Donald Trump ran and won on a simple message: make America great again by draining the DC swamp. Now he has to govern and do it.
While I was publicly suspicious of his motivations through the spring, his unapologetic adherence to that simple message convinces me he’s ready to make good.
In late June I met with Donald Trump for about an hour in his private office in Trump Tower. We chatted about a variety of policy issues. He had no handlers and no talking points. He was just someone willing to hear – and absorb – information about ways to reform the unrepentant cabal that has seized control of Washington.
As I left his office, we shook hands and he said, “You know, I really do want to be a good president.”
Now America has given him the chance to prove it. It remains to be seen if the Republican leadership in Congress got the message of the election. Whether they will be obstructionists or allies will be known in the coming months.
For Trump to succeed, he will need a sound example of good governance. Among the several states, only Texas is poised to provide it. But to do so, lawmakers in Austin must step up to the challenge.
Until now, too many in Texas have been content with pointing to rankings that show Texas as “better off” than California or Michigan or wherever. That’s not good enough.
Reforms central to the Trump message – tax relief, life, school choice, border security, deregulation – all have their corollaries in state government.
Sadly, so does the obstructionist wing of the establishment GOP. The Texas House coalition leadership of liberal Democrats and crony Republicans has stood against comprehensive tax reform and tax relief while allowing sanctuary cities and in-state tuition for illegal aliens to continue.
On issue after issue, the House leadership has opposed or watered down the reforms conservatives demand.
Fortunately, the Texas Senate has proven that conservatives can responsibly govern. Under the leadership of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick – who spent the fall traversing the nation for Trump – the Texas Senate has become a bastion of reform-minded policies.
Yet for President-elect Trump to have the effective example he needs, Patrick and the Senate aren’t quite enough.
The Texas House must man up and shake off the shackles of obstructionism with which they have bound themselves and the state. Republican House members must decide now – just like their colleagues in Congress – if they want to continue to be part of the problem, or if they will now advance the solutions Texas’ voters and taxpayers prefer.
It’s time to drain the swamp.