The Financial Express



The 45th U.S President's first term has-without an iota of doubt-electrified the global political stage, emitting a shockwave of such unprecedented magnitude that global headlines are replete with the President's latest policy decisions and actions. As President Trump and his administration approach the final year of their term, nearly every citizen on the globe, even in the midst of political turmoil and acrimony, can come to one conclusion-this eventful Presidential will fill the history books of the future. At the core of President Trump's policy, he and his administraiton have placed a key emphasis on an 'America First' economic and military policy, lax monetary policy, the revamping of the American healthcare system, illegal immigration and asserting America's political dominance across the East. From the beginning of his campaign for the 2016 U.S Presidential Election, President Trump always appeared as a bombastic, brazen demagogue who appealed mainly to the non-university portion of the voting population; he expressed an understanding for the rather stereotypical perspective of the average American while living an ostentatious life of private jets and gold walls.

Some of the highlights of Trump's campaign promises included stripping America's latest healthcare overhaul, the Affordable Care Act, which was enacted during the Obama administration; building a massive border wall on the U.S Mexico border , which would cost the U.S government a whopping USD 21 billion; and enacting economic policies to retain a greater share of manufacturing jobs within the U.S . After three years in office, President Trump and his administration has received mixed results in their promises. Also-and as expected-his Presidential has been rife with controversies, endless media coverage and social media maelstorms. The public deserves a recount of such a lively President and Presidential Term.

President Trump is likely one of the most eccentric individuals to hold the title of 'Most Powerful in the World'. Contrary to his predecessors, dislikes reading detailed documents to gain an understanding of a particular situation, instead preferring to receive oral briefings from U.S intelligence briefers. In addition, President Trump reportedly allocates a large portion of his day to 'executive time', which is simply unstructured free time where the President does whatever comes to mind. Multiple news and media platforms, such as Axios and CNN, have criticized the President's work routine and his overuse of 'executive time'. Reportedly, President Trump gains most of his world news briefings by watching close to eight hours of television during the day, most of it in the night and early hours of morning.

The President's eccentric personality is further complemented with a similar Presidential Cabinet and White House structure. By the end of the President's first year in office 34% of White House staff and Cabinet members had either been fired or had resigned. Among some of the more shocking exits were the firing of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and FBI Director James Comey and the resignation of Secretary of Defence James Mattis. Michael Flynn in February 2017 amidst concerns of him lying to Vice President Mike Pence about President Trump's Conversation with the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. This was during the height of media coverage of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential polls. Mr.Comey was then fired in May of that year, with the President claiming he followed the advice for Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr. Comey was at the time investigating a case of Trump's electoral team colluding with Russian intelligence, and his departure instigated further speculations into President Trump's possible ties with the Russians. Finally, in December of 2018, Mr. Mattis handed his resignation letter to the President after President Trump ordered the removal of the last 2,000 U.S troops in war-torn Syria, defying the suggestions of military advisors and strategists.

President Trump has always maintained his image as an eccentric populist who has harbored a toxic hate for mainstream media outlets throughout the world. The President has repeatedly described mainstream US media outlets such as CNN, NBC and the New York Times as being creators of 'fake news' and 'among the most dishonest human beings on the planet'; accused media and news agencies have denied accusations of preaching and proliferating fraudulent content. One of the first and most serious incidence of the President accusing these media outlets was right after his inauguration ceremony, where he accused media companies of understating the number of people that had attended the ceremony. Photographs from the ceremony and comparisons with that of previous Presidential inaugurations later disproved the claims of President Trump and his Press Secretary, Sean Spicer. Later during his term, the President Trump engaged in an intense vilification of mainstream media outlets, where he repeatedly mocked and condemned news and media outlets for misrepresentation of his accomplishments and the agenda of his administration. Unsurprisingly, the U.S President hasn't been an ardent supporter of Presidential conferences as he has so far participated in one of them; moreover, President Trump and his administration have blocked press agencies from attending briefings. As recently as June 2019, President Trump threatened to send a Time journalist to jail if Time magazine published a photo of the letter North Korean dictator had given to President Trump. Multiple media outlets, most notable the New York Times, have denounced the President's passionate criticism of mainstream media, branding the accusations as a violation of the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press, two key cornerstones of the American constitution and ideology.

From a policy point of view, President Trump's environmental policy seems to belong to a rather by gone era, as he has often stated his disbelief in the concept for climate change. In alignment with his beliefs, the president first removed the U.S from the Paris Climate Accords, a non-binding agreement signed by over 200 nations to reduce the effects of greenhouse gas and minimize climate change in the coming decades; also, the Trump administration has exercised unprecedented levels of lenience on regulated industries (coal, oil etc) as the US administration referred a record low of 30 commercial pollution cases for prosecution in 2018. Furthermore, President Trump has rolled back on several acts introduced by his predecessors, most notably the Presidential Climate Action Plan. During the length of his term, the President's administration has decreased emission limitations for various industries and removed sea level rise from consideration when developing governmental infrastructure. More notably, plenty of governmental funding for climate research have been held back; this was combined with a gradual dismantling of the EPA (Environment Protection Agency) in the U.S, which critics have accused of 'functioning with the interests of business' rather than environmental conservation. Shockingly enough, a day after the President declared the coldest Thanksgiving festival in recent US history, the U.S government released a 1600 page document detailing the disastrous effects of climate change that would ensue if current levels of emissions were maintained globally.

From the inception of his campaign, President Trump held a conventional Republican view on immigration-to detain every single illegal immigrant. Consequently, the president's philosophy on immigration has resulted in record numbers of illegal immigrants (mostly Mexican nationals) being detained in the US by ICE forces. However, his administration has still failed to secure funding for an extension of the U.S-Mexico border wall. In addition, the President has enacted several executive orders that prevents citizens from several war-torn middle eastern nations-including Syrian refugees attempting to seek asylum-from entering the U.S. So far the number of detainees detained by ICE has increased a whopping 40% compared President Obama's term. Additionally, President Trump's policies have placed quotas on legal immigrants by embracing the RAISE act of 2017, which seeks to reduce the number of legal immigrants in the U.S by 50%. Several democrats has condemned President Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration on the US-Mexico border as it has separated countless  young mexican children from their families, who are forced to reutrn to Mexico while their kids are confined inside ICE detainee shelters; media reports have revealed several children dieing as well within these shelters. However, eliminating the DACA policy, signed by President Obama to offer the children of illegal immigrants with a legal working status in the US, caused the most controversy.

Lastly, it would be incomplete to describe President Trump's first term without delving into his economic policy, which comprises and related to a great deal of U.S foreign policy. President Trump's economic and foreign policy has been characterized by threats, hostility, abruptness and economic sanctions (notably tariffs). As of now, the Trump administration is fighting a major trade war with China, has placed sanctions on North Korea, Iran and Venezuela and plenty of major trading partners and stripped NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) for the USMCA trade agreement- in short, a lot of fighting, threats, political quarrels and rebuilding. At the centre of his economic policy, President Trump has forged ahead with an 'America first' mindset, which favors trade protectionism and attracting big tech dollars into the local economy. Regardless, president twitter hailstorm of tariff declarations and military threats have caused a great amount of tumult in the global financial markets; markets have endured regular bouts of panic selling and periods of extremely high volatility during President Trump's term. While this upset businesses and investors alike, the local U.S economy has forged extremely well, recording impressive YoY GDP growth figures and lowest unemployment levels within the last 50 years. One of President Trump's major campaign promises was to end the U.S trade deficit with China; unsurprisingly, the trade deficit has ballooned along with U.S government debt as the President's administrations rolled out expensive corporate tax benefit programs. In a rather uncanny sequence of events,  the US bond yield curves, a key indicator of recessions, has inverted, signalling an impending recession within the next 15 months.

One of the most recognizable characteristics of the current administration's diplomatic tactics is the rapid implementation and repealing of tariffs and economic sanctions; critics and investors have long since become used to this and have often disapproved of the abrupt announcements of tariffs as they render a business unable to adjust to near term headwinds. President Trump has a nature for strongarming other nations in accepting rather unfavorable economic and political terms, and, as expected, he has been generally met with heated denial from other nations; situations like these have often been addresses with the President threatening to levy taxes on imports from certain nations. While these threats and trade skirmishes often result in little agreement, they have soured U.S domestic relations and disrupted financial markets and economies throughout the world. The U.S President may be the most powerful being on Earth, but tweets that wipe trillions of dollars from national economies and financial markets within a few moments is an absolute misuse of such great power-as a platitude summarizes, 'great power comes with great responsibility'. The judgement of responsibility is rather a heated one, and thus is better left to individual opinions.

While there were 44 Presidents that came before the current President, Donald Trump has certainly distinguished himself a great deal from his predecessors and managed to break free from the conventions that have defined past US Presidents. From his inauguration, President Trump, albeit, with some heated controversies and debate, has proposed some rather alien and one-sided policies on a variety of issues. His time in office has been characterized with off-script speeches that have use rather colloquial and revealing language (likely in an effort to cater to the general masses) and controversial policy enactments and discussions- a great deal of which were introduced on twitter. In spite of all the dislike President Trump has received his dogged personality and knack of being able to blend with the minds of the masses have challenged the traditional view people have of a president: a suited executive who graduated from an Ivy League college and talks in convoluted, twisted English that seems origin to native ears. Perhaps that is the reason President Trump has rose to the limelight of global politics. Nevertheless, President Trump and his administration have been trailblazers in several regards, beginning with their acceptance of their populist ideology. This serves to support one fundamental truth: the principles and conventions of the world are continuously being repealed and replaced. Who knows what sort of President the U.S could be seeing in 2020- probably not a communist though.

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