Looking back on the first year of Trump’s presidency

Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States after receiving 304 electoral votes one year ago. Photo from whitehouse.gov.

It’s been over one year since Election Day 2016, which took place on Nov. 8. Hillary Clinton represented the Democratic Party and Donald Trump represented the Republican Party. Everyone sat on the edge of their seats as polling stations closed across the country. The night was going to end with America receiving a new president.

Many believed that Clinton was going to make history and become the first woman president. By the end of the night, the country would learn that their new president would be Trump, who won with 304 electoral votes to Clinton’s 227 electoral votes. A lot of voters thought that this was controversial because although Trump won the electoral college, Clinton had won the popular vote by nearly three million.

One year later, the country has seen both positives and negatives of Trump’s presidency. Some believe there are more negatives than there are positives. Trump’s approval ratings have set record lows, having spent more time under 40 percent than any other president in the first year, according to CNBC.

One of Trump’s accomplishments in the first year of his presidency was appointing Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. This is significant because Gorsuch is extremely conservative, and because there was a long vacancy after Antonin Scalia passed away.

Trump also pulled the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, which was created to strengthen global awareness of climate change. The goal was to have everyone work together to keep the global average temperature two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Trump stated that the withdrawal would be better for the American economy.

“Positives of President Trump for me are the continued growth in the nation and the new records that are being hit in the stock market,” said Penelope Fjellanger, senior business administration major at Seton Hill University. “More positives is the major economic indicators, we also see GDP growth and unemployment rates have improved.”

“Some negatives of President Trump for me is the continued divide of the nations is still ongoing and a lot of people would like to be more united and work to have continued growth in the nation and make it great,” Fjellanger said.

Border control was an influencing argument in Trump’s campaign rhetoric. Since his election to office, border crossing has plummeted, leading to many arguments over immigration. One of these controversies is the wall that Trump has promised since he announced his running in 2015.

Trump pardons a turkey named Drumstick as part of White House Thanksgiving tradition. Photo from abcnews.com.

Although multiple prototypes have been made, there is no concrete evidence that this wall is really going to happen. The questions that still remain include how the wall will be paid for (Trump still claims it will be Mexico, even though former Mexican president Vicente Fox continues to deny it) and if it will even make a difference in border crossing (which many argue it will not). Until we have an official statement from Trump, we will all be waiting to see what direction the border wall takes.

“I’d say one positive I’ve noticed is cuts made to government spending,” said Noah Young, junior music education major at SHU. “I believe one negative is the increase in racial tensions throughout the country.”

Multiple travel bans have been a big controversy in Trump’s presidency. Trump first attempted to prevent travel to the U.S. from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Syria and Yemen. Many thought that this ban discriminated against Muslims since the majority of the population in these countries is Muslim.

A big battle in politics right now is that Trump wants to repeal and replace former president Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which has been a priority for Trump since he started his campaign. The big setback was that Trump did not have a clear alternative to this healthcare bill. Congress could not agree on a vote and has voted against multiple different versions of the new proposed healthcare bill.

Since Trump was sworn in as president, about a dozen of his staff members have either been fired or resigned. In February, national security advisor Michael Flynn resigned after speculation arose that he had communication with a Russian ambassador. FBI director James Comey was fired as he faced pressure for his handling of the Clinton email probe the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Amidst all of this, Donald Trump Jr. stated that he had a meeting with a Russian lawyer during the time of his father’s campaigning. The CIA even concluded that Russia intervened in the election in order to help Trump after they investigated an email hack that leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee.

When Trump was elected to office, his voters wanted to see change, something new in the presidency and ways of government. It can’t be denied that change is what the country has seen since January, but the question remains: are we seeing the right changes?

Trump approaches high number of executive orders

Written by Assistant Editor Calli Arida

Since his inauguration on Jan. 20, President Trump has signed more than 50 executive orders. According to the Archives of the American Presidency Project, the last president in 50 years to exceed this number was President Lyndon Johnson in 1965; Johnson had signed 58 executive orders by October of that year. From immigration policy to healthcare reform, many of Trump’s executive orders reflect his campaign promises.

Trump signs his first executive order as president of the United States on Jan. 20. Photo from cnbc.com.

Trump signed his first executive order, “Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day. This executive order was Trump’s first attempt to uphold his campaign promise to “repeal and replace Obamacare.”

Trump quickly continued attempts to execute campaign promises by addressing immigration policy with the executive order “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements,” signed on Jan. 25.

On April 18, Trump signed executive order “Buy American, Hire American.” This two-part order, which places emphasis on jobs and manufacturing in the United States, reflects Trump’s campaign promise to bring jobs back to America.

On Oct. 12, Trump signed executive order “Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States.” The order gives companies more freedom over health care coverage options for religious or moral reasons, controversy sparked over women receiving affordable access to birth control.

Trump signed his most recent executive order, “Resuming the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) with Enhanced Vetting Capabilities,” on Oct. 24. This executive order follows a 120-day review of the USRAP as requested in an executive order from January, and places stricter vetting and screening processes on applicants of the program, with further restrictions on “potentially higher-risk nationalities.”

Information from whitehouse.gov.

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