Let’s face it: Donald Trump hasn’t exactly been the most popular guy around in his brief tenure as Commander-in-Chief.
This unpopularity isn’t entirely unwarranted – even for non-liberals, Trump’s boorish, unpresidential behavior has been a subject of concern, overlapping at times with his actions regarding U.S. policy. Add this to his frequently controversial remarks and endorsements (e.g. Roy Moore) and you’ve got a recipe for a highly unpopular president.
Which, of course, begs the question: what would happen if we took away those remarks? Most of what makes Trump so despicable in the eyes of nearly two-thirds of the United States are his incendiary comments – so what would happen if those comments were taken away?
Would Trump be, for example, the worst president in the history of the United States, as some have claimed? Hardly. Compared to his incendiary comments, Trump’s policy decisions are almost mundane. In fact, his list of accomplishments read almost like a typical Republican checklist: placing a conservative justice on the Supreme Court, repealing the Obamacare individual mandate – these decisions are not those of a power-hungry madman; if anything, they’re the work of a president who, at least from an objective standpoint, is doing exactly what his voters expected him to do.
Sure, you might not like the hard-core conservative tilt the U.S. has taken in the past year – I certainly don’t – but that’s normal. The same went for Republicans under Barack Obama’s tenure. The problem with the media’s perception of Trump is his lack of nuance – give him some political correctness, and the average American’s view of the president would undoubtedly change.
Not to mention: even for non-conservatives, it should be clear that Trump has at least wrought some positive change in the country since his election. The stock market has grown at unprecedented rates since his taking office – and while some of that may be the work of Obama, it would be foolish to not give Trump the credit he deserves for this historic economical boost. The same goes for his work on North Korea, something that has resulted in completely un-ironic – though premature – calls for a possible Nobel Peace Prize.
So here’s the bottom line: when U.S. citizens voted for Trump, they wanted change. Trump gave them that change – some of it bad, sure, but some of it also good, even if those positive changes are largely for Republicans. Now, I’m not a Trump supporter myself – I personally despise both the man and most of his policy decisions – but you don’t have to like either to recognize the significant change that the president has wrought in the United States.
Don’t look too closely at Trump’s inflammatory tweets and remarks. Don’t look too closely at Trump’s frequently unpresidential behavior. Look at Donald Trump’s decisions – because, as they say, it’s best to judge a man by his actions, not his words.
Brandon Kim, Grade 9
Culver City High School