If Joe Biden loses re-election, it’s difficult to imagine the next president ushering in much social policy through the traditional lawmaking process.
If GOP presidential candidates want to achieve solid conservative wins, they’ll have an opportunity to do so, temporarily, if one wins the 2024 presidential election. They’d need to make changes unilaterally, via executive order or by executive branch departments carrying out the president's agenda without him signing a direct order. On issues like transgenderism, abortion, immigration, affirmative action, and border security, these actions could give Republicans serious wins.
To his credit, Donald Trump found ways to do this during his time in the White House. So whether he is the nominee for president, which is more likely than not, or someone else, like Ron DeSantis, upsets Trump, they should look at what he did well and copy such orders. On immigration, the Trump administration wisely enacted a public charge rule in 2019. It was one of Trump’s best policies as president. Some immigration undoubtedly benefits countries. However, a ticket to the United States shouldn’t mean one can come here to receive public benefits. The country already has enough people struggling, so adding more who need government assistance would further strain budgets. While the public charge rule took effect in 2019, more than two years into the Trump presidency, a GOP president could direct the Department of Homeland Security to re-create the policy the country had under the Trump administration.
Trump also used executive power to secure funding to construct more fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. While border fencing is a tool that can help border patrol agents and not a comprehensive solution to illegal immigration or drug trafficking, more border security would benefit the country. It took Trump declaring a national emergency proclamation to divert billions in military funding to get most of the wall funding. Since fentanyl from Mexican drug cartels kills more Americans than radical Muslims on the other side of the globe, providing such protection is a good idea. The border is a mess under Biden, a GOP president should copy Trump—minus the government shutdown over border wall funding.
Additionally, Republican presidents have used executive orders to protect the unborn. Every GOP president since Ronald Reagan has enacted the Mexico City Policy, preventing foreign aid from funding abortion providers and those who make abortion referrals. Trump signed a Title X gag order in 2019 that prevented abortion providers like Planned Parenthood from accessing federal family planning funding. Given that family planning can prevent abortions and save taxpayers money, it’s great policy. It would allow Congressional Republicans to support increasing Title X funding, preventing many abortions.
While Trump deserves praise for these actions, the GOP can and must go further than he did in his first term.
Longshot presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has vowed that, if elected president, he’d overturn Lyndon B. Johnson’s affirmative action executive order signed into law in the 1960s. The law requires companies that do business with the federal government to adhere to affirmative action policies. While thatmay have good intentions, several decades later America should strive for meritocracy—not a system that denies deserving people opportunities and puts others in positions where they’ll inevitably fail.
A president and his administration could limit government recognition of transgenderism and recognize two genders. Last year, the federal government began issuing nonbinary Gender X passports. If one visits many federal government websites, there’s nonsense about “pregnant people,” attempting to normalize the notion that men can get pregnant. A GOP administration could eliminate this wokeness from our federal government.
Trump has vowed to end birthright citizenship if elected to serve again. Doing so would prevent the children of illegal immigrants from becoming U.S. citizens—an incentive for illegal immigrant women to give birth in this country. If a Republican president signed executive orders and emergency proclamations to enact these policies on January 20, 2025, it may irk some, but the conservatives would love it. After that, the president could work with Congress on a less partisan agenda.