One year with Trump: What’s going on here?

On Jan. 20, 2017, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States of America, and I began to seriously contemplate the logistics of moving to Mexico. I soon remembered, though, that I have no money, no practical skills and no understanding of the Spanish language. Then, I realized Trump’s confidence in getting the Mexican government to pay for the wall. He knows that soon Mexico will be willing to pay anything to keep us out. Clearly, I decided to stay in America. Now, I’m writing about Trump’s first year in office, and I am proud to report that he has not started World War III as I had feared. Yet. But, what has he done? 

Unfortunately to me, as a Republican president, he is not doing too bad. In his first year in office, Trump has managed to pass 107 bills including the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, the stock market is at record highs. Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord, approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, has bolstered immigration laws enforcing travel bans, appointed 12 circuit judges and has repealed sections of the Affordable Care Act put in place by Barack Obama and his administration. For anyone with conservative views, this sounds dandy. For those with liberal views, it might sound a bit more like this: Trump cut taxes for the rich, withdrew from a plan hoping to save the planet, approved construction on controversial pipelines that will only benefit big oil corporations, and fueled racism and hate via travel bans against innocent countries because he has business deals with the actually dangerous ones.

Regardless of how you view these changes, they have been achieved without the approval of the general public. In an article by CNN titled “Trump is on pace to sign more executive orders than any president in the last 50 years,” an analysis by Chris Cillizza and Sam Petulla of CNN shows that Trump signed 49 executive orders by October 2017. What does this mean? It means 49 times Trump bypassed Congress. It means 49 times Trump bypassed the voters. It means 49 times Trump bypassed you. Which Trump administration laws ignored your opinion on the matter? An article by BBC titled “What executive actions has Trump taken?” lists climate change policy reversal, two travel bans, undoing waterway regulations set in place by Obama, the approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines and more.

This means three things. First, it means that most of the Trump administration’s achievements throughout the first year were achieved without your consent. Second, it means Trump’s goals in office seem to be as simple as undoing actions taken by Obama. Third, it means the popular vote is still against him and he doesn’t mind acting without your consent. That’s not so surprising considering Trump’s views on women and their consent, right?

At the start of 2018, Michael Wolff published a book titled “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” This book has since sparked many controversies due largely to its lack of evidence. From claims that Trump’s advisors view him as unintelligent to claims of Trump eating cheeseburgers in bed, the book has undoubtedly shed a new light on Trump’s first year in office. Mostly, though, it just confirmed something we’ve always known: Trump is an odd character and will make for an interesting presidency drenched in scandals to say the least. His entertainment value will hopefully engage younger generations in politics, though. As Trump embarks on his second year in office, here’s to hoping for another year without WWIII.