One year has passed since the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, took office, and in that time he has failed to accomplish much of anything. The American people, the Republican Party, and even Trump’s own supporters have failed to reap the benefits of his presidency.
When first took office he was the second president to enter with approval ratings below fifty percent, the other being George W. Bush. Trump is the only president to never have approval ratings above fifty percent in his first year. This is no surprise considering Trump was elected without a major of the country voting for him, but we live in a republic — not a pure democracy.
In our republic, we have laws against nepotism and corruption, and we have checks and balances limiting the powers of each branch of government from becoming too powerful. Yet President Trump does not seem to care about these basic rules. Trump has shown he cares little about nepotism laws since the first day in office, appointing his own son-in-Law as a senior advisor. The position Jared Kushner holds as a senior advisor is one close to the president, but this position should be filled by a qualified individual with decades of experience in government. Instead Kushner has experience as a real estate magnate and a publisher for New York Observer.
Outside of his own executive branch, Trump has seen little success in Congress. While the Art of the Deal author claims to be a “master negotiator,” Trump fails to rally his own party to vote for his legislative agenda time and time and time again. Trump’s traits hardly resemble the political tact and experience of President Lyndon B. Johnson, and he fails to control his own party like President Ronald Reagan did.
Trump passed his tax reform bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, but the law, while similar in message to Trump administration’s original bill, is foreign to the promises he made to voters: many poor and middle-class people who will actually pay more in taxes in the long run based off the law’s long-term design. Still, tax reform stands alone on an island of Trump’s legislative successes, and in the surrounding sea of failure lie his unsuccessful attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, looms like a shadow behind Trump’s record. While repealing it was a core part of his campaign, Trump failed to repeal it even with his party holding a majority in both houses. President Trump failed to paint a clear picture of what his replacement would be, and what Americans got from him was a murky image of tax deductions and the removal of coverage for pre-existing conditions. While Trumpcare never came to fruition, the individual mandate, the financial foundation of the Affordable Care Act, was repealed under Trump’s tax reform.
Even scarier, Trump’s domestic failures in Congress and in the White House pale in comparison to Trump’s diplomatic ineptitude. It seems every moment he breathes Trump ruins American prestige, something no true nationalist would want in a President. The worse blow the President dealt was both figuratively and literally kowtowing to the Chinese Premier Xi Jinping, announcing that China was equal as a superpower and stating that China was smart for taking advantage of flaws in the American economy. For a man claiming to be a patriot, Trump loses any sense of the world around other world leaders. Remember when he refused to shake German President Angela Merkel’s hand?
A nationalist would see the benefit in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, better known as NATO, seeing how not only does it establish an alliance to keep Russian military efforts at bay, but it also serves as a sphere of influence across Europe. Instead our President threatened to leave our country’s most valuable alliance because he felt some nations failed to pay their share. Our nation should never extort our own allies for currency. Instead we should continue investing in these allies to allow for our military and economy to become more intertwined, and more dependent, on the United States.
Trump’s foreign policy has also created turbulent relations with the Korean nations. Trump has insulted the North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un by calling him a “little rocket man.” This insult angered the North Korean leader while he remains steadfast on building his nation’s nuclear program. On the opposite side of the Demilitarized Zone, South Korean president Moon Jae-in has started to change his nation’s relationship with the U.S. because of our president’s rhetoric. Moon plans for his nation’s military to become more autonomous from its American counterpart while taking greater control of guarding the DMZ.
Trump’s first year in office was hypocritical, inept, and corrupt. He has failed to deliver on his promises to his base and his countrymen by failing to build his wall or repeal Obamacare. Trump has faltered on the world stage on several occasions. And worst of all instead draining of the swamp, Trump filled his administration with more of it.
With Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of possible collusion with the now confirmed Russian interference in the 2016 election continuing to dominate the headlines as much as Trump’s often embarrassing tweets, Trump’s second year may prove worse than the first. Maybe we are fortunate that he spends as much time golfing as he does being president.