Trump’s Broken Promises

J.J. Citron

Donald Trump is a businessman. It is an undisputed fact – a claim that both Republicans and Democrats alike can agree on. However, Democrats and Republicans might not be able to agree on this: Donald Trump knows nothing about politics, and his nonexistent political platform dissolved following his interview with The New York Times on November 22. All of the promises he made during his quest for president were broken. His largest broken promise: Donald Trump stated that he will not indict Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state. I am personally thrilled by this. Trump supporters, however, may not be as much. Breitbart News, a news outlet run by Trump’s soon-to-be White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, published an article with the headline “Broken Promise.” If Trump’s own Chief Strategist has not stood by him thus far, what does this indicate for the next four years?

Trump’s next broken promise: the use of waterboarding. Throughout his campaign, Trump praised waterboarding, a tactic labeled as torture and illegal under U.S. and international law, and stated with regards to ISIS that the U.S. should “fight fire with fire.” However, during The New York Times interview, Trump stated that he has reconsidered his stance on waterboarding since the election. Trump also expressed that he is reconsidering his stance on global warming. On his website before Election Day, Trump released his position on climate change, which stated that he did “not accept the scientific evidence that climate change is real.” However, during his interview with The New York Times, Trump stated, “I have a very open mind. And I’m going to study a lot of the things that happened on it, and we’re going to look at it very carefully.”

Finally, Trump acknowledged the existence of the First Amendment, which grants the freedom of the press. In February 2015, Trump vowed to take legal action against media outlets that spoke against him, saying “so when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace … we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected.” On November 22, however, he stated that if he tried “softening up those laws” he might “get sued a lot more.” Scoreboard update. Trump: zero. The New York Times: one.

Ironically, these broken promises show promise. Perhaps Trump’s ever-changing platform will move farther away from his far right campaign. His policies could be moderate, more so than anticipated. Or, he could rely on Mike Pence for political insight and knowledge. This possibility raises a red flag for Democrats. Mike Pence, an opponent of Roe vs. Wade, Medicare and same-sex marriage, poses an imminent threat to the existing liberties enjoyed by the American population. Taking policy advice from Pence is like letting a child drive a car; in either of these situations, you’re screwed. Trump’s ever-changing platform poses a big question mark to the American public. The next four years are uncertain, and a large portion of the public, including myself, fears ambiguity. Hopefully the government will not crash and burn as fast as Trump University did.