When Trump says 'Make America Great Again,' he means it
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"He really meant it." That's what I thought as President Trump began wrapping up his inaugural address. My God, he really meant it.

For me, the journey began in April 2015, when Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO’Rourke not ruling out being vice presidential candidate CNN ripped for hiring former Republican operative as political editor: 'WTF?!?!' The Hill's Morning Report - Can Bernie recapture 2016 magic? MORE (R-Texas) joined now-Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump Unscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden MORE (R-Wis.) in signing a joint opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal urging passage of fast-track legislation.

A few short days later, I developed a strategy to counter their support. That strategy was built around Trump. At the time, Trump was dismissed by almost everyone as a sideshow, but as he has proved, he is much more than that.

Trump immediately agreed to voice a radio ad for my group, Americans for Limited Government, against fast-track uttering the famous words, "It's a bad, bad deal." The ad ran continuously in New Hampshire and South Carolina up until he announced his candidacy for the presidency, and played a major role in getting a majority of the GOP candidates for president to agree with Trump.

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Eventually, even Cruz voted against fast-track, but it was Trump who knew in his heart that corporate crony trade deals were bad for America's workers and disastrous for America.

 

Now, 20 months later, Trump is President, and virtually every Washington power broker has been routed.

He really meant it.

President Obama's last three years in office were predicated on the principle that he could regulate, sign away and stretch the bounds of executive orders with impunity, disregarding the rightful constitutional role of Congress.

Today, that work, like a house built on sand, will begin to be washed away as Trump appointees take immediate control of the levers of power at virtually every agency in government.

As a member of the Trump transition team at the U.S. Department of Labor, I got the opportunity to work with some of the most brilliant, dedicated minds in D.C. in an exercise in cross-pollination between the various departments in federal government to help remake the relationship between the government and the people and, indeed, between the executive branch and Congress.

Obama's impatience and demands for a whole loaf through executive fiat means that every one of these actions can — as many will — be wiped from the books using the same pen and phone that willed them into existence.

The Madisonian vision of separation of powers creating a balancing act to ensure that no one branch got too strong will be restored, and the arrogance that led Obama to ignore Congress when he couldn't get everything he wanted will lead to most of his "accomplishments" being cast onto the scrapheap of history.

This definitely would not be true if Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFBI’s top lawyer believed Hillary Clinton should face charges, but was talked out of it Harris adds key Clinton aide, women of color to 2020 campaign: report Democrats more likely Trump's foil, than to foil Trump MORE had won in November, and most likely would not have been true if virtually any other Republican candidate had won the nomination and presidency.

But I predict that, before the weekend is out, America will learn that when President Trump says he is going to "make America great again," he really means it.

And that is reason to celebrate.

Rick Manning is president of Americans for Limited Government. He served as a member of President Trump's transition team.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.