the President of the United States in day-to-day conversation and
you’ll get the inevitable; a sigh, a shake of the head, a brief
eulogy on how Donald Trump is unfit to be president. I’m no
different. I’m the first to criticise Trump. I wouldn’t have
voted for him if you’d paid me, and think he’s got some pretty
damaging, regressive points of view.
during a recent, daily grumble about The Donald, I got thinking; if
you look past the ridiculous Twitter pronouncements, and the
President’s general veneer – what has he actually done? How bad
has the 45th President of the United States actually been for the
answer, it might surprise you, is not that bad at all.
market up, unemployment down. After plateauing for much of 2015 and
2016, numbers of manufacturing jobs have been on the rise since
Trump’s inauguration. While Trump has perhaps taken more credit
than he’s due in these areas, it would be ignorant to deny him at
least some – business confidence has steadily grown under Trump’s
presidency, a direct effect of tax cuts; the most comprehensive
simplification of the US tax code in 30 years; and a staunch refusal
to regulate the economy to the same extent as during Obama’s
tenure. Through 2016-2018, regulations have grown by only 0.6 per
cent, in comparison to the 1.6 per cent per annum under Obama.
Trump’s administration succeeding in getting major corporations to
pay their tax bills (amounting to £339bn for the economy over the
next nine years), Apple are still going through with plans to invest
billions into the United States. I barely knew about Trump’s
win-win on multinational corporations – most people seem more
focussed on waspish gossip from around the White House than they do
on promising figures coming out of it.
foreign policy, he’s been brash and unpredictable, but successful.
He can’t take full credit for the defeat of Isis in their
traditional strongholds, but they have been defeated. He can’t take
full credit for defusing tensions with North Korea – but under
President Trump, Kim Jong-un is becoming more receptive to talks with
South Korea, and even sent a team to the Winter Olympics. His
“quirky” style of diplomacy has led to, in the past few days,
talk on the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and the closest
thing to a peaceful North Korea we’ve seen in years. On Friday it
was even announced that Trump will be meeting with Kim Jong-un.
gun control – where previously Trump was a fierce proponent of the
Second Amendment, he’s proven more willing to listen than anybody
thought possible – recently signing a memo directing the
proposition of regulations to ban all gun accessories. Slow progress,
but progress nonetheless against the United States’
incomprehensible gun policy.
it be that, provided checks against the President’s more skewed
policies hold firm, that Trump hasn’t actually been half-bad?
Attempts to repeal Obamacare fell through due to opposition, and the
Supreme Court held out against the worst of the Republicans’ travel
ban plans. It’s why the Founding Fathers made so certain of checks
between the different branches of government – so that the least
thought-out policy proposals didn’t have a chance of passing. It’s
what a lot of people forgot about, in the months after Trump was
elected – presidents are unable to act rashly, impulsively. The
political system is wired towards something which at least slightly
why are Trump’s approval ratings so low? The answer is
unprecedented levels of political polarisation in America, and the
general unwillingness of either side to acknowledge anything of worth
on the opposite side.
wary of making any major proclamations too early. Recent threats of
trade war could seriously hurt global markets, and Trump’s
administration has still been the most divisive in recent memory.
More action on gun control is needed, and the President’s
protectionism will always be a worry – but whisper it; maybe, just
maybe, Donald Trump isn’t the devil we all thought he’d be