Being Right: Rationale or Rhetoric

    At the end of January, Americans waited in great anticipation of what the future would hold. While some Americans felt resentment at the outcome of the presidential election, many felt excitement for the changing political tide.

So what type of start is the new administration off to? Following an incredibly surprising election, President Trump’s actions since assuming office have not been all that shocking. Undoubtedly, his first days in office have indicated that he plans on implementing many policies that were previously regarded as bombastic rhetoric.

    Since being elected, President Trump hit the ground running: signing an executive order to begin the construction of a wall along the border the U.S. shares with Mexico, starting the repeal of Obamacare, signing his intent to withdraw the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership and implementing a federal hiring freeze. Perhaps the most controversial policy of the new administration was the executive order signed on January 27, in which Trump blocked citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. This resulted in hundreds of travelers, including children, being held in airports and turned away. Naturally, protests quickly ensued.  

    Before this election, it was unclear how deeply-seated the divides between Americans truly were: a fact that is disheartening to many. This election not only highlighted how marginalized many racial minorities feel in America, but how trivialized blue collar, middle-class Americans feel. Unfortunately, Trump’s first days in office have not helped to heal this divide.

    Despite the many protests, the market warmly received Trump, with the S&P 500 rising steadily and the Dow Jones recently closing at an all-time record high. From this, it is clear that Trump has instilled confidence in both American and foreign investors. Moreover, Ford is bringing auto production back to the U.S., and Volvo has just committed to building its first production facility on American soil.

    My feelings are truly mixed regarding the first days of the new administration. While it is impossible to justify comments that Trump himself has made regarding race relations and women in America, it is clear that the economy has surged since the president took office. This economic growth was certainly needed to restore confidence in investors and to encourage spending and investment in the United States. This has also encouraged commercial spending.

    Regardless of the outcome of the new administration, there will always be naysayers that judge President Trump on principle rather than policy. The comments that Trump made during the campaign (and quite clearly the comments that he made ten years before the campaign) will stick with him for years to come and continue to be a source of dissension for political activists. He is, no doubt, un-presidential and unconventional. And while this statement is far from profound, it is important to remember that many Americans voted for President Trump based on this very premise. I am hopeful that in the future, if positive changes take place for the betterment of our country, and new policy ensures long-term prosperity, the deep divides will be healed. I am hopeful for positive outcomes and for Trump to be judged on actions rather than rhetoric.