One year of Trump: success or failure? (Pt. 1)

One+year+of+Trump%3A+success+or+failure%3F+%28Pt.+1%29

Tim Eggert

Before he became the 45th President of the United States, an ideological “greatness” was at the nucleus of Donald Trump’s campaign. At his inauguration, and in the year that followed, the same guarantee was reiterated breathlessly.
Yet, in retrospect, the inaugural year hasn’t been heaven, nor has it been hell. Instead, the first year of Trump’s presidency has been a whirlwind of purgatorial policy and unpresidential character.

Some might argue that Trump’s economic strides embody a progressive year, citing a healthy stock market in tandem with a decreased unemployment rate, but these changes aren’t a direct result of who’s sitting in the Oval Office. Wages, for instance, are the product of worker supply and demand, and according to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, they’re down 0.1 percent.

Moreover, Trump is batting .500 in his promises on revising international trade agreements. Although he kept his promise and pulled the United States out from the TPP, the President has yet to finalize renegotiations over NAFTA or impose a tariff on U.S. companies that operate facilities overseas. Data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis suggests that in the first 11 months of 2017 the trade deficit increased by almost 12 percent.

The most dramatic of Trump’s increases, however, haven’t been centered around incomplete promises, but, instead, policies and programs that no longer exist.

Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, cut funding to some climate science platforms and completely removed allusions to global warming and climate change from federal websites. The blatant disregard for the health of the U.S. environment has been reflected by a rise in CO2 emissions, which the Energy Information Association (EIA) projects will increase from 477 million metric tons in January 2017 to an estimated 491 million metric tons in January 2018.

The executive assault on policy doesn’t stop there; it extends to education, immigration and health. While a complete repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act was attempted multiple times by the GOP-controlled Senate, it was never achieved. Trump has vowed to keep trying, but it’s most likely not in the cards for 2018.

The more realistic achievement for Trump regarding health would be a personal diet, since his body mass index comes in at 29.9, just shy of obese.
Trump’s presentation of himself has come off as less than diplomatic, and leans more toward deranged. Rants on Twitter, obscene and offensive remarks at press events and spontaneous reactions to other politicians are embarrassing for the U.S. public, the Republican party and democracy itself.

More notable occasions of his extreme interpretation of the First Amendment have been when Trump referenced Sen. Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” on national television, and when he retaliated against ESPN reporter Jemele Hill’s accusations of white supremacy on Twitter.

In his framing of Warren and Hill in derogatory ways, Trump demonstrated that accusations of being both racist and sexist hold some truth.

Ultimately, the problem associated with Trump’s first year as President has been the chain reaction of fundamentally divided citizens on issues both Constitutional and trivial. First Amendment rights have been pushed to the limit, social injustices persist at home and abroad and hypocrisy has become synonymous with democracy.

If the president is a reflection of the people, then we may be the ones to blame for the turbulence of the last year. So, in the next three, let’s try to keep some promises and increase politeness, but also shed the pounds.

Sound Off

Lucas LaFave, sophomore
criminal justice

“Overall, the first year has been pretty solid. He’s aggressive in his word choice and actions, but as a business owner he’s keeping the economy on track.”

Sarah Thompson, postbacc.
management of health
and fitness

“He doesn’t represent me, but, I fear that other people think he represents me.”