President-Elect Trump: The New Whig President
by Justin DePlato
As someone who served as a Republican delegate from Pennsylvania during the 2016 election, and as a professor of political science and presidential history, I have some fresh political-historical observations untangled from partisan gossip about Donald Trump and his future presidency. It seems likely that Donald Trump, based on his policy announcements for his first 100 days, is very much in line with Whig presidents of the 1800s.
Many of Trump’s proposed first actions are plans reducing and restricting presidential prerogatives during Barack Obama’s presidency—very similar to Whig proposals responding to President Andrew Jackson. For example, Trump will examine trade policies such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, re-examine America’s aggressive and overreaching foreign policy, and scale back restrictive environmental regulations that are disproportionately aimed at the coal and steel industries. He will implement a “Trump” rule that for every new regulation on business two previous regulations must be repealed. He will fight against crony lobbying in Washington, offer legislation for Congressional term limits, and begin an audit of many departments.
Some of Trump’s big domestic plans include infrastructure legislation to rebuild America. He also endorses a broader collaboration between private business and government, promoting rapid economic growth and a resurgence of industrial growth in the United States. He will continue demanding a modern competitive economy and will reform the American tax code. Further, he will keep open an option for tariffs to protect the American workforce and industrial growth.
If these ideas sound familiar to you, then you could have been a Whig sympathizer in the 1800s.