My good friend Dave and I were talking the other day and President Trump’s impact on the US came up. What has he really achieved or accomplished- good or bad? What is his actual impact on the world as El Presidente?
This is a fun back and forth for me because Dave and I are bit divided on our views. He likes ice cream with hot fudge and I like hot fudge with a little ice cream. Re this last election, he supported Trump because he views him as the lesser evil. I supported Clinton because I viewed her as the more competent of the two, by far. After President Obama, I felt we should elect somebody with a better understanding of the job going in. Dave was willing to allow on the job training in exchange for not electing an Elder God masquerading as a, as a, well, as a Clinton. Honestly, I get it. Considering our options, it was a toss up. And judging by the popular vote, most American’s would agree.
At any rate, reasons aside, we approached President Trump’s performance/legacy a bit differently, but probably with some of the same conclusions. I say probably because we really didn’t finish that conversation.
Despite our differences, we both agreed that President Trump really hasn’t done much. Once you look past the bluster, the largely ineffective executive orders and a budget that he signed off on but had limited input into, there really hasn’t been much done up to this point. I would say, as of right now, probably the most significant, and damaging, quasi-legislative action President Trump has taken, is the new Tariffs. That has already had an impact, and not a positive one. But if you look past that, our country remains largely unaffected so far by his Policies.
The economy is on rails from the Obama era, and barring the usual ups and downs, would take quite a bit of work to disrupt. His Tarriffs may end up having a longer term impact, but I’ll be interested to see if they survive November.
The budget is mostly a reflection of which party is in office, so you can’t really lay that at his feet beyond the usual posturing of any president.
Supreme Court – He’ll put a minimum of two Justices on the bench. Really tough to say where that will lead. Not sure I like his newest nomination but I’m still on the fence.
There are other areas out there, but honestly, I don’t think it will be his executive work that makes the largest impact. Much of his diplomatic policy, administrative policy and economic policy will not survive his time in office. Presidents come and go, and a lot of foreign policy is mitigated by Congress and the people on the ground, which is a good thing. I approve of a president that has a backbone, but President Trump is neither a Statesman nor a Politician, and it shows.
No, I think where we will see the largest impact from President Trump is in our relationship with each other and the media. We’ve been divided along rough political lines for the majority of our nation’s history, but we are now seeing just how far the 4th estate has fallen. Rude, crude and even socially violent behavior towards the media and public platforms will become more the norm as we move forward. Political and media bias won’t just be called out as a fake news, there will be systematic assault on multiple fronts. We’ve already seen the rise of Breitbart, Fox News, Mother Jones, MSN and others, each schilling for a particular political party slant, even if they also offer news by the AP, but I think we will be seeing even worse. “News” outlets will be wagging the dog as a full time vocation. Forget political slant and think deliberately false- a he said/she said game at a national level. Political machine will take on a whole new level.
Mind you, I don’t blame President Trump for this, though he is definitely pouring gasoline on the fire at a prodigious rate. It is more that his administration will be the marker by which we note when the establishment really started to burn to the ground. What we build in its place remains to be seen.