An Objective Analysis of the Trump Presidency

With the Trump Administration passing its 2 year anniversary and a contentious media atmosphere, it’s hard to see exactly how this new administration has done overall.


Voice of America [Public domain]

Trump ran his campaign on the idea of “America First” and gained a large portion of his support due to that notion.

John Bolton, Trump’s national security advisor, has served as a powerful voice within the administration; pushing for a more hardline approach to foreign policy.
When it comes to evaluating the performance of a US President, it is an extremely difficult and dubious task. This is due to the fact that everyone has different political views and that most media outlets are biased in one way or another. However, we have taken on the task of looking at the good, the bad, and the ugly of the past 2 years of Donald Trump; while attempting to be as unbiased as possible. For our evaluation, we will be looking at how President Trump’s policies have affected both the world and the US in regards to foreign policy, fiscal policy, and domestic social policy.

In the realm of foreign policy, there is constant debate over what the United States’ role should be in the world. However, for the sake of objectivity, we will be rating Trump’s foreign policy in regards to what extent he has achieved peace and American security.

Such a tweet shows Trump’s initial aggression towards North Korea; calling out the country’s leader via the social network.

For starters, let’s look at the positive side of Trump’s foreign policy. With regard to North Korea, Trump has made more strides towards peace than any president before him. When Trump took office, he was initially aggressive towards North Korea, saying that he will bring “fire and fury” to Kim Jong Un’s hermit country if they continue their missile tests. However, as his presidency went on, he adopted a more peaceful/diplomatic approach to North Korea. In the past 2 years, Trump has had multiple meetings with Kim Jong Un. While these meetings haven’t been 100% positive every time, they have still been more productive towards peace. Unlike presidents before him, Trump has taken an approach to North Korea that involves direct dialogue. This has been ultimately very positive, as it lowers the nuclear threat of North Korea, which is wonderful for both the US and especially South Korea. While Trump hasn’t denuclearized the Korean Peninsula, he has still taken important steps in guaranteeing peace for the future of the region.

Preston Reuscher expresses his support for Trump’s foreign policy.

In contrast to Trump’s peaceful goals with North Korea, he has done the complete opposite with other countries. One of his landmark foreign policy decisions was to pull the US out of the Obama-era Iran Nuclear Deal. Along with other decisions such as putting immense sanctions on Iran and threatening the Middle Eastern country on twitter, Trump is threatening the stability of the country, which could have disastrous consequences. These actions taken by the Trump Administration have crippled the Iranian economy, creating a growth of anti-American sentiments inside of the country’s people and its government. As one can see, this is an overall negative point of foreign policy, as an angry and unstable Iran serves as a threat for both the US and its allies in the Middle East. In addition, Trump pulling out of the Iran Deal shows other countries that the US is an unreliable partner when it comes to international agreements. This is due to the fact that the world will not know how radially US foreign policy can change between different administrations, causing them to be wary about engaging with the US. However, some approve of this approach to Iran, such as Preston Reuscher, a senior at Lafayette High School who said “I think Obama was too generous towards Iran so I support Trump pulling out of the deal.”

Trump’s public rhetoric largely differs from his actual policy implementations, as he has yet to pull a large amount of troops from Syria.

One area of foreign policy for which Trump has received criticism is his often inconsistent approach/attitudes towards our presence in the Middle East. Earlier this year, Trump tweeted that he would order the withdraw of American troops from Syria, however, he ended up not doing the withdraw at all; creating confusion for people who either supported or disagreed with the policy. This “foreign policy by tweet” has created a feeling of unsteadiness in regards to foreign policy in the Trump Administration, which is widely considered a negative attribute. Overall, Trump’s foreign policy has been largely a mixed bag, as it contains both attitudes of peace and military strength at the same time.

When it comes to the Trump Administration and social policy, he has to one extent or another, bucked Republican/Conservative orthodoxy. For instance, Trump has taken a much more moderate view on Marijuana than other presidents before him; opting to take a hands-off approach, letting the states decide what should be done about the increasingly popular drug. Even though Trump hasn’t officially come out in full support of federally legalized Marijuana, he has maintained both moderate positions and policies on the issue. Jarel White, a senior at Lafayette High School, said  “Trump is a disgrace to the presidency due to his crass attitude and policies”

Markus Terhorst
Jarel White expresses his outrage at the Trump Administration for what he considers backwards policies.

In the realm of immigration, Trump has taken a largely “American Centered” approached; opting to focus American security rather than  open immigration. In 2017 he banned several countries in the Middle-East that are majority Muslim, to protect terrorists from entering the U.S. While this decision was struck down by the court system at many turns, it still affected many when the policy was enforced. Since the beginning of his campaign, Trump has made it obvious he is determined in building a wall along the southern border with Mexico, from California to Texas. Trump also canceled the DACA program, which accounts for 600,000 immigrants living in the U.S on work permits. Such a policy has led to the deportation of many of these undocumented immigrants living in the US that were brought here as children. A lafayette senior said “Trump has done a lot for this country economically, but I dont think his support for the majority’s ideas is where it should be.”

While a policy decision by tweet can’t be enforced, Trump’s words against transgenders in the military were felt by many.

Trump’s policy on abortion prior to his presidency was that he would not ban partial or full birth abortion. He was “very pro- choice” and wanted to “remove abortion from politics.” Soon after winning the presidential election, in an interview said he would appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices, and if Roe v Wade would be overturned women would have to go to a state where abortion is legal to have it done.On May 3, 2018 he signed an executive order titled “Establishment of a White House

Markus Terhorst
Christian Hankins expresses his view of the Trump Presidency and the media’s reaction to it.

Faith and Opportunity Initiative,” which bans funding for abortions.
Trump said he supported the Obama era act that created protection for LGBT workers. However, in 2018 Trump repealed the same act and rolled back the ability to collect data from LGBT people. In addition, Trump made a statement that Transgender people would not be allowed to serve in the military. He said the military could not afford the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” of transgender service members. On August 25 he signed a bill which banned transgender people from being able to serve, unless approved by Homeland Security, and Department of Defense.

Trump’s view on gay rights, like same sex marriage prior to his presidency was marriage, “is between a man and a woman”, but would not be upset by it. He would rather the states make the decision, and not the federal government. In 2016, his views haven’t changed. In a letter to the president of, Trump said he would support legislation for the protection of Christian’s religious liberties. On November of 2016, in an interview, he said that same sex marriage is “irrelevant,” should be settled within the Obergefell decision. When asked about Trump Christian Hankins said ” He might not be the sharpest tool in the toolbox, but the media exaggerates the things he does”.

Lastly, let’s look at the fiscal policy of the Trump era. When looking at how well an economy is doing there are a few good indicators of prosperity, growth, a strong middle class and low unemployment rates. We will break down how Trump’s fiscal policy has impacted these factors and analyze weather the economy has improved over his presidency or gotten worse. The fiscal policy President Trump has implemented intends to boost the economy by creating more infrastructure spending and cutting taxes to persuade companies to bring their business back to the United States rather than basing them out of china to cut down on production costs. Gross Domestic Product grown under Obama, from 2009-2016 was sitting at 2.2% growth. Once trump took office the number went up to 2.5% during the first 2016- 2017 quarter and then during the 2017-2018 Fourth Quarter reached an impressive 3.1% growth, approximately $280 billion more than if the pre 2017 growth had continued. Obama’s administration for 2013 was spot on estimating 2.6%. For 2014 they projected 3.3% but only reached 2.7%. Similarly, in 2015 they projected 3% but only reached 2%, and in 2016 it was predicted at 2.7% yet only reached 1.9%. Under Trump’s presidency, a different trend emerged 2017 was estimated to reach 2.3% and reached 2.5%; 2018 was predicted 3.1% and the estimate was spot on with the actual being 3.1%. In one year Trump had a higher GPD than Obama ever did in 4 years. This means that production in the United States has grown, indicating the economy is growing and doing well these numbers we can imply that we didn’t have a stable economy under Obama whereas under Trump it’s already looking more stable and seems to be growing. Lafayette senior David berry states “domestically he’s done a good job, but

Contrary to popular belief the majority of young students are actually very responsible seeking out their own political views.

internationally he’s faltered a bit with the tariffs and trade with china”.
Taking a look at the most current unemployment rates for April 2019 we can see that it has fallen to 3.6%, the previous months it was at 3.8%, this is the lowest unemployment has ever been since 1969. “In April, the number of persons unemployed fewer than 5 weeks declined by 222,000 to 1.9 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.2 million in April and accounted for 21.1 percent of the unemployed.” Under Obama’s presidency, unemployment was 7% when he took office and reach a high of 10% in October 2009, two years later it dropped to 9%. According to The Washington Post President trump’s United States has the lowest black unemployment

rate, the lowest it has been since 2009 coming in at 6.8%. According to the Louisiana weekly Under Obama that number was a staggering 12.6%. This shows that clearly the economy wasn’t doing very w

As many seniors reach voting age more and more start taking a look at policies and results of presidents to make their decision.

ell until President Trump took office. He has completely turned that around. The economy is booming, we have companies coming back to the United States creating more jobs, unemployment is at an all-time low and the standard of living has gone up. When asked if she feels like trump has done a good job with unemployment in the United States Lafayette senior Lazuli Cristol states “I haven’t noticed much of a change”

Overall, just like with many other presidents, the Trump Administration has been a mixed bag with both positives and negatives. While that is par for the course, no American can deny the this presidency has been revolutionary in regards to how the American people view both politics and politicians.

Click here to listen to our debate on the Trump presidency; from various views on the politcal spectrum.