I was quite surprised when I received questions at the end of your last piece. In fact, if I was talking to someone who was more politically biased than yourself, I might consider the topic of Trump to be a trap. Whether you support Trump or you don’t, discussing the 45th president is a dicey issue. Although, after eight years of Obama, I’m used to walking on eggshells when I bring up presidential politics. Trump evokes in Democrats what Obama evokes in Republicans – unbridled contempt and frustration.
Nevertheless, I’d be doing the readers, and myself, a disservice if I wasn’t completely honest in my writing. So, I’ll be upfront and forthright. I find little to like about Donald Trump. I didn’t support him during the election. I didn’t vote for him. I wasn’t happy when he won. Like many who follow politics, I was stunned by his victory. And, like many who didn’t vote for him, I was demoralized the day after the election.
I clearly remember waking up very early to check the election results. When I’d forced myself to go to sleep only a few hours earlier, the reality of Trump’s possible election was just setting in. This fact made me hesitant to check the results when I awoke, but my strong curiosity urged me to do so. After discovering that Donald Trump was indeed the president-elect, I let out a long sigh and fell back into bed. When I made my way out into the public, I could immediately feel a distinct malaise hanging over the campus and its residents. Of course, a select few Trump supports – some of whom I consider my very close friends – were ecstatic, but that wasn’t my world. Upon discussing the dour mood with a counselor of mine, he equated the feeling on campus to the one he felt after John F. Kennedy was assassinated; a feeling of uncertainty, as if everything had changed in an instant. That may have been an over exaggeration on his part, but I had to take his word for it.
So, that’s my background with Trump. It’s a history of opposition and resistance. However, I think it’s important to point out that I’ve never proclaimed that Trump is “not my president.” I found that rhetoric to be reprehensible when it was deployed against Obama, and I’m sticking to that judgement when it comes to Trump. When you win by the rules of the game – which Trump did – you become the President of the United States of America. And, seeing as I’m an American, that makes Donald Trump my president. Although, it’s probably clear that I don’t say “President Trump” very often. Some may view that as disrespectful, but it’s honestly more for the sake of expediency.
I’m not sure how you feel about Trump, but I’ve heard you praise him in the past. If I remember correctly, you’ve agreed with him on his calls for shrinking the government and relegating more power to the states. I actually agree with you on those points! However, I’m reluctant to believe that Trump agrees with you on those points, which is where my first, and major, critique of him takes shape. He lies without restraint. It’s common knowledge – and a common punchline – that politicians are liars. They make promises not only that they can’t keep, but that they have no intention of keeping. This area may be the only one where Trump can be equated to a politician. Not only did he lie about some of his policies during the campaign, but he seems to lie about things that can clearly be proven.
A reporter will stand up and say, “Mr. President, you said this on this day.” Trump will then respond with, “Nope. No I didn’t.” The reporter will rebuke him with, “But we have footage of you saying it.” Then Trump will unload on the press with his catchphrase, “Fake News!” Sean Spicer, Press Secretary for the Trump Administration, came out after the inauguration, and made the audacious claim that Trump’s inauguration crowd was the largest in history. There is clear photographic evidence to show that that isn’t true, but the Trump administration still sticks to that talking point. This lie is only the first of nearly constant lying from the White House. There’s also Trump’s wiretapping claim, the Bowling Green Massacre, the initial cover story for the firing of James Comey, and it goes on and on. Not even Trump’s cabinet can keep his lies straight.
That leads me into the Trump Cabinet. It’d seem that Trump’s cabinet appointees are from Backwardsville. Scott Pruitt, E.P.A Administrator, wants to get rid of the E.P.A. Betsy DeVos, Education Secretary, wants to cut funding for public education and abolish government loan programs for college students. Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services, wants to abolish federal healthcare. Rick Perry, Energy Secretary, said during a previous presidential race that he wanted to dispose of the Department of Energy, despite the fact that he didn’t know what it did before he was confirmed. And it doesn’t get much better when you keep going down the list.
Due to Trump’s inexperience with government, many people hoped that he’d surround himself with veterans of the game to guide and teach him. However, it seems that he’s done the exact opposite. Many of his appointees are either people without any governing experience, or failed politicians. I understand that he wanted to “drain the swamp”, but he’s actually joined the swamp in the worst way. He didn’t get rid of political insiders, he brought in people who want to be political insiders. After all, his campaign was orchestrated in part by Roger Stone and Paul Manafort – two men who helped establish the corrupt and bloated lobbying system that plagues Washington today. With a lineup like this, I am not surprised to see Trump being opposed by the left, right, and center.
From everything I’ve said about Donald Trump thus far, you might think that I oppose him full sail and without compromise. But, that’d be untrue. In fact, he very recently – as of this writing – gave a speech during his first foreign trip to Saudi Arabia in which I believe he made some good points about the threats of Islamism and radical jihad. I also agree with him on the idea that we have to be more inward looking, and concerned with the issues that America is facing internally. It is clear that some on the left will oppose Trump no matter what he proposes. I recently heard a joke from a conservative friend of mine. He put forth the idea that if Trump would consider stricter gun control laws, then the Democrats would become the party of the Second Amendment. It was a joke, but all jokes contain a hint of truth; that’s what makes them funny. I, on the other hand, am open to accepting Trump’s ideas, if I agree with them. I’m interested in either rejecting or embracing his ideas, not the man himself.
There’s a lot I could say about Donald Trump. I bet I could write a whole book on the topic of the 45th President, which I’m sure some people will do. I think about Trump every day, which is one thing I will grant him. He’s made me pay even more attention to politics. Trump employs the same tactics as president that he did as a reality television star. He keeps you coming back for more and more and more. Perhaps that’s what Americans need to become invested in the political system, like they’re invested in their favorite movies and television shows. To some people, Donald Trump is the hero. To others, Donald Trump is the villain. Either way you look at it, Trump has sucked everyone into the spectacle that is American politics today. Now that he’s the Commander in Chief, you have to tune in to see whether America will survive another episode or fall prey to certain death.