This past weekend, President Donald Trump celebrated the anniversary of his inauguration. It marked a full year of his time as President.
Throughout the weekend, numerous women’s marches took place, attacking the President and also empowering numerous women to seek positions of power.
The President himself commented on the women’s marches, but I’m not quite sure he read the marches correctly.
So, what has one year under Trump been like?
Well, from an economic standpoint, there has been record success. Per Fox Business, the Dow Jones surpassed 26k for the first time in history, making it an all-time high. Throughout Trump’s first year, the Dow saw a constant increase culminating in the record number. Unemployment also reached 4.1%, with around two million American jobs being added in 2017. Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress finally were able to pass tax cuts.
While it’s too much to give all the credit to the sitting president for the economic success of the country (as former presidents Reagan and Clinton seem to get), praise should still be given to the sitting commander-in-chief – yet, praise seems largely absent when the news media talks about Trump.
Why is this the case?
For starters, President Trump remains as divisive, if not more, as he was when he was first elected. This can easily be seen through Trump’s foreign policy agenda.
For example, Trump maintained an aggressive stance towards North Korea, as the country became increasingly hostile and threatening towards the U.S. with its nuclear missile program. While some were proud of the President for showing true “American might” and standing up to threats on the world stage, many also criticized the President, claiming he was dangerously playing with fire.
Trump distanced himself from several European allies and from NATO. If you’re an America-first type of person, then you were happy for the focus Trump put on Americans and domestic policy. However, if you are a firm believer in America’s presence in European affairs, you felt Trump turned his back on our allies in Europe, at a time when the continent needs all the support it can get.
Let’s not even get started on immigration.
Trump’s Muslim ban and his views on illegal and legal immigration continue to polarize, and it’s clear that the media is there to attack him on these policies at every chance.
Domestically, Trump battled with Republicans and Democrats alike throughout his first year. Trump had to deal with Establishment Republicans, like McConnell and Ryan, alt-right Nationalists, like Bannon, and Democrats, like Schumer and Pelosi, who were continually attacking him. Trump lost several key red states like Alabama and Virginia in special elections, further emphasising the critical importance of the 2018 midterms for the Trump Administration. Issues like DACA, healthcare, and gun control continued to further the blue and red divide, and issues over budget funding ultimately culminated in the recent government shutdown.
If you couldn’t tell from reading, the nation is more split and divided than ever.
And that’s the one word that dominates Trump first year in office: divided.
Never in American history, maybe since the days of the Civil War, has the U.S. been so polarized. The United States is in the midst of an extreme political divide, and Trump, for the most part, has not done his part to bridge the divide and bring the sides together.
He continues to appeal only to his core base, as if he’s given up on working across party lines. He uses divisive and sometimes mean-spirited speech to stir up his base and anger his enemies.
And he doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon.