Anyone with even a passing interest in U.S. politics will recognize that President Donald Trump’s first year in office has been an extraordinary one. Trump is certainly unconventional, his Twitter outbursts against political opponents and other world leaders have left us shaking our heads in disbelief at times, and we have seen Trump attack members of his own party. Despite this, few would argue against the fact that President Trump has been robust in his determination to push through his campaign promises, and on Friday he signed off on his first major legislative victory, his tax reform bill.
As reported by Deadline, President Trump celebrated the Christmas holidays by sending out a 3,800-word missive celebrating the “achievements” of his first year in office. Trump’s Christmas message focuses on his promise to “Make America Great Again,” and lays out a long list of “achievements.” As you would expect, given that Trump is arguably the most divisive president in U.S. history, not everyone agrees with Trump’s claims.
The report begins with the claim that “President Trump has put the American economy into high-gear, creating jobs and increasing wealth.” It is difficult to argue with Trump’s claims on the economy. As reported by Newsweek, the stock market is hitting record highs, unemployment is at a 17-year low, and the economy is growing at its fastest pace in years. It can’t be argued that business confidence is on a high under Trump’s presidency.
President Trump On Energy And The Environment
Trump claims that he will “ensure American energy dominance” by reducing the regulations that he claims hold the U.S. back. Again, President Trump has been active in this respect. He has signed executive orders pushing oil pipelines through protected lands and enabled the resurrection of the coal industry. However, Business Insider claims that Trump’s rollback of regulations in the coal industry includes the rollback of legislation to protect miners from lung and carcinogenic diseases. There is an even more worrying aspect of Trump’s position on fossil fuels, the environment.
In a year that has seen record devastation from wildfires in California, cataclysmic damage in Florida, Texas, and the Carribean from hurricanes, President Trump has dropped climate change from the list of global threats to U.S. security. As reported by The Guardian, Trump announced that decision during his national security speech earlier this week. Trump has also pulled out of the Paris Accord on climate change, and as reported by the Huffington Post, is trying to appoint a climate change denier as the top environmental advisor to the White House.
Of all President Trump’s claims, it is his promise to keep Americans safe that is arguably the most controversial. Trump has faced worldwide condemnation over his ban on travel from a range of Muslim majority countries. He has been repeatedly defeated in the courts over the issue and despite recent court decisions, the matter is still subject to legal challenge.
The White House claims that “President Trump is protecting American communities and restoring law and order so that every American can feel safe in their community.” ABC reports that by mid-November there had been 317 mass shootings in the USA, including the terrible events during a music festival in Las Vegas. According to USA Today, this means that 2017 could well be the deadliest year for mass shootings for decades.
President Trump On Veterans And Foreign Policy
Many would argue that President Trump’s foreign policy decisions do little to keep Americans safe. The most obvious example is Trump’s threats to North Korea. Trump has engaged in a year-long war of words with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Trump has repeatedly threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, whilst Kim Jong-un has responded by calling Trump a “madman” and a “dotard.” NBC News claims that North Korea has scored a victory over Trump. The president’s rhetoric and a new sanctions regime have not stopped North Korea from advancing their nuclear capabilities to a point where they claim to be able to launch a nuclear attack on the continental United States.
President Trump’s claims that he will “drain the Washington swamp” will ring hollow with many people. Trump’s endorsement of alleged pedophile Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race was undoubtedly a low point. The issue brought the allegations of Trump’s alleged sexual assault on a string of women back into focus. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, this led to Trump telling his 45 million Twitter followers that he had never met the women involved. Many of those women responded by releasing images of themselves with Trump.
Trump’s promises to support U.S. military veterans was called into question after an unseemly row with the family of a soldier killed on active service in Niger. As Time magazine reported in October, the family of Sgt. La David Johnson was outraged when Trump allegedly could not remember Sgt. Johnson’s name, and when he told his widow that Sgt. Johnson “knew what he signed up for.”
The White House claims that “President Trump has used an America First foreign policy to restore respect for the United States throughout the world and to advance our interests.” A glance at this week’s activities in the United Nations gives an indication of how far Trump has advanced this agenda. Trump was humiliated when, despite threatening to withdraw aid from countries who voted to condemn his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he lost that vote by a margin of 128-9.
Even America’s closest allies voted against Trump. Throughout the year, President Trump has attacked the leaders of numerous allies. He failed to condemn racist violence in Charlottesville and even shared fake videos by Britain First, a far-right anti-Muslim organization from the United Kingdom.
Trump And Robert Mueller’s Investigation Into Collusion With Russia
Finally, allegations that Trump’s presidential election team collaborated with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 election will not go away. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has already indicted four members of team Trump, including former national security advisor Michael Flynn. There is every reason to believe that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will soon be indicted by the Mueller Investigation.
President Trump claims that reports of possible collusion with Russia are “fake news,” but the Mueller investigation is now at the heart of Trump’s inner circle. We will need to wait to find out Mueller’s conclusions, but this is a story that has dogged Trump’s presidency and will continue to do so.
Perhaps the greatest indicator as to the level of Trump’s success lies in his approval rating. As reported by CNN, President Trump’s approval rating is “in a league of its own,” and not in a good way. Trump’s approval rating languishes in the mid-30s and most Americans disapprove of the way Trump is dealing with the presidency. Trump’s current approval rating is the lowest December rating for any first-year president in history.
Of course, none of these things matter to Donald Trump’s hardcore supporters, they will continue to believe that Trump is “Making America Great Again.” Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, people look on aghast, still barely able to believe that Donald Trump actually became the president of the United States. Trump has certainly raised America’s stock in the world, sadly it is as a laughing stock.