Two years ago, Donald J. Trump surprised nearly everyone when he won the presidency over democratic front runner, Hillary Clinton. Leading up to the election, Trump had only polled at forty-four percent and had one of the highest unfavorability ratings of any candidate. With a slew of sexual assault accusers as well as some questionable remarks made on the “Access Hollywood” videotape, there was little hope for Trump in the months before the election. Much to many of the American people and political commentators’ surprise, something resonated with enough of the American population to make Donald Trump the 45th President of the United States.
Two years later, we live in one of the most politically divided times that this nation has ever seen. The days where all of the American population admired and respected the president are over. Newspaper and news channels now work to achieve a political agenda, rather than just tell the news. Liberals and conservatives have become increasingly hostile towards each other. Amidst all of this drama, there is one question that still needs to be asked: How has Donald Trump been as the president? Is he really as bad as CNN paints him? Is he as good as FOX News describes him to be? How has he compared to past presidents?
In this article, I hope to address where Donald Trump has been successful, where he has not, and what he should focus on if his presidency continues into a second term. I have divided this article by the main aspects of American politics, and how Donald Trump has performed in each of those areas.
President Trump has been one of the most productive and successful presidents so far when it comes to the American economy. In the workforce, 2.6 million jobs were created in 2018, the unemployment rate hit 3.7 percent in September 2018 (a 50 year low), and more than five million Americans have been lifted off of food stamps and have become self-sufficient(whitehouse.gov). Trump has also limited government regulation under his economy, rolling back regulations in most sectors of the economy.
For example, Trump lifted regulations on American energy, allowing companies to mine on federal lands. This greatly decreased the price of energy and has encouraged more energy production. Corporations have enjoyed tax cuts, allowing them to expand their businesses and put more money into the economy. Capital expenditures are up $300 billion from 2017, and business sector productivity grew at 1.9 percent (double from the previous year). Trump has been very proud of his economy, saying that “In just over two years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom.”
Trump has brought many corporations’ factories back to America, by applying heavy tariffs to goods coming from outside of the country. Trump wants to make the United States less reliant on outside countries, and more reliant on their own industries. Our trade deficit with China has almost reached half of a trillion dollars, and Trump looks to minimize that through the use of tariffs. Donald Trump dislikes China because they have been involved in illegal trading practices, they steal our corporations’ intellectual property, and have no regulations on their work force (which allows for child labor). Trump has taken on an America-first and protectionist economic policy by taxing goods coming in from China. In response, China taxes our industries as well, and now we have ended up in a trade war. Donald Trump is the first president in a long time that has stood up for the economy.
I don’t like the idea of a trade war, because it can end up really hurting businesses and consumers. Instead of paying three or four dollars for some dish soap, we may have to pay seven or eight dollars. Over time, these price increases add up and the cost of living will increase quickly. I feel like these policies may be necessary if we want to strengthen our economy, but they do come with some adverse outcomes. It is too soon to tell if this policy will benefit Americans in the long run.
Climate/Building a Greener Future
Donald Trump’s booming economy has created a dire environmental situation. Oil and natural gas production have hit all time highs meaning that more carbon has entered our atmosphere, fueling global warming. Trump has rolled back over eighty environmental regulations. For example, the government has stopped enforcing a rule that prohibited the use of hydrofluorocarbons and has canceled a requirement for oil/gas companies to report methane emissions. Most of these rules have been taken away so that businesses can run more efficiently and without regulation, allowing for them to grow quicker and larger.
There was outrage at the beginning of Trump’s presidency when he decided to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. The media responded so quickly and negatively, not realizing why Trump pulled out of this agreement. This agreement allowed the world’s major polluters, China and India, a free pass, not making them have any sort of regulations. The population has grown so out of control in those places that regulation of businesses has become nearly impossible. The Paris Climate Agreement would make America increase regulations which would have cost millions of jobs and destroyed our economy. Corporations would realize that they would lose a lot of money in America with these regulations, and move overseas to Asia where there are no regulations. So, in the end, greenhouse gases were still going to be emitted regardless, thus destroying the integrity of the plan.
Although I do agree with Trump’s decision, I still do believe that climate change/global warming is real and that we should do something about it. We need to invest in cleaner energy sources, and limit the amount of greenhouse gases we emit. Many of Trump’s supporters work in large industries such as coal or oil, and Trump keeps them happy by increasing economic growth and opportunity. He is not running on “saving the environment”, but rather growing our economy. Although it is going to be very challenging, we need to develop some sort of plan that can reduce our emissions still while keeping unemployment low and our economy booming. Trump needs to shift some of his attention towards reducing global warming.
Donald Trump promised voters that a wall would be built on the entire length of the border between the United States and Mexico. The government has started by reconstructing some parts of the existing wall and erecting entirely new parts of the wall. The Department of Homeland Security predicts that it will take around twenty billion dollars to fund the creation of the wall. If Trump is elected for a second term, it could be achievable within his presidency. Although there hasn’t been much progress on the wall, I applaud Trump for taking action against a problem that hasn’t been dealt with over the past decade.
A few weeks ago, Trump announced that the government will be conducting raids to deport illegal immigrants back to their home country. It really makes me mad when people get angry at Trump for doing something like this. The leftist senators and public calls Trump racist and disgusting. If one uses simple logic, they can understand why he is deporting illegal immigrants. If a person wants to come into this country they can apply for citizenship, a process that takes maybe one to two years. Once they are a citizen, they can find a job and enjoy living in one of the greatest countries in the world. Immigrants bring brainpower and a different way of thinking into our country. Diversity should be celebrated and immigrants are welcomed into our country. All they have to do is enter the country legally. It is not the United States’ “duty” to accept everyone just walking across our border. We are a country that has laws that should be abided by.
Canada and Australia have very strict immigration policies, as do many other first world countries. Trump should not be called racist merely because he doesn’t want illegal immigrants living here. He simply wants everyone living in our country to have proper documentation and to be legal so that our nation can be governed easier. Trump has also said that he wants immigration reform so that people can enter the country faster, and has called upon Congress to draft a bill that would deal with immigration policies such as these. Although many don’t view Trump’s views on immigration in a positive light, I firmly believe that what he is doing is right and just.
If you have ever seen one of President Trump’s speeches, one of his favorite catch phrases he uses is “fake news”. Many Americans, especially in the younger generations, mock and poke fun at Trump’s usage of this phrase. However, Trump is one of the only presidents that has brought fake news to light. The term was never talked about until about four years ago. Trump often calls out CNN and NBC as the worst offenders of fake journalism, praising Fox News as the most truthful source. The truth is, almost all major news outlets report fake news. It doesn’t really matter which network is doing it, it just matters that we can recognize it and hopefully one day put an end to it altogether.
One of the more famous cases of fake news occurred this year. Nick Sandmann, the high school student seen wearing a “MAGA” hat at a protest next to a Native American, was reported by various news sources to be “racist” and “hostile” towards the man. They claimed that these were the type of people that Trump creates, and tried to paint the story to fit their leftist agendas. Fox News is guilty of reporting fake news as well. It is hard to find a news outlet that only reports facts and doesn’t have a particular party affiliation. The Wall Street Journal and a few other magazines/newspapers are pretty trustworthy, but still report fake facts from time to time.
The best thing to do in my opinion, is to try to read or watch as much news as you can from as many different sources as possible. That way, you can hear the different stories told different ways and you can infer and make your own judgment of the situation after hearing all of the commentary. It is very good that President Trump has alerted many Americans to the otherwise untalked about issue of fake news. Now, many Americans watch the news with some skepticism, and don’t just believe everything they hear or read.
Trump and Women/Racial Minorities
Many leftist news outlets like to paint Trump as a racist and misogynist. I will concede that a small fraction of his supporters, especially in the southeastern part of the United States, can be classified under these names. But, they do not support him because they think he is the same way; I suppose they support him because he appeals to the hard working class of America. I would like to present some facts relating to how women and racial minorities have been treated under the Trump presidency.
- Lowest black unemployment rate in history: 5.9 percent (by business tax cuts which inspired entrepreneurship, the creation of thousands of jobs).
- Increased federal funding to Historically Black Colleges and Universities by 14 percent.
- “The President signed funding legislation in September 2018 that increased funding for school choice by $42 million”(whitehouse.gov): this enables children who may be confined to a bad school district because of their zip code to be able to transfer to better schools in the area.
→ police brutality has not been dealt with as it should be, and Trump should take initiative to help minimize police brutality (ex: through nationwide use of body cameras, training etc.)
→ Many also deem Donald Trump as a “racist” for his views on immigrants from South/Central America and his Muslim travel ban.
- Donald Trump is not racist for wanting harsher immigration policies and deporting people from America. That is the law and he wants to ensure the safety of American citizens. All he wants is that people here be legal.
- The so called “Muslim ban” Trump created in 2017 is not racist, either. It was a security precaution so that Trump and his team could figure out why and how a disproportionate amount of shootings were occurring at the hands of those who follow Islam. It followed a mass shooting in San Bernardino committed by two people who were Islamic. I will admit, though, there may be an increase in Islamophobia under President Trump’s office, whether that is from the shootings, or Trump’s policies, I do not know. Many people now categorize these people as terrorists and violent, which is unfair to the millions of people who aren’t.
- President Trump is one of the most pro-life presidents in history of the United States.
→ Many women, especially those under 30, think poorly of him for this.
→ Depending on your views of abortion, this could be viewed as a positive or a negative.
- Supports and drives the Women’s Global Development Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative. These empower women both in the United States and worldwide to become economic leaders and entrepreneurs.
- Has been in the spotlight over some misogynistic comments before his presidency, especially over 2016 democratic front runner, Hillary Clinton.
- Trump has more women as top advisers (7) than Obama (5), Bush (3) or Clinton(5).
Donald Trump has done a pretty good job as our president. Many people do not give him any credit for creating a thriving economy and dealing with the immigration crisis. I can understand why some people dislike him as a person due to some questionable remarks, but he has done a pretty good job building and governing our country. Although it has only been a couple of years and it is difficult to meaningfully deal with every problem, I would like to see more of his attention towards the problem of climate change if reelected. I and many others will be very curious to see if he reruns with the same message and priorities (economy and immigration), and if he will add any priorities to his list for his second term.