Donald Trump began with an optimistic, shining-city-upon-a-hill moment. He had gone to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to lay out the policy proposals of his presidency and didn’t shy away from the symbolism of the location. “It is my privilege to be here in Gettysburg, hallowed ground where so many lives were given in service to freedom—amazing place,” Trump said. “President Lincoln served in a time of division like we’ve never seen before. It is my hope that we can look at his example to heal the divisions we are living through right now. We are a very divided nation.”
He then went on to describe himself as the reluctant white knight that the country needed. “I’ve never wanted to be a politician—believe me,” Trump said. “But when I saw the trouble our country was in I knew I couldn’t stand by and watch any longer.”
And then, of course, Trump went on to divide the nation even further, complaining of a “totally rigged and broken” system in which his opponent shouldn’t have even been allowed to run because she broke “so many laws on so many different occasions.” He complained about the “dishonest” media and how he had been covered throughout the campaign. Worst of all was his insistence on casting doubts about the U.S. democratic process, saying massive fraud on Election Day was a real possibility because the election is “rigged” against him.
It took Trump almost 15 minutes to get to his promises for the first 100 days, which was the entire point of the speech his campaign had touted as the opportunity to turn the page on all the scandals that had engulfed his White House bid. And what did Trump propose? Pretty much the same stuff he’s been proposing for months. There were no new major policy initiatives, although, to be fair, it was the first time they were all listed in one speech and rattled off. Oh, and the difference this time is that it was billed as a “contract with the American voter.”
So what were his main ideas?
In terms of ethics:
- A constitutional amendment to impose term limits on member of Congress.
- A hiring freeze of federal employees.
- Any new regulation would require two existing regulations to be nixed.
- A five-year ban on White House and congressional officials becoming lobbyists and a prohibition on officials from the executive branch from ever lobbying for a foreign government.
To “protect” American workers:
- Renegotiate NAFTA and withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
- Label China a currency manipulator.
- End “foreign trading abuses.”
- Boost energy investments and lift roadblocks on “vital energy infrastructure projects.”
- Nix “billions in payments” to U.N. climate change programs.
On security and rule of law:
- Cancel every “unconstitutional” action issued by Obama.
- Begin selecting next justice.
- “Cancel” federal funding for “sanctuary cities.”
- Start to get rid of the “more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants.”
- Suspend all immigration from “terror-prone regions” if there can be no “extreme vetting.”
He also said he would work with Congress on several issues, including repealing Obamacare and building the wall with the understanding that “Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost.”