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Donald Trump is the Blight of His Own Presidency

Teddy Calderone

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It has been more than nine months since Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States. These nine months, and the months leading up to January 20th, have been among the most politically divisive in modern U.S. history. An October 29th Gallup poll placed President Trump’s job approval at just 33% and his job disapproval at 62%. So, with historically low approval ratings within the first few months of assuming office and sweeping condemnation from both sides of the aisle, one may wonder, what is happening in Washington?

Many people describe the 45th President as one of the most pernicious in the 21st century, despite having been in office for just over half a year. An analysis of some of the President’s remarks and actions can provide some context as to why many find him to be so controversial. Here’s a look at some of the most contentious comments made by the President and actions executed by his administration, as well as an explanation of how Trump is blighting his own presidency.

 

United States Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement

On June 1, 2017, Donald Trump announced that the United States would no longer participate in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation. On the campaign trail, Trump expressed contempt for the agreement, pledging to withdraw the U.S. from the pact as it would be beneficial to American businesses and workers.

Upon withdrawal, the president cited two main reasons. He first explained that “the Paris Agreement will undermine the economy” and then stated that it “puts (the U.S.) at a permanent disadvantage”. The reasons cited, and the decision to pull out, however, do not make much sense for a U.S. that is preparing for an economy any time in the near future.

In a video released by the White House that displayed the reasons for withdrawing from the agreement, it is calculated that the economy would lose 6.5 million jobs and $3 trillion in GDP (gross domestic product) due to the restrictions in the agreement. The problem with these calculations is that they are assuming that fossil fuels are a sustainable source of energy. They’re not. The future will be defined by renewable energy sources such as solar panels, nuclear power plants, wind turbines and biomass. The coal industry is not coming back, and the U.S. must be committed to agreements such as this one if it hopes to create jobs in the renewable energy sectors that will define the future.

In addition, I would be hard-pressed not to mention the sweeping denunciation of the President’s decision from international as well as domestic authorities. The decision, which has been primarily regarded as a setback for the U.S.’s global leadership position, received condemnation from religious organizations, environmentalists, political leaders, various businesses and corporations, and scientists and citizens from all across the U.S.

 

Donald Trump-Russia Dossier

The Trump-Russia Dossier is a private intelligence dossier, which was ordered by Republicans who did not want Trump to become president, prior to the primaries, written by former MI6 intelligence officer, Christopher Steele. The dossier claims that the Russian government is in possession of compromising intelligence, which could have been used as leverage to blackmail Trump and get him to cooperate with their government.

The dossier’s material is mainly about sexual allegations and financial dealings that Trump held in Russia. The dossier and its contents were vehemently refuted by Trump himself and those in connection with his campaign called it “fake news” and “phony.”

Although the dossier received widespread media coverage after the discovery of its existence, intelligence agencies stressed that allegations within the dossier were never verified.

 

Executive Order 13767

The executive order, which is titled “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements,” was ordered by Donald Trump on January 25, 2017. The order directed a wall to be constructed along the Mexico-US border, even though Congress has not yet appropriated funds for the wall and construction has not begun.

The executive order received criticism from experts who doubted that such a wall would even stop illegal immigration, and posed questions pertaining to whether or not it would be worth the billions of dollars that would be required for construction.

Such a wall has also been cited for the strain that it would put on US-Mexico relations, with Mexican opposition leader, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, condemning the executive order for a wall as an insult to Mexico.

 

Executive Order 13769

The executive order dubbed “The Muslim Ban” was issued by Donald Trump on January 27, 2017.  The executive order was in effect from Jan. 27 to March 16 (with the exception of the sections blocked by various judges and courts, of course). The order lowered the number of refugees admitted into the U.S. to 50,000, suspended the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely, and suspended entry into the country from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Donald Trump and his administration received widespread criticism over the order for obstructing passage of people from the Muslim world to the U.S. Members of Congress from both parties; UN officials, U.S. diplomats, longstanding U.S. allies, and many citizens in the U.S showed their disapproval for the order in the form of spoken or written criticism as well.

On January 28, thousands of U.S. citizens gathered at airports across the country to protest the signing of the executive order and the detention of foreign nationals. Members of Congress such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) joined protests in their home states in a show of solidarity with those targeted by the order.

While many students at Pascack Hills do not hold the President in high regard following the many controversial decisions that have come out of his administration thus far, there are also those who believe the President is justified in his actions.

“I think that the President is just doing his job. His methods may be unconventional, but there is no such thing as a perfect president,” said Hills junior, Alexa Otto. When asked about her thoughts on the President’s absurdly high disapproval ratings and astonishingly low approval ratings, Otto said, “I think people are misunderstanding him. They need to give him a chance to prove himself before forming all of these misguided opinions.”

The scandals and controversial actions listed above do not represent the full extent to which President Donald Trump has distanced himself from the American public and his own party. The President’s administration has been embroiled in a controversy of its own, exemplified by the ever-growing list of officials that have either left or been fired. In fact, the administration personnel which no longer reside in Washington cannot be counted on one hand alone. A grand total of 8 administration officials, thus far, have been replaced within the 9 month span of the presidency. Not long ago, Rex Tillerson, Trump’s Secretary of State, reportedly called the President a “moron,” to which Trump responded by saying, “I think it’s fake news, but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”

Additionally, with the first charges in Robert Mueller’s special investigation finally coming to light, skepticism grows even more so throughout the country. While nothing has been presented that connects the President directly to any malpractice, he is connected indirectly as people such as Paul Manafort (former chairman of the Trump campaign) are charged with felonies such as conspiracy against the United States.

The Trump Administration is flying too close to the sun with its incessant desire to bring waste to seemingly logical Obama-Era policies. An administration that causes this amount of civil unrest and is the catalyst to mass-protests on a scale this big cannot be ignored and, therefore, it is up to America’s institutions to seek out the corruption wherever it may lie.

For an opposing view read Gio Giacomarro’s article, “Trump Will Make America Great Again”

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