NEWS-SENTINEL EDITORIAL: We all look forward to a better 2018

As we look ahead to a new year, we hope we all do so with a resolve to make it better than 2017.

This has been the first year for our new president, a head of state unlike any we have known before — a businessman, not a politician; someone not bound by tradition or the hallowed decorum of the way things “are supposed to be done.” And the independent spirit of Donald Trump has set off, since even before his election the year before, a firestorm of criticism that has been bitter, unforgiving and divisive.

While promises have been kept and progress has been made, the firestorm has been as relentless as the wildfires this year throughout the West that have resulted in real destruction, not imagined.

But let’s give credit where credit is due in the president’s first year in office, something the Never-Trumpers will never do.

While we wondered after their failure to repeal Obamacare whether Republicans would ever unite and get something done while enjoying control of the presidency and both houses of Congress, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised President Trump last week for his leadership in the passage of the biggest tax overhaul in 30 years.

And with the expected advent of tax reform, the Dow Jones industrial average grew more than 331 points at the end of November to close above 24,000 for the first time in history. The U.S. is enjoying the strongest labor market since the turn of the century, highlighted by some 228,000 new jobs created in November. The government reported this month’s 4.1 percent unemployment rate is close to a 17-year low.

Figures released by the Department of Homeland Security early this month showed Border Patrol arrests dropped to a 45-year low in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 — an indication Trump is delivering on his pledge to deter illegal border crossings to help control illegal immigration.

Internationally, under Trump’s leadership of U.S. Armed Forces, the Islamic State group has been scattered in both Syria and Iraq. The president has responded to threats from North Korea with warnings of military action. And on Dec. 6, he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s true capital, something the three previous presidents promised in their election campaigns to do but never followed through upon. What’s more, Trump ordered the U.S. Embassy to be moved to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

There are many more accomplishments that could be enumerated and certainly some failures as well. But the indication is that our new president is staying true to his campaign platform and not sitting on his hands while the two political parties and the president’s enemies and supporters throughout the country continue to squabble. We pray in 2018 we can all give him a chance to do the job he was elected to do.