When President Trump was sworn in one of the knocks on him was his lack of presidential bearing and gravitas. I thought at the time it was a fair concern though I also thought he would grow into the job.
I don’t hear these complaints today, but I have heard in its place a lament about his lack of restraint. In my mind, it is a balancing act — American restraint being the garden party voiceover for procrastination or the inability to actually accomplish things.
The American Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel — as teaching point
An example I find worthy of discussion is the intransigence about the movement of the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This move was ordered by the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 with the Senate approving it at the time by a vote of 95-5 and the House approving it with a 374-37 vote. The law demanded the Embassy be relocated by 31 may 1999.
The law provided for a series of six month waivers for “national security” justifications. Presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump waived it for 22 years.
Then, on 6 December 2017 — first year of the Trump presidency — President Trump publicly announced the recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and ordered that the planning for moving the Embassy should begin.
Two big things:
1. From 1995 until 2017, American Presidents failed to implement the almost unanimous intentions of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 — a period of 22 years.
2. In the first year of his presidency, President Donald J Trump said, “Let’s get on with it. We’ve been clutching our pearls for too long. Now.”
On 14 May 2018 — on the 70th anniversary of the Israeli Declaration of Independence — the US Embassy opened in Jerusalem in what had once been the Arnona consular building. The relocation turned out to be a renovation rather than a new build to suit. [President Trump is a builder and knew value when he saw it, saving us billions of dollars.]
That is the kind of lack of restraint that I applaud. President Trump gets things done that other presidents have kicked down the road for decades (NATO funding, trade, China, North Korea, Iran, immigration) — 22 years, three presidencies for the Jerusalem US Embassy. President Trump got it started in his first year, completed in his second year.