The 2016 Presidential Election was among the most divisive and controversial in recent memory. After months of vicious mudslinging by both the Republican and Democratic candidates, Republican billionaire, real estate mogul, and reality TV star Donald Trump pulled off a shocking upset victory over Democratic candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It could be assumed that Trump, having shown himself capable of winning a presidential election, would possess the skills needed to establish a successful presidency. However, a number of factors, relating to both Trump personally as well as to the circumstances surrounding his victory, contribute to my assertion that the Trump administration was doomed to failure before it even began.
Lack of Qualifications
The fields of business and politics are certainly not incompatible. Indeed, many a businessman can be found on Capitol Hill, and many former politicians now find themselves in business fields. However, in spite of his oft-touted success in the former field, that success has not easily transferred itself to the latter. In his first six months, the President signed dozens of executive orders as well as 42 bills. Out of those 42, none can be considered major legislation. Despite Republican control of the House, Senate, and a majority of state governorships, the Trump administration has had, aside from a controversial and hotly contested tax reform bill which passed by near party-line votes in both houses, no major legislative victories. Even with partisan support from all major branches of government, the Republican agenda is hampered by one glaring problem: having elected the first person to occupy the Oval Office in the 228 year history of the presidency with no political or military experience whatsoever.
Although his vast real estate fortune and ownership of The Trump Organization certainly made Trump a noteworthy figure throughout the last several decades of the 20th century, the 2000’s saw “The Donald” find a new way to launch himself back into the public eye: reality TV. Beginning in 2004, Trump became the host of “The Apprentice,” a reality series in which prospective entrepreneurs competed in a series of business challenges in hopes of winning $250,000 and a position within the Trump Organization. As contestants were eliminated, the future Commander-in-Chief would dismiss them from a boardroom within Trump Tower with the words, “You’re Fired!” Now, he seems intent on applying the same ruthless decision making he displayed on the show to the all-too-real world of Washington D.C. politics. Since taking office, Trump has personally sent scores of senior White House and government officials packing: Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Press Secretary Sean Spicer, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and FBI director James Comey to name a few. Ironically, former The Apprentice contestant Omarosa also finds herself out of a job at the White House. While quickly firing unsatisfactory employees might represent sound strategy for a business, doing so with a Presidential administration will simply result in instability and conflict.
Politics in 140 Characters or Less
The primary reason for Trump’s success in winning the election was his skillful use of inflammatory, no-holds-barred rhetoric to rally his supporters against his more experienced opponents. Many who voted for the 71 year old billionaire were drawn in by his general disdain for political correctness and willingness to speak his mind on important issues. While these qualities lent themselves well to achieving victory in the election, they have harmed Trump as President. In my opinion, being the leader of the free world and the holder of an office which represents the foundational principles of democracy requires one to be held to a higher standard than the average member of society. Bickering and directing crude insults towards political opponents on social media are two of the President’s favorite pastimes. Tweeting such statements as, “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do!” is more suited to the average American than the Chief Executive, and may do irreparable harm to the dignity of the office. Despite his effective message on the campaign, Trump’s impulsivity on social media and in general, as well as his complete inability to exercise restraint or conduct himself in a dignified manner make him, in my view, a complete disgrace to the office of President of the United States.
Although his campaign message captivated the nation and launched him into the Oval Office, Trump’s own actions have served to hamstring his administration from day one.
–BY RYAN MONTAGNA