The Candor

One Month In: Has Trump “Made America Great Again” Yet?

Lubna Ziauddin

Staff Writer

During his Presidential campaign, President Trump famously stated that he would “make America great again”. That he would rescue the failing country from the destruction of President Obama and restore peace and prosperity back to the land of the free. But according to a Gallup Poll, it took only one week in office for President Trump to have a majority disapproval rating. Unlike Mr. Trump, President Obama maintained majority approval for 306 days, and his predecessor President Bush maintained 1107 days of approval. Despite his majority disapproval, the current administration maintains optimism as they communicate with the press. This is exemplified when White House aid Stephen Miller said that President Trump “has done more in three weeks than most presidents have done in an entire administration.” While campaigning, President Trump had high claims for his first 100 days in office, but being almost a third of the way though his first 100 days, what has Trump really accomplished so far?

One of the first executive orders President Trump signed was the order to “minimize the economic burden of the patient protection and affordable care act pending repeal”. Contrary to public speculation, Trump didn’t immediately repeal the Affordable Care Act, since that would be a lengthy process that would require the approval of Congress. Instead, Trump could use his executive order to instruct the Secretary of Health and Human Services and other departments to interpret the Obamacare regulations as loosely as possible in order to minimize the financial burden on individuals, insurers and health care providers. While this is one of the first steps to dismantle Obamacare, it doesn’t entirely repeal the Affordable Care Act. And Obamacare will continue to exist until the Trump Administration can come up with a plan to replace it.

President Trump also reinstated the Mexico City policy, also known as the global gag rule. The policy bans federal funding for non governmental organizations that promote or provide abortions. Since it was originated by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, this policy has been rescinded and reinstated depending on the political party, so it was no surprise that Trump had it reinstated.

In regards to fighting terrorism in the United States, President Trump suspended the US Refugee Admissions program for 120 days and froze travel to America by non-citizens from 7 Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria. At a law enforcement conference in Washington DC, Trump said that he enabled the executive order for the immigration ban because “it was done for the security of our nation, the security of our citizens.” Yet, within the past 15 years, no terrorist attacks in the United States have come from any of those countries that are banned. Inf fact, according to Global Research, of the 2,400 terrorist attacks on US soil between 1970 and 2012, only 60 or 2.5% of attacks were carried out by Muslims. His executive order ended up failing due to the actions of  U.S. District Senior Judge James Robart of Seattle, who issued a nationwide restraining order to block the travel ban. So in efforts to fight terrorism, President Trump decided to focus his safety concerns on bending the truth rather than the real problems that lies within our country, such as the high homicide rate that plagues many cities.

On February 16, 2017, President Trump held his longest press conference, which lasted 77 minutes. In regards to Russia, intelligence leaks, and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s resignation, President Trump said, “The news is fake, because so much of the news is fake.” However, in that same conference President Trump claimed he had, “the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.” As for Trump’s own report of fake news, CNN proved that President Trump actually had one of the slimmest wins in Presidential History. Several presidents after Reagan, including Obama and Bush had more electoral votes since Reagan than did Trump, contrary to his statement during the conference. After being called out for his error by NBC correspondent Peter Alexander, Trump said, “I was given that information…Actually, I’ve seen that information around. It was a very substantial victory. Would you agree with that?” It seems that Trump has focused much of his efforts to lash out on the media and label them as fake, yet he enjoys providing the country with alternative facts.

During the Obama Administration, President Trump had a lot to say about former President Obama’s “habitual vacationing”, making sure to remind the American people that their hard earned tax-paying money was being used for the President’s luxury, rather than fighting terrorism. However, according to the Independent, President Trump’s past 3 trips to his Mar-A-Lago club in Florida have cost approximately $11.3 million, almost surpassing President Obama’s average annual expenditure of $12.3 million. Even though Mr. Trump claimed he wouldn’t take a presidential salary, that does mean he isn’t using taxpayer money for his own luxury. This shows that Trump isn’t living up to his own tweets on the financial responsibilities the President should have.

According to Mother Jones, President Obama banned the use of torture by the CIA, signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act as well as a $787 billion stimulus bill, and had a net job approval rating of +27 percent, all within the first month of his presidency. On the other hand, President Trump has signed no legislation and only standard executive orders for pay/hiring freezes, reinstated the Mexico-City Policy that most of his republican predecessors have done before, made no statement to North Korea’s missile launch, and has presided over an administration where bets are being made on when officials will be leaving office.

So has Trump made America great again? I believe the answer is a resounding no. Within 1 month, President Trump has demonstrated hypocrisy not only with spending taxpayer money lavishly but also with his claims of “fake news” being spread by the media to present false facts at his own press conference. So despite Stephen Miller’s claims that Trump has done more in office than any other President, the answer to that is Trump really hasn’t made any real progress in comparison to President Obama, other than having his net job approval rating drop by 8 percent. Miller’s claim really is just another instance of “fake news” provided by the Trump Administration.