For weeks now, Donald Trump has been in damage control mode after reports of separated families cast a shadow over Fourth of July celebrations across the country.
Trump was forced by political and public pressure to sign an order ensuring immigrant families would no longer be separated upon detainment. Beyond that, protesters and demonstrators have taken to the streets in record numbers in pushback against Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance policy on undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Today Trump referred to his election-winning campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again” in tweeting that America is doing “great.”
Depending on how one defines “great,” this claim is, of course, open to interpretation. In terms of leadership, Donald Trump enters the Fourth of July with poll numbers that would suggest something other than great. According to FiveThirtyEight the president is sitting at an approval rating of 41.8 percent, suggesting a majority of Americans are dissatisfied with Donald Trump’s job as president.
Happy Fourth of July….Our Country is doing GREAT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2018
To pull things a little closer into focus, polls about American leadership can also be found on Real Clear Politics, which suggest an even less favorable view of the country’s direction. Overall congressional approval sits at a 15.3 percent approval, a number which has been steadily declining since a few months after Trump took office. Aggregate polls on Real Clear Politics also suggest that American opinions on the direction of the country indicate that only 37 percent of polled citizens believe the country is on the right track.
In another recent tweet, Trump bragged that the economy is doing “perhaps better than ever.” While there is no evidence to suggest that it’s doing better than ever, the economy is currently considered healthy, according to The Balance. Current unemployment rate sits at about 4.1 percent, a strong number, though since the peak of financial crisis, unemployment hit around 10 percent. When President Barack Obama left office, that number had dropped to about 4.5 percent, a 7-point decline in unemployment.
Donald Trump’s biggest international trade deals only took effect last March, and while those deals have already landed, they have yet to reveal how they will shake out economically in the long-term.
George W. Bush’s presidency enjoyed historic highs coming off the end of the Clinton presidency, but ended with a historic recession. As such, the long-term legacy of Trump’s presidency is still unclear in terms of economic growth or decline. Trump’s approach to social issues has been starkly divisive since he began his campaign for president in 2015.