Trumps First Year

Matt Traverso, Staff Writer

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Our 45th President, Donald J. Trump, was inaugurated to the White House on January 20, 2017. Since then, Trump has said and done many controversial things, some may say he has divided the United States more than brought it together. Trump, being a controversial and dividing President, has not played in his favor, as his approval rating  peaked at 47.8% on January 25, 2017, and hasn’t been as high since then. Trump’s approval and disapproval ratings were equal at 44.8% on February 2, but since then, his disapproval rating have never been as low as 44.8%, and his approval rating has never been higher than 44.8%, according to This will be a review and recap of the biggest things 45 has done in his first year.

Donald Trump took no time to start taking action, signing an executive order to start the repeal of the Affordable Care Act on his first day in office. In the following week, Trump started to deliver on his promises to change immigration laws, including his signing of the executive order to ban travel from seven mostly Muslim countries, which was very controversial, and was  labeled as a “Muslim Ban” by many. This was later changed in March, when Trump took Iraq off of the list of countries that weren’t allowed to come into the United States. All of these major changes and choices made by Trump have all happened within two months of his inauguration, and Trump was just as controversial as many people expected him to be. Within Trump’s first 100 days, he singed more laws, signed more executive orders, and has had more golf outings than Obama, Bush, and Clinton all had in each of their first 100 days. This is a bit ironic considering Donald Trump has criticized Obama for too much golfing and abusing the executive order.

While so far this hasn’t been a great review, there are still positive sides to Trump’s first year. Economists are giving Trump credit for how well the economy has been doing in the past year, even though Obama’s eight years got the ball rolling. Donald Trump has had a strong effect on job creation, domestic product growth, and the stock market rising. While these things are all good, the stock market doing well isn’t exactly a reflection on how average, everyday Americans are doing. A report from Oxfam International says that the richest 1% acquired 82% of all wealth created in 2017, and the bottom 50% didn’t see any increase in wealth. Trump still deserves credit for the growth of the economy and unemployment dropping, but it isn’t a reflection on average Americans.  The economy rising under Trump has had a positive effect on minorities and unemployment for Hispanics and African Americans are at a record low, according to CNN Money. Again, this isn’t completely due to Trump, but we should still give credit where credit’s due.

Some of Donald Trump’s biggest campaign promises were cracking down on illegal immigration and building a border wall between the United States and Mexico. While his wall most likely isn’t close to coming into effect, Trump has had an effect on illegal immigration and deportation. Trump’s comments and tough enforcement against illegal immigrants made the number of people coming into the country illegally, drop. The number of arrests on the U.S.-Mexico border are down from when Obama was in office, and Trump deported less people in 2017 than Obama did in 2016.

While the economy has been growing, and unemployment has been dropping, and Trump has had an effect on illegal immigration, the negatives still outweigh the positives. Some of Trump’s worst moments of his presidency came during the second half of 2017. Starting with July 26, when Trump took to Twitter to announce that transgender people are not allowed to serve in the military. When asked about how she felt about the Trans Military Ban, sophomore Mia Peros said, “This move from Trump is completely unreasonable and unnecessary. Anyone who is willing to risk their life to protect our freedoms is a hero, and should be able to serve if they’re qualified.” Many people felt the same way as Mia did, as Trump was criticized greatly for this decision. This move was later blocked by a federal judge, but the fact that Trump proposed it at all is bad enough. That week in July just wasn’t a good week for Trump, when he also received backlash for comments he made about police brutality in a speech he gave to law enforcement officers in Long Island. The quote that caused the controversy was, “Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over? Like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody—don’t hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, O.K.?” This comment is basically saying that police brutality is okay was later called a joke after the backlash it received. Freshman, Jackson Dunkin commented on this remark from Trump, saying, “police brutality has been a serious issue in the United States that has been very controversial, and Trump said there was nothing wrong with it.”

While these things are bad, there are still other things that are a low point in Trump’s presidency. On August 15, there was a Neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. When counter protesters arrived, there started to be some violence and conflict between the Neo-Nazis and counter protesters that ended up being deadly. President Trump did not condemn the Alt-Right and said “there was blame on both sides” for the violence between the Neo-Nazis and protestors. Trump has also had a problem with waging nuclear war with North Korea, while having comments going back and forth with Kim Jong Un.  This includes calling him Rocket Man at a UN General Assembly on September 19, and saying he will totally destroy North Korea. Sophomore, Vidar Hageman said, “I don’t think the president realizes how big of a problem this could come out to be, and a nuclear war could wipe out the whole population, and he’s talking about it like it’s nothing. He needs to realize that there can be consequences for his threats and actions.”

These things are all crazy, but still is not the last of it. While Puerto Rico was being devastated by Hurricane Maria in October, Trump made a sarcastic remark saying the hurricane has “thrown our budget out of whack”. Upon arrival in Puerto Rico, Trump threw rolls of paper towels to a crowd of people, not realizing that that moment might not be the right time to joke around like that. On September 29, Trump delivered maybe his least bright moment of the entire year, when he said, “This is an island, surrounded by water, big water, ocean water.” Thank you for clarifying that for us Mr. Trump. The most recent of Trump’s absurd comments is him allegedly saying we don’t need people coming here from s—hole countries like Haiti. People claimed to have not heard Trump say this, and Trump denies it, but he also decided to ban Haitian immigrants.

If you thought that Donald Trump’s first 365 days couldn’t have anything else go wrong, you were incorrect. In the day of his one year presidential anniversary, there was a government shutdown due to Congress failing to pass a new government funding law. The bigger reason for the shutdown was the dispute of Democrats and Republicans not being able to agree on immigration laws including the wall and DACA. With the government shutdown, Trump continued to do what he did all throughout the first year of his presidency, saying that any problems going on are not his fault. This is the opposite of what he said while a government shutdown could have happened under Obama. The shutdown lasted nearly 70 hours, and the new law funds the government until February 8. To add to the government shutting down on Trump’s anniversary, there were also protests and marches taking place in many major cities across the United States, including New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.

Talk about a crazy first year. Yes, there were improvements, and Trump delivered on some of his campaign promises, but the bad outweighs the good. Trump seemed to not have any regard for what his words and actions can do, and didn’t think about some choices he made. This is shown by Trump having a first year job approval rating 10 points lower than any previous president. Donald Trump accomplished some things, but ultimately he divided us more than united us.


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Trumps First Year