The Sage

Let’s Talk About Trump: A Reader’s Letter

President+Donald+Trump+turns+away+from+the+camera+with+an+extended+hand+towards+it.+The+commander+in+chief+dismissed+the+idea+that+the+U.S.+is+gearing+up+for+a+trade+war+over+proposed+aluminum+and+steel+tariffs+on+Monday.
President Donald Trump turns away from the camera with an extended hand towards it. The commander in chief dismissed the idea that the U.S. is gearing up for a trade war over proposed aluminum and steel tariffs on Monday.

President Donald Trump turns away from the camera with an extended hand towards it. The commander in chief dismissed the idea that the U.S. is gearing up for a trade war over proposed aluminum and steel tariffs on Monday.

Maya Rhodan for TIME Magazine

Maya Rhodan for TIME Magazine

President Donald Trump turns away from the camera with an extended hand towards it. The commander in chief dismissed the idea that the U.S. is gearing up for a trade war over proposed aluminum and steel tariffs on Monday.

Britteny Miller, Reader

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Let’s talk about Trump, but let’s not do it the way Fox News or CNN does it: let’s talk about Trump-like human beings living under a government he has been figure heading for a little over a year now, and that he will continue to be a figurehead for almost another three years.

But I’d like to preface this with a few things. First of all, notice I said he is figure heading the government, not leading it or running it: he is not doing either of those. He is operating in his own office’s capacity, not any more or any less than Barack Obama before him, or George W. Bush before him. A president is not all-powerful, and the fumbles and foibles of other members of the government are not his fault. Secondly, while I put Independent on my voter registration card, I am mostly libertarian with some anarchist roots. With the exception of some basic ground rules (don’t kill, rape, steal, abuse, you get it), I want as small a government as possible, with people just left to do as they please. Call me an idealist, that’s my bias― but I digress.

Back to Donald Trump: he is a very polarizing man. You’ll hardly find someone who has no opinion on him, it’s all either love or hate. He’s a celebrity, not a politician, and he’s groomed for business and dramatic TV shows, not policy and public speaking. No matter what side you’re on, it can be agreed that he is very different from other presidents we have had in America before. They say if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, sits like a duck, it must be a duck: Donald Trump does not walk like a politician, certainly does not talk like one, and doesn’t sit like one either, but here he is as the most visible politician in America.

One thing this presidency has done is cut our country into slices more than ever before, and not strictly along the stereotypical party lines. We have some liberals, typically charging for change, wanting to go back to how things were with a politician president, we have some conservatives, who usually prefer “the good old days,” screaming support of this brand new experiment in politics.

The atmosphere is tense for everyone: families have fallen out over the elections of 2016, friends have found their policy opinions so different that they go their separate ways, political stance is now a requirement for some dating site users, and many people refuse to discuss politics at all. Political tension is not new, but the new man in the oval office has certainly stirred the pot.

For me, personally, the jury is still out on Trump’s overall quality. I don’t think we’ll know whether or not he was good or bad, overall, until we’re looking at it in hindsight, but I can say some of the things he does leave a bad taste in my mouth, while others have me nodding along.

Trump is initiating a communication line with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un with the upcoming meetup― and I think that if he can hold his own, then that is a great plan to have some certainty in the area. The fact that he is taking steps to work towards peace before getting involved in another war or proxy war is commendable, but I can’t say that he’s doing this across the board. His missile strikes on Syria, both the ones very recently and those less so, have been hyper-aggressive in a time when hyper-aggression might not be the best approach.

I cannot claim to be an authority on foreign affairs, but I do think that there should have been established proof of the cause of the chemical attacks in Syria before any “big red buttons” got pushed. However, one thing these missile strikes did prove was that Trump will do as he says he will. The White House had maintained in the past that if the Assad regime used chemical warfare on the citizens of Syria, it would be a “red line” crossed and that we would take action, and under Trump, we did take action. Despite the questionable execution of the attacks, and don’t get me wrong there were questionable circumstances, Trump did what Trump said Trump would do.

Also, though this is controversial, I like his intentions in the DACA situation– and hold on, let me explain before you skewer me for that one– the deadline he gave was not a threat for the Dreamers in America, that deadline was for the legislators of Congress, it was to make sure they didn’t dodge the issue and circumvent it for another 20 years, while Dreamers waited with baited breath for some future president to suddenly rescind DACA without a replacement law. Trump was not telling the Dreamers to get out, he was telling the legislators to make this officially legal so that the Dreamers could live more easily, less complicatedly.

What did we see the moment the Supreme Court struck his plan down? Suddenly the new plan for DACA is to wait 5, 8, 10 years before doing anything at all. With their deadline gone, legislators choose to leave Dreamers in the dark for years. Do I approve with his execution and his management of press on the DACA situation? No, he panicked the section of Americans who have some of the fewest guarantees in the nation. However, do I approve of the fast and bipartisan change he was trying to accomplish? Yes.

I really love that he is not a politician, although I am not really sure how much better a big-business CEO can be. It is a step, I believe, in the right direction. Many big business CEO’s are corrupt, one could even assume a majority, but almost every modern American politician is corrupt, one could even assume a universal truth. However, this is my independent/libertarian/anarchistic bias showing through: I don’t like politicians, and if we can get a person who isn’t one into office then you know that’s what I’m here for, but there are pros and cons to this wonderful concept.

The one big pro: he’s less partisan than the majority of popular politician candidates. He has been shown to encourage bipartisanship and bipartisan legislation anywhere he can, with legislation surrounding guns or immigrants or most anything else. He wants to depolarize the nation, which I can fully support.

Here’s the big con though: he lacks a politician’s decorum. His tweets sound like they are written by an angry teenage boy trying too hard to hide his own faults, his speeches are not poorly written as much as poorly spoken, some of the stances he takes are just too clearly biased by his personal endeavors (think: any of his environmental policies, his staunch silence on LGBTQ+ topics accompanied by removing their resource pages from federal websites), and the bigoted slip-ups he has had in interviews don’t exactly inspire confidence from much of the populace.

Donald Trump is definitely an experiment if nothing else. He does things no other president would do, for better or worse, and he’s altering the political landscape of our generation. He jumps headlong into foreign affairs, but he sticks to his words. He tries to establish stability for Americans with uncertain futures but ends up panicking the whole country. He lacks a politician’s diplomacy, but also a politician’s partisanship. For me, the jury is out on Donald Trump. He’s done too many things outside of the known for me to say definitively whether he’s good or bad. So far, he’s a bit of both, and a bit too far outside the lines for either. He’s different. If I had to sum the man up in one phrase, it would be: the concept is great, but the execution needs work.

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “Let’s Talk About Trump: A Reader’s Letter”

  1. Darius Rahmanian on May 21st, 2018 4:24 pm

    HE IS ORANGE AND RACIST. IMpEach! HE MAKE JOKE! COVFEFE!

    [Reply]

    Donovan Birch Reply:

    what does this even mean

    [Reply]

    Darius Rahmanian Reply:

    Liberal

    [Reply]

    Jeff Dunham Reply:

    Yanny? Laurel? I only hear Covefefe haha

    [Reply]

    Darius Rahmanian Reply:

    Yanny or Laurel? I only hear Hillary is a traitor and should be put in prison for life for being a murderous Benedict arnold

    [Reply]

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Let’s Talk About Trump: A Reader’s Letter