By: ANDRES ARROYO
It’s hard to ignore the actions of the Trump administration over the last four years. Throughout his four years, there have been blatant comments, acts of racism, and misogyny, as well as corruption from collusion with Russia, to extorting Ukraine for Donald Trump’s personal benefit. Trump and his administration have been unapologetic, and even at times shameless about showing it. This year, Donald Trump has not only failed to respond well to the Covid-19 pandemic, to unite the nation amid civil unrest over racism, but he has also called to delay the election and has tried to not have mail in voting, claiming there is widespread voter fraud without producing a shred of evidence. And in just the last two days, news leaked about Donald Trump disrespecting the military, calling them “losers” and “suckers”, drawing more backlash. The majority of the country believes that Donald Trump is a horrible, immoral president; maybe even the worst president in U.S. history, and rightfully so. Critics and left wing voters want him out of office after 2020, and I agree. But when I look at the issues and damage caused by Donald Trump, I must admit that Trump’s presidency was… to an extent, good.
Going back to Charlottesville in 2017 after the white supremacist riots, Donald Trump argued that the white supremacists were being treated unfairly by the media and were also “very fine people.” In that moment, he gave safe harbor to white supremacists who seek to divide us, rather than unite us. White supremacists realized this.
Photo taken by NBC News
“This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfil the promises of Donald Trump. That is why we voted for him, because he said he’s going to take our country back.”
- David Duke, Former KKK Leader.
In this quote is not only endorsing Trump, but is endorsing him as this ‘voice of white supremacy’. By calling white supremacists “fine people”, Trump made these groups no longer feel afraid and shameful to be racist, and made them feel like they were only fighting to preserve their culture. Since Trump’s comment, protests against the removal of confederate statues among far right white supremacy groups have exploded. And in 2020, civil unrest addressing systemic racism is ravaging the nation.
Trump has also targeted the LGBT community, specifically transgender people. Early in his presidency, Trump signed an executive order that banned transgender people from serving in the military. He later rolled back on it, but the damage was already done. He already made himself look like the voice of the anti-LGBT community. Groups that in 2015 opposed legalizing same sex marriage, openly came back and supported this. I will say the same thing for Trump’s Islamophobic rhetoric and travel ban that prevented Muslims from coming into the U.S.. Heavy backlash later led to the President rolling back on this as well, but it didn’t matter. He failed to apologize for this act, and now a anti-Islam candidate from Florida is running for congress for the GOP this election, and she has heavy support from people in the state.
Then you have the administration itself. Every cabinet member in the Trump White House is someone that Donald Trump hired to be loyal to him no matter what. And not only have they been loyal to him, but they have helped him get away with corruption. Attorney General Barr carried out orders to clear out Lafayette Square Park in D.C. of peaceful protesters for a presidential photo-op at the nearby church, violating every one of those protester’s 1st amendment rights: nothing. He hired a postmaster general that was a Trump campaign donor, to reform and manage the USPS. By reform, I mean eliminating overtime, and removing mailboxes from city streets 100 days prior to an election. All of this will slow the postal service down so that when we vote by mail in November, a large amount of votes (especially votes against him) won’t count, which is voter oppression: Nothing. Being impeached and damn near removed from Office after extorting Ukraine for dirt on a political rival: NOTHING! All he has learned is that he can do whatever he wants as long as he has people loyal to him by his side. And those who dare to disagree with him have been fired.
I could go on all day about this President and his corruption, his lies, his racism… his immorality. But at the end of the day, I always remind myself, and I believe that we should all remind ourselves, that the Trump presidency was to an extent good. It was good because it addressed that we still have problems with racism and homophobia in this nation; that even under the Obama presidency, we may have cracked down on KKK groups and groups targeting the LGBT community, but they never went away. Extreme religious organizations that despise other religions, never went away. Most importantly, the corruption in the Trump administration showed us that our checks and balances system is good, it has been, but it still has a lot of vulnerability especially in the executive branch. The Trump presidency showed us that our checks, balances, and democracy relies on good faith and intentions in order to succeed.The GOP members of congress, who failed to stand up to the president, have also shown what the true colors of their party have become. The GOP and the Trump administration was good for bringing out the evil in America, and unintentionally addressing social issues we have faced for years, and then showing that they won’t do anything about it. Now, it’s time for them to go, and have new GOP leaders and for Democrats take actions to fix the U.S., and make it greater.