For those of you unfamiliar with the situation, Michael Cohen bought stories from Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels that would slander Trump, and then Trump reimbursed him for that payment. So for all the people talking like this has anything to do with Russia, it doesn’t. Hopefully I can talk about this more in later issues, but for all of the people who think that this is some awful scandal that should end the President, think again. The only real way this can hurt Trump is if (A) Republican enthusiasm goes down for midterms, or (B) Trump gets subpoenaed and tricked into a perjury trap. As for my expectations, I do not realistically expect this to go away this year, but I really hope it will.
Optimistically I’m hoping for less racial tension, less identity politics, fewer personal attacks, and no shootings…we can leave it at that. I hope that everyone reading this article can at least agree on those things.
Now for my expectations for the Binghamton Review this year. As a new member of the E-Board, I am hoping to make this the best year for the Review! While this article serves as more of a checklist, I will aim to keep my articles moving forward more like how they were last year: more about a specific topic with more analysis. For the club, I hope to expand our reach to new forms of social media, be a part of every event possible on campus, and report as much and as fairly as possible. I hope to have more conversations with students. I hope that more people email the Review with respectful responses to our articles. I hope that more non-Review members try to talk to us and maybe even submit articles. I hope to continue to have a great relationship with College Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians. I hope to make more serious articles, as well as fun ones. I hope to keep making puns and dad jokes. I hope to meet and welcome great new students to the Review. Please, if you see us, talk to us respectfully. If you want to join, please do! It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in college. If you disagree with us, then email us and tell us what you disagree with. I just really don’t want the concerns that I made in my final article from last year (about how badly myself and other conservatives are treated on our liberal campus) to go unnoticed or unchanged. Let’s all have a great year!