Nearly one month in: Donald Trump and the Great Divide (2/11/17)

“Donald Trump.”

A name that, when mentioned in America, is sure to produce either an angry frown or a wide smile.

His supporters love him for his outspoken, bold, politically incorrect, “tell-it-like-it-is” demeanor. Yet at the same time, his critics hate him for his outspoken, bold, politically incorrect”tell-it-like-it-is” demeanor.

Donald Trump’s presidency has caused a chasm that goes much further than just simply Republican or Democrat. The chasm is an “American divide” which simply means that your opinion of the President determines your status as a patriotic, pro-American citizen.

Trump’s supporters view critics of the President as un-American who are unwilling to accept the results and the process of the 2016 election, a process that is so embedded in the American democracy. Supporters feel that Trump’s critics  also “don’t care” about “making America great again,” and that they are supportive of policies that aren’t in America’s best interest.

Trump’s critics view supporters of the President as un-American because they feel Trump stands for intolerance and racism, and they feel that is as un-American as it gets. The United States, a haven for immigration in the 19th and early 20th centuries, seemingly blocking immigration from certain countries? Certainly, they argue, this goes against everything America stands for.

It is worth noting that this is the first time in awhile that a Presidency seems to have caused an “American divide” rather than a traditional “Republican-Democrat” divide. If you truly think about the last time a divide like this occurred, you’d be brought back to the days of Abraham Lincoln’s election, where your opinion of him determined what kind of America you wanted to live in.

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Protests over Trump’s presidency have rocked the nation ever since his election. (Pic: PBS)

 

While the divide hurts America socially and politically, it hurts President Trump even more.

Trump’s recent Muslim travel ban is one example.  The ban has sparked outrage across the nation. Currently, the travel ban is suspended, eliciting an angry response from the 45th President. There are indications that he is already proposing a revised travel ban, one that will survive legal and Constitutional challenges.  As with the travel ban, Trump will have to rethink and adjust his policies drastically in order to quell the growing unrest and opposition.  Trump will face great obstacles in implementing policies he campaigned on and wants, and he will be forced to shift some of his goals.

Trump is in a difficult situation because he has to appeal to ALL Americans, like no other president has really had to before. If he “softens” his policies because of the response from his critics, his supporters will be unhappy and could withdraw their support for him.  If that happens, will Trump revert back to his hard-lined policies that helped him get elected?

The title “President of the United States” is regarded as the most difficult job in the world. Perhaps no presidency, more than Donald Trump’s, proves that observation mightily.

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