• Brittany Shaughnessy

One year down: Is America great again?


As January comes to a close, Donald Trump’s first year as president comes to an end.

In a year marked with as many executive orders as controversies, citizens have officially experienced the first 365 days of the Trump Administration.

However, with the end of this year comes a question: What did President Trump do this year, and how do Americans view the sitting president?

NPR reported on Jan. 18 that the “majority of Americans see Trump’s first year as a failure,” while The Hill went as far to say that “Trump’s first year in office was the year of the woman.”

NPR conducted a poll with PBS NewsHour and Marist Poll, which released data saying that 53 percent of Americans did see Trump’s first year as a failure, compared to 40 percent that did not.

Additionally, they state that 46 percent of those polled believe that Trump has fallen short of their expectations, while 15 percent said that he has exceeded them. Of that 15 percent, only 4 percent consists of Democrats.

They also report that 42 percent of those polled thought that the country had changed for the worse, 36 percent said that it changed for the better, and 21 percent said that they have not seen a change.

As for the issues, Americans polled were pretty scattered.

Forty-four percent thought that Trump had improved the economy, while only 25 percent thought that he improved foreign relations. A measly 11 percent thought that race relations improved, while 18 percent thought that women’s rights had improved, although 40 percent stated they did not see a change.

Gallup also released a poll on Jan. 14., which states that President Trump currently has a 38% approval rating.

Compared to recent presidents, this number is significantly lower.

January of their second year, President Obama had a 49 percent approval rating, President W. Bush had 84, President Clinton had 55 and President H.W. Bush had 80 percent.

The closest number to Trump would be President Reagan, who had a 48 percent approval rating by his second January in office.

According to Gallup, Trump’s highest approval rating was his first week in office, with 45 percent.

When President Trump entered the office, he began to sign numerous executive orders.

In fact, he has signed 58 executive orders since he entered office, and not all of them have made national news.

The first executive order he signed was on his first day in office, named “minimizing the economic burden of the patient protection and Affordable Care Act pending repeal.” This executive order set the wheels in motion to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Shortly followed were executive orders “improving border security and immigration enforcement,” which directed for a wall to be built on the Mexico-United States border, and “core principles for regulating the United States financial system,” which effected the regulation of the national economy.

On Jan. 25, 2017, the president signed the executive order “enhancing public safety in the interior of the United States,” which stripped sanctuary cities of their eligibility for federal grants.

Two days later, President Trump signed the Executive Order that enacted the Travel Ban, that was almost immediately blocked by judges around the country. The president has tried a number of times to get the travel ban passed since its original signing.

There was an executive order signed on Feb. 9 that “prevented violence against federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement officers,” as well as “enforcing federal law with respect to transactional criminal organizations and preventing international trafficking.”

On Feb. 28, 2017, the final day of Black History month, Trump signed executive order 13779, which enacted the “White House Initiative to Promote Excellence and Innovation at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”

The most recent executive order he has signed was 13822, “supporting our veterans during their transition from uniformed service to civilian life.”

President Trump has signed more executive orders than President Obama had by this time in his presidency, having only signed 40 compared to Trump’s 58.

Economically, CNBC reported on Jan. 18 that “the DOW’s 31 percent gain during Trump’s first year is the best since FDR.”

Although President Trump did not have much experience politically, he did have experience in the business world and has proved that he has what it takes to improve the economy, and as seen by NPR’s polls, Americans acknowledge that.

Along with the DOW jumping, President Trump also got his long-awaited tax plan passed.

The bill, about 500 pages long and 72,000 words, was given to legislators without much time to read it.

When the bill passed on Dec. 20, 2017, many called it the biggest victory for the Trump Administration so far, while others feared that it was only going to protect big businesses and not the middle class.

It comes as no surprise that President Trump has been more active on social media than any other president. More specifically, President Trump utilizes Twitter more than anyone before him.

From having a “bigger, more powerful” nuclear button than North Korea to the “Fake News Media Awards,” Trump has tweeted it all as president.

As for controversies, there have not been a lack of those either.

The Trump presidency began with a controversy as the president claimed that his inauguration had the highest attendance rates ever, with former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer bringing out photos as proof.

President Trump has not exactly been the best friend of the media, repeatedly kicking reporters out of press conferences and taunting them on social media.

Additionally, a book by Michael Wolff was recently released stating all of the “inside knowledge” of the Trump White House, even going as far to say that no one on the Trump campaign expected to win, not even Trump himself.

Although no one can predict the future of Trump’s presidency, one can be sure that it will not be a traditional three years to come for the United States.

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