Trump : an un-happy First year anniversary?

Author : Ny Aina RAMANGASALAMA. Translated by : Clara CHPOUN.

 “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my button works!”, tweeted Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America on the 3rd of January 2018. “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her” he also said during a family interview on ABC’s show the View back in 2006.

But how should we review his one-year anniversary at the Presidency of the United States?

The former reality star, a Twitter aficionado who posted 2467 tweets since his election, is known for his social media skids which deflect the attention from his political measures. Let’s take the occasion of his one-year anniversary as President to review his actions in the Office.

A) A relative success in Trump’s economic policy

We do not hear often about Trump’s economic policy and its results but the country’s economic progress seems to be more than satisfactory since Trump has been elected as the growth rate shows. The US economic growth was stronger than predicted for the third trimester of 2017 with a rate of 3% when the economists, questioned by Reuters, were predicting a growth of the GDP of 2,5% for the months from July to September. Furthermore, the unemployment rate is at its lowest since 2017 with 4,1% in October 2017. This is unseen since the years 2000’s. And, according to him, the economic growth should go higher and the unemployment rate lower thanks to his fiscal reform which aims to decrease corporate taxes. Let’s not forget, however, that the context is favorable for Trump with a world trade in good health and increasing foreign investments. Donald Trump created 1 million jobs in his first 6 months of Presidency, just like Barack Obama –his predecessor- did during his first few months as President. It is recommended to take a step back from these seemingly good results and ask one’s self if those results are not stemming from the efforts of the Obama administration. This is at least what are suggesting French media France Info and Agence France Presse, alongside with accommodating US Federal Reserve System measures.

Despite this unexpected and relative economic success, the 45th President of the United States has a hard time conveying a good image by the public. He seems willing to maintain this frank persona with the world and most importantly with other leaders. The latest example is his rant about the North Korean leader and the nuclear button on his desk. Is it politically incorrect? Or simply the mirror of our society? No matter what the reasons behind his social media rants and public persona are, his behavior does not federate everyone and even his closest collaborators seem frightened by the President’s conduct.

B) An erratic behavior that could lead to his destitution

One of Trump’s most controversial decisions was stepping out from the 2015 Paris Agreement of climate change. And Kathleen Hartnett White’s –Trump’s advisor on the environment and a climate sceptic- knowledge about climate change did not help to legitimate this decision[1]. She was found very uncomfortable answering senators’ questions about climate change back in November 2017 even saying that she was not sure that climate change was real. This video, shared all over the Internet, has put Trump’s administration in a difficult position, accentuating Trump’s erratic governance. Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in June 2017 was followed by the US withdrawal from the UNESCO in October 2017. Shortly after his election, Trump had also withdrawn the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership in January 2017. Those withdrawals clearly translate a US disengagement on international cooperation to foster bilateral agreements instead. Another proof of Trump’s mixed record is the fact that no major law or plan was passed under his presidency aside from the tax exemption plan. His numerous attempts to implement the Muslim Ban were defeated and Trump’s inability to pass laws is that more surprising that he has the majority in both chambers of the Congress. Trump also has to face an uncertain future as his destitution is always a threat. Some of the President’s closest collaborators, Paul Manafort –Trump’s former campaign director- and George Papadopoulos –one of his foreign affairs advisors- and the businessman Rick Gates are suspected in the case of a potential intervention of Russia in the US Presidential elections. They are accused of conspiracy against the United States of America, money-laundering and false declarations among other accusations. Although Trump says this case has nothing to do with him, it can bring him down and lead to his destitution. We have seen that Donald Trump’s actions at the Presidency of the United States have not all been negative as the US economy is at his strongest compared to a few years back. However, after one year as President his economic successes are outshined by his erratic persona, public rants, disengagement from international agreements and political scandals that may cause his destitution.

[1] Even though he stated on January 2018 that he might reconsider the US departure from the agreement if they are treated “more fairly”. (France 24)

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