Opinion: The Wasted Potential of the Trump Administration

Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017, amidst a climate of division and uncertainty that has lingered for the rest of his administration. However, the time also presented a rare opportunity in the form of an outsider of the D.C. establishment to make a mark on the world of politics in a way that hadn’t been seen before since the Reagan era. 

Since the very beginning of the administration, the infighting between the cabinet members and the President was notorious. As of today, from the original 23 members appointed, only 7 remain. 

The main reason for such a high turnover rate are, as many former members of the White House staff stated, due to scandals, disagreements and mood swings of the President. Out of this, the main reason remains falling off the President’s good graces as was the case with former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.

Thus, lacking competent people to rely on decision making, the ability of the administration on policy making and the ability of fulfilling campaign promises, became stagnant due to lack of talent. 

It’s because of this lack of talent that Trump has failed to enact several of his campaign promises with some notable exceptions. 

The tax reform bill is indeed the most significant achievement of the administration but although it cuts taxes from working class Americans, the ones that benefit the most are large corporations. 

Another point of contempt is pulling out of the climate agreements and doubling down on the use of fossil fuels and carbon emitting technologies.

Another controversial topic of the administration would be immigration. Instead of taking the problem in a reasonable manner, President Trump instead chose to issue executive orders regarding bans from certain Muslim countries. Along with this, Trump was trying to bring to an end the DREAMER program  while also bullying countries, such as Mexico, into taking large numbers of deportees not native to the country and separating families in the process.

In the job creation department, until the outbreak of the coronavirus, the American economy was growing at a stable pace, in grand parth thanks to the decisions such as ending international agreements such as the Transpacific Partnership and the cancellation of plants that had been outsourced to other countries such as China.

But it is with the coronavirus where the administration feels more lacking and unprepared. Where a health issue became a political one because of the Trump Administration and its openly anti-science stand. Constant feuds with health experts in the cabinet, such as Anthony Fauci. 

Disregarding guidelines from both the CDC and the World Health Organization have been often attributed to the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 to alarming numbers and death tolls.

It is then clear that the Trump presidency would have become a beacon of change in an area as turbulent as politics taking on issues that have been referenced by Trump himself as applying anti-trust laws to big tech companies, like Google and Twitter. These companies hold so much power over the content that is browsed online, and the censorship of right wing commentators. 

The unchecked power of the Federal Reserve, the uncontrolled power of lobbyists over the Washington establishment, the divide of the American society are all topics that could have been tackled and benefited from a fresh start from a man that, in his words, “It’s the outsiders who change the world and make a real lasting difference.”

Instead, we had four years of controversies and embarrassments.

Header photo: President Donald Trump looks at his supporters before speaking at a campaign rally, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020 in Rochester, Minn. (Mansoor Ahmad/The Reporter)

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