Presidential election essay
The 2016 general election in America was a momentous time for the country. The hypothetically gruesome political battle pitched Hillary Rodham Clinton, an experienced politician, against Donald Trump, an experienced businessman. While others saw the epoch as one that will mark the end of the ruling of the political bourgeois, others saw a possible beginning of an authoritarian leadership featuring everything for which America and its beliefs do not stand. Nonetheless, the elections saw Donald Trump ascend to the highest office in the land on January 20, 2017, immediately after his inauguration. It was time to put to implement all the campaign policies and test their feasibility. It is noteworthy that at the age of 70, Donald J. Trump is the oldest person to ascend to Presidency in America. For the time he has been in office, Donald Trump has issued numerous executive orders with the major one being that which stops refugees from being admitted into the country (Executive Order 13769). Alongside his running mate and the vice president Mike Pence, Donald Trump has also appointed several officials to his cabinet who are yet to be vetted and approved fully by the United States’ Senate. During his campaign, Donald Trump’s major issues revolved around crime, education, the environment, social media, and science and technology. While these key issues are set to be evaluated properly from April 29, 2017, when the President completes the first 100 days in office, a juxtaposition of the campaign promises and the ongoing streak of executive orders allows for a critical investigation of the presidency at this point. The following discussion will investigate Donald Trump’s presidency based on the five categories of issues.
Trump policy on crime
According to The White House (2017xxx) reports, the number of murders in the United States’ large cities doubled in numbers with a record number of 4,000 people being shot in Chicago alone in the year 2016. These figures are a testimonial to the rising grim crime situation in America in the face of a paradox of incessantly rising criminal laws (Fields & John, 2011). Gary Fields and John Emshwiller also noted that as the number of criminal laws continues to burgeon, most of them overlap and ensnare, rendering them ineffective. Donald Trump’s presidency and criminal legislations are set in the background of a worsening criminal landscape and cry for safety. In fact, during his campaigns, Donald Trump proposed the ‘stop and frisk’ way of dealing with crimes, noting its success in New York in the previous years. Given the urgency of the matter, Trump signed into law two major criminal legislations barely one week after his inauguration. One of the legislations entailed construction of a wall on the southern border while the other one, both signed on January 25, 2016, called for a faithful implementation of the immigration laws and denying funding to the jurisdictions that impede a smooth enforcement of the laws. Hypothetically, the construction of the southern border wall will reduce the population of states such as New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. However, such a move will drain copious amounts of money from the public coffers, which may strain the President’s dream of making America great again in the economic sense. The assumption that Mexico ‘will pay later’ for the costs incurred is not only misplaced, but also one that will stress the diplomatic relations between the two countries despite the fact that the effectiveness of the wall is not yet proven.
Most recently, on February 10, 2017, the President signed yet another three criminal legislations into law with the aim of reducing crime rates in America and restoring public safety. The second legislation seeks to stop transnational drug cartels in their tracks while the third item encourages the Justice Department to effectively use the existing laws to curb crime by prosecuting anyone who obscures the work of law enforcers. These laws were signed immediately after swearing in of the Attorney General Jeff Sessions who, according to The White House (2017), champions for the merciless prosecution of the Federal criminals and is committed to seeing drugs out of the United States. At face value, these executive orders portray Trumps presidency as committed to making America safe and free from criminal activities. However, a critical examination of the legislations reveals a hidden demerit. Jarett (2017) reiterates the Amnesty International USA’s position that these laws will not address the problems that underlie criminal justice in the country. In particular, instead of protecting the citizens the laws create additional loopholes for penalties that could lead to over-prosecution for crimes as minor as resisting arrest. In this respect, while Donald Trump’s presidency seems intent on eliminating crime or reducing its rate drastically, the success of every criminal legislative action depends on how much it addresses the root cause of the problem, not the apparent top-down approach of dealing with the existing crime minus considering the causes.
Trump policy on education
Unlike other major issues, Donald J. Trump was less vocal, during his campaign period, concerning education, leaving a thick cloud of uncertainty looming on how his presidency would impact on the United States’ education system. Notably, however, he insisted on eliminating the existing Department of Education, removing government profits from student loans, and encouraging competition in schools. A few weeks down, Trumps administration is yet to implement any of these proposals with the only significant event in the sector being the appointment of Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education. Essentially, the public still awaits any meaningful laws in the education sector, such as those governing the standardized testing and accountability in the schools, and diversity in terms of race and sex in the classrooms. On this note, Trump’s presidency sharply contrasts with certain Obama’s landmark policies such as the dedicated push for government-funded vouchers for private schools and reducing the size and powers of the education system. Brown (2016) notes that the only tangible proposal on the education system comprised a $20 grant program that he considered would motivate various states to expand school choice, therefore, allowing parents to control their kids’ education including through magnet and charter schools as well as vouchers. Even then, the President is yet to specify the source of this money. However, given that the United States spends up to 15 billion dollars currently on Title I, education experts have speculated that this is the money that would be redirected to Donald Trump’s program. The unanswered question, therefore, is what the country will now do with the poor children with regards to access to education on the brink of a removal of the program that earlier supported them.
Apart from the educational policies, Trump’s presidency could also greatly impact the interpretation of the government concerning Every Student Succeeds Act. One aspect of this law looks into how the districts allocate the federal funds meant for the education of poor children. According to the Obama administration, this legislation would safeguard the civil rights and proffer better education of the disadvantaged children across the country. It is, however, mysterious that on the day of swearing in of the new Secretary of Education, the website for disabled children’s education disappeared, an event that may be interpreted as the lack of commitment by Trump’s presidency to promote diversity in education, especially with regards to disadvantaged children. While everyone else is hoping that Donald Trump would take a different tack in the case of the education sector, it is not yet clear if any tack taken will be effective. Even after the swearing in of the new Secretary of Education, most of Trump’s promises, including the creation of problem-solving in education remains to be seen. However, any extreme efforts that could destroy the education sector will be countered by the federal law that forbids the federal administration from meddling into the decisions of a state concerning its set academic standards. The laxity and lack of commitment in the education sector, unlike other issues, which characterizes Trump’s presidency is an overt indicator of a presumed lack of enthusiasm to make the American Education great again.
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