INDIANAPOLIS – On Tuesday night, President Trump, after an 8½ hour flight from Hawaii which closed out 12 days of travel and work and many meetings in five different countries crossing 20,295 miles, concluded a highly successful Asian trip. He started by paying respect to American service members at Pearl Harbor and ended after strengthening military and trade alliances across the Indo-Pacific region.  
 
The president met with leaders of several different nations, he attended three important trade summits, gave flawless speeches in each country and became the first foreign leader to be honored with an official dinner in the Forbidden City since the founding of modern China.
 
Perhaps most importantly, he reinforced a brilliant strategy in dealing with the nuclear threat of North Korea. He pulled our partners further along with sanctions, showed the world our military might and encouraged diplomacy, as it was announced immediately after the trip that China was sending a high-level special envoy to North Korea.
 
Unfortunately, unless you watched Fox News or CNN overnight, most of the trip was overshadowed by Kevin Spacey, Weinstein, Joe Biden – back again, Fake News – every day, Hillary won’t go away. ISIS, Africa bound, evil hit a Texas town. Tax reform, budget battle, Papadopouwho? Sessions rattled. Rand Paul’s broken ribs, Roy Moore hitting on kids? Bernie, Donna Brazile, Wasserman Schultz and DNC wars, I can’t take it anymore! We didn’t start the fire – uh, whoops. Sorry, got sidetracked. But that was a lot of stuff going on in this 12-day stretch, including for me, the Billy Joel concert at Banker’s Life, in case you couldn’t tell.  
 
All of these stories were sensational or horrific or in some cases, like the DNC scandal, vindicating. All were worthy of news coverage, especially and unfortunately the tragedy in Sutherland Springs. But never have I seen such a historic and critical trip so ignored by the media and never have so many successes in such a short period of time been so drowned out.
 
We just had a president prove to the world that American leadership is back in the face of possible war. Remember Obama’s Strategic Patience strategy for North Korea? Why didn’t we question such ineptitude? Strategic Patience basically meant, “We are going to sit on our hands and hope that the next president knows how to handle this, because we don’t.”
 
Which of our past several presidents would go into foreign lands that have been taking advantage of us economically with unfair trade practices and forced intellectual property transfer and theft and come out with agreements for fair and reciprocal trade In doing so, President Trump made clear that America First means investing in American workers. He and American business leaders secured hundreds of billions of dollars in investment, creating tens of thousands, if not more, American jobs – and this was just the beginning.  
 
The trip wasn’t just about economics and North Korea. In China, President Trump and President Xi also reached agreements regarding joint projects on HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. In Vietnam, a new three-year plan for defense cooperation was concluded to increase bilateral naval activities. In the Philippines, President Trump announced $2 million to support drug demand reduction programs and an additional $14.3 million to address the humanitarian needs of 360,000 displaced persons after the liberation of Marawi City, where ISIS-inspired terrorists had taken siege for five months before recently being driven out by Philippine security forces.  
 
Imagine doing all of that and securing the freedom of the three freshman UCLA basketball players caught shoplifting in China, and then coming home to calls of impeachment by misguided Democrat House members.
 
I hadn’t seen Billy Joel in concert in quite a while but used to go to his shows when I was much younger. Back then he always closed by telling his audience, “Good night, and remember, don’t take any shit from anyone!” I always got a kick out of those New Yorkish words of wisdom. That was back before political correctness was even a thing.
 
Trump, being a fellow New Yorker, has that same attitude for him and for the country. It gives his detractors something to criticize but it’s also how he got elected. He doesn’t back down and he won’t let America back down.
 
This was on full display during his trip, calling countries out on trade imbalances, talking tough but measured on North Korea, and making it clear what he means by America first. He did it carefully and artfully. He actually did it very presidentially. He was greeted with respect and cheering crowds in every country and it was clear that he is developing alliances and even friendships with many world leaders. He did it all with a smile on his face but with no regard for political correctness.  
 
The concert was great but I was disappointed that Billy Joel didn’t deliver his familiar message at the end of the night. Political correctness, it appeared, has caught up with him. Trump’s message to the world was as clear as always, at least to me. He was saying, we want to be your friend and ally and we will protect American interests and help to protect you. We will treat you fairly but we want reciprocal fair trade. And his message to North Korea was even clearer. We are not going to take any shit from anyone! 
 
Samuel is president of Samuel Solutions and was vice chair of President Trump’s 2016 Indiana campaign.