Donald Trump Might Make America Great Again
I initially felt bad when Donald Trump was elected, especially after hearing his hateful comments about Mexicans, his decision to create a Muslim ban, and when during one of his press conferences he told a reporter to go back to Univision. He isn't fit to lead a country that is a supposed world leader. However, after really thinking about the campaign and listening to why people voted for Trump, I understand why he won.
Most of the country is devastated that he is Commander-in-chief, but Trump’s rise to power might be good for this country. I say this even after his actions are leaning towards building a the wall and even after his attempt to ban refugees from seven Middle Eastern countries. His actions are what he said during his campaign and if you are on the opposing end of his policies, this is officially your time to act.
Democracy is a system of government where citizens exercise their power directly or through their representatives. This implies that our leaders cater to us as citizens, but for decades people have felt differently. Politics has become synonymous with corruption and some representatives don’t even attempt to hide their affiliations with certain companies and organizations anymore. For example, the NRA has lined the pockets of several Congressman, mainly on the Republican side, for their voice to be heard, especially concerning gun control. Big Pharma has lined the pockets of many members of Congress, most notably with big names such as Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio.
These relationships are part of the reason Trump was elected. He was placed as a person that had no political ties, was already rich (therefore he couldn't be influenced by money), and as a supposed champion running for blue collar workers — many who saw their jobs go overseas over the past two decades. Many people were willing to look past his flaws, while others embraced it because they were sick of the same old politics. Things such as long term Senators making it to the Presidency and passing partisan laws to appease their side of government, candidates who were bought by their sponsors, and candidates who are related closely to former presidents are problems that have kept Americans upset over the years. To his supporters, Trump was their symbol of hope to fix their failing communities and bring back prosperity, just like Obama was for Democrats.
Trump’s Vision Versus Reality
Those who voted for Trump dream of a safer country. A country with strong borders, better jobs, and better infrastructure. I completely understand this; what Trump is trying to do is what most Presidents have been trying to do for over 30 years. However, what currently gets in the way is what has always been in the way — money.
A border wall is not feasible. Even if he does complete the wall, the maintenance will cost the country (us as taxpayers) close to $750 million dollars per year. There are also other variables that make this wall almost comically insane. The first being, most immigrants who come here legally and simply overstay their visas will not be stopped by a wall. Second, there are many properties on the U.S and Mexican border that would have to be bought out to properly build a wall. For example, most of the land near the US-Mexico border in Texas is privately owned and houses properties such as farms and golf courses; this will cost even more. Finally, even if everything is set up, no one talks about the cost of housing construction workers who would work on the wall, where raw materials for the wall would be stored, or logistics like transporting those materials between factory and the border. All of these factors will drive the price of the wall, hurting the regular people — especially blue collared workers.
Trump did not get here by accident. He's been asked about running for president since the early 90’s. In the past he's been asked to talk about the direction of this country under different Presidents. For some reason he didn't really have a strong interest until the election of Barack Obama. His theory that Obama was not a citizen of the United States was constantly brought up and ran frequently through Republican news channels until it was eventually debunked. After this, he set out to prove he could be a better president. Trump ran under the Republican ticket because it was the only party that could spin his business prowess into something the constituents would eat up without question. If he ran under the Democratic ticket he would have been vilified by Democrats and Republicans alike as a man who only had his own self interests in mind.
Trump was also boosted by the candidate Democrats sent to the ticket. Hillary Clinton was reviled even before she got the nomination. Many Democrats and Independents, including myself, wanted Bernie Sanders to win because he spoke to the working class and wanted to eliminate the loopholes that allowed the rich to keep money offshore to avoid taxes. Eventually, Hillary won anyway, setting up a who do you hate less election. Donald Trump’s appeal to Republican voters — mostly the Midwest — combined with the far right catapulted him to an electoral college win. While his detractors, mostly Bernie Sanders voters and other Independents, who either sat or refused to vote altogether, probably helped Trump more than they hurt the "system."
Objectively, he is the first non-politician in several years to take the White House. Reagan was the first but he had political experience before he took office. Every other non-politician had at least one political post or was a high ranking member of the military, such as Ulysses S. Grant, but even he had experience with matters pertaining to national security. Trump’s only claim to be being a good leader is “having a good brain.” His claims of having good genetics, knowing good people, and his overestimation of his own intelligence invites constant criticism from his opponents. His supporters perceive that his reputation as a businessman make him qualified to lead, while they overlook his faults. His candidacy is the first of its kind; he has treated the office of the presidency as his own reality show and has succeeded in deflecting many controversies where past presidents in his position have failed.
Trump’s ties to Breibart News, a website known for being anti-Muslim and anti-immigration and his ties to the alt-right movement, a group known for its polarizing ideas of nativism, neo-nazism, and white supremacy, are quite alarming. His inability to distance himself from these factors, e.g., taking weeks to denounce an endorsement from the KKK, and appointing Steve Bannon as his Chief of Staff, knowing his connection to Breibart, makes him a fearful man for many of the minorities in this country. For those who support him, they ignore his hateful rhetoric and assume that he is going to do right by all Americans. For those that are not on his side they are assuming that he is going to do things that will put the country at risk.
The True Test
Why his presidency is a good thing comes down us, the citizens. Once again, a democracy is a system of government where citizens have the power. This is a good opportunity to see if that is really true. The founding fathers created the idea of a democracy to avoid unfair taxation from their king. To avoid authoritarianism, power is supposedly held by a group instead of one person. Many people hate the idea of ever going back to a system where one person makes all the decisions so they have equated certain powers of past presidents to fascism. Most citizens began losing faith in democracy when money was introduced into politics. As I mentioned earlier, Hilary had ties to pharmaceutical companies, along with companies such as Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs — corporations that destroyed the incomes of low and middle class Americans. People saw this and equated her to backing lobbyists, while Trump appeared to be a man with his own money who didn’t need or want the help of any outsiders.
The President has recently signed some executive orders that have affected thousands of people. Most of those people are those that the majority of us will never meet. Many are refugees who believed in the American Dream and have come here for a better life. Others are the families members of people that have already immigrated and settled but may never see them again, and finally those who have come here for educational purposes in order to take the knowledge back to their country.
The very same day he signed that order, thousands of those people across the country protested for their right to enter the country. What Trump’s presidency has caused is an opportunity for people to act. The Women’s March the day after his inauguration attracted millions of people across the globe to act. Many people who didn’t care about politics are now paying attention, myself included. He has created an environment where every executive order may have a negative aspect on you, a loved one, or someone you may know. Millions are donating to causes like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Greenpeace, and thousands have contacted their representatives to make their displeasure known. Even Trump supporters have an opportunity to act; he has promised the country jobs, a better infrastructure, and safer borders. If he doesn't deliver on these promises I am sure most of his supporters will take to the streets to show their dissatisfaction.
Why is President Trump’s Presidency a good thing? It provides the ultimate test of what our country truly is:
Are we really a democracy or are we really a country disguised as one?