Opinion: Trump’s time in office a failure

The recent firing of FBI Director James Comey is an example of Trump’s inability to lead.


Illustration by Ivan Benavides

Thomas Chiles, Contributing Writer

Editor’s note: The original version of this story sourced news from a satirical post stating that President Enrique Pena Nieto recently offered to pay for Trump’s impeachment. The current version has been updated and sourced from wire service Reuters.

Donald Trump’s rise to president of the United States has undoubtedly been a historic one. While polling at the lowest public approval rating of any new president, Trump has re-shaped the norms and traditions of previous presidents, but to what avail?

Trump says he wants to be a president for all citizens, but his actions contradict his words on a regular basis. He still hasn’t delivered on the promises he made during his campaign.

He has made no progress on any major legislation and failed to deliver on one of his biggest campaign promises: repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Trump quickly forgot about “locking up” Hillary Clinton, a chant frequently heard at his rallies.

And he hasn’t started building the border wall between the Mexico and U.S. border, despite the fact that Trump claimed Mexico will pay for its construction.

On top of all this, Trump is beginning to build quite a portfolio for his own impeachment with the recent firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Comey was investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s ties with the Russian government’s involvement with the 2016 presidential election.

On May 9, Trump fired Comey, who found out via a news report on a nearby TV screen while he was addressing new FBI recruits.

On May 10, Trump then had Russian officials visit the Oval Office, where he was accused of sharing classified information about ISIS with said officials.

On May 11, Trump admitted he fired Comey because of the pressure he felt due to the Russia investigation.

It’s now being reported that in his meeting with Russian officials, Trump called Comey a “nut job” and said that by firing him he had eased a “great pressure” he was facing. This is evidence that Trump was attempting to directly influence a federal investigation.

As president, you must have transparency as well as understand checks and balances. It’s sad that Trump thought firing Comey would solve his problems. As soon as he was gone, the Justice Department issued a special task force to continue Comey’s investigation.

The very public firing of Comey only attracted more attention to the investigation. It seems like an attempt by Trump to demonstrate his power and authority, firing anyone who isn’t, in his eyes, loyal to him.

Since his inauguration, Trump’s promise to stimulate the economy has fallen short. The first quarter gross domestic product, which is a measure of a country’s economic health, came in at its slowest pace in three years, growing just 0.7 percent in the beginning of 2017.

This isn’t terrible, but far from what Trump promised. He claimed that the economy would grow at a rate that we had not seen for decades.

One problem is that it seems he has failed to look into one real reason manufacturing jobs have been disappearing. It’s not that all companies are just going overseas, it’s that many are turning to automation.

With new technology and robotics taking manufacturing jobs, it makes sense that there will be a large job market for the construction and maintenance of the robotics themselves. The next step should be making sure people receive the proper education and training in order to work on new automation technology.

The problem with this theory is that Trump’s new education budget proposes to cut $10.6 billion from federal education programs. This means that the funding for college work-study programs will be sliced in half and public-service loan forgiveness for students will end.

We did already know that Trump does not care too much for public education after his appointment of Betsy DeVos to secretary of education, a woman who believes in the privatization of the public education system.

Trump’s attacks on free speech with regards to the media are downright scary. Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, admitted that Trump has already looked into changing the First Amendment to make it possible for him to sue media outlets.

Trump would rather amend the U.S. Constitution than answer tough questions from the media, something every president must be able to face.

As a journalist, one of the most important amendments to me is the First Amendment allowing freedom of the press. I believe the Founding Fathers of our country would definitely agree with me, considering they made it part of the very first amendment in our country’s Constitution.

From unproven claims that President Barack Obama “wiretapped” him before the election, to publicly denouncing “Saturday Night Live,” Trump has tainted the legacy of the presidency with petty, childish and downright embarrassing statements.

Our president gained much of his support because he supposedly “tells it like it is” and speaks his mind without thinking twice.

Just remember, Trump and his Twitter rants will be documented in databases, fact-checked by historians and then laughed at for centuries to come.

To read contributing writer Ross Mellman’s contrasting opinion, click here.

Thomas Chiles is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @thomas_iv.