Week after week, by executive order or administrative action, the Trump administration is implementing policies that please conservatives and improve the public weal.

This is not to say that all of Trump’s policy preferences are wise. It is not to excuse his sorry record for actually pushing good, lasting legislation into law. It is not to say that government-by-executive-order is a good practice, or even that it is in all respects a legitimate practice. It is, however, to give credit where due.

When tailored narrowly and appropriately to legitimate presidential or executive-branch authority, and especially when used to undo prior executive actions (and thus not to expand executive power but just to use the same power already accepted, but in reverse), many of the Trump team’s orders and decisions represent serious and welcome shifts in policy.

The four most recent examples, all in the past week, include a wide range of subject areas: 1) the recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over much of the Golan Heights; 2) protecting free speech, usually against left-wing censorship, on college campuses; 3) expanding an existing ban on providing U.S. foreign aid to organizations that perform or promote abortions; and 4) better coordinate and implement countermeasures against possible electromagnetic pulse attacks.

The first is largely symbolic, but important. It takes off the table an issue over which Islamic states formerly were able to insist was a “concession” for them in peace talks with Israel, thus necessitating some other concession from Israel.

The second addresses a serious, sickening problem on college campuses. Granted, the feds ought to take care that their attempt to guarantee free speech does not somehow entangle federal bureaucrats in replacing campus thought police with their own. That possibility is real, but remote, and can probably be avoided…

[For the other two examples from this March 27 post, and why they are important, read the full column here.]


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