Obligated to Truth

The AMSA Voice

Can a President Trump succeed?

Donald+J.+Trump+faces+the+prospect+of+turning+rhetoric+into+policy.
Donald J. Trump faces the prospect of turning rhetoric into policy.

Donald J. Trump faces the prospect of turning rhetoric into policy.

Google image/Creative Commons license

Google image/Creative Commons license

Donald J. Trump faces the prospect of turning rhetoric into policy.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Americans are still shocked that a man viewed as extreme and politically inexperienced as Donald J. Trump could be elected president, leaving many fearful, anxious, and even hopeless about the future. Despite his insensitive comments about various minority groups, however, there is always a chance that President-elect Trump could turn out to be a better president than many people expect.

President Barack Obama refused to criticize Mr. Trump shortly after their meeting on Nov. 10 and, according to The Huffington Post, he revealed his belief that Mr. Trump “is sincere in wanting to become a successful president.”

Mr. Trump is clearly determined to bring change to America and introduce an outsider’s ideas into the world of politics. But in today’s divided political environment, most of his opinions on how to “make America great again” don’t match the visions that many Americans have for the future.    

“Of course I have got concerns. You know, he and I differ on a whole bunch of issues,” Mr. Obama said. “But you know, the federal government and our democracy is not a speedboat. It’s an ocean liner, as I discovered when I came into office.”

The unpredictability of Mr. Trump’s actions is what makes his future presidency a stressful prospect. Only time can determine what America’s future will look like.  

“Trump could show leadership, but I don’t know if he will,” AMSA history teacher Jessica Bowen said. If he is capable of appealing to the opposition without “alienating the people who elected him,” he could promote compromise and have a shot at becoming a successful president.  

The concept of compromising may be difficult for Mr. Trump, especially because the country is so strongly divided. He has no experience as a political leader, but he does have experience as a leader of business, where he has complete control over decision making.

Many of Mr. Trump’s cabinet picks are coming under intense criticism, but even if all were openly accepted, AMSA history teacher Aaron MacAdams posed the question: “Does he listen to people that are educated?” Mr. Trump is known for being stubborn and highly opinionated, which may impede his ability to compromise.

Google image/Creative Commons license
Many Americans have already decided to oppose Mr. Trump from the beginning.

As for Mr. Trump’s campaign rhetoric becoming actual policy, there are already obvious signs of what is referred to as “campaign softening,” especially in his comments about modifying Obama Care instead of flatly repealing it, and in how to handle illegal immigration.

Now that he is about to assume office, he must switch his focus from gaining the support of the Republican Party to gaining the support of the entire nation.  

Despite a lack of softening in his demeanor, change in Mr. Trump’s policy is inevitable.  “Campaigning is different from governing, and I think he recognizes that,” Mr. Obama said.

According to Mrs. Bowen, campaign softening is characteristic of all presidencies. It is too early to tell what Mr. Trump’s policies will look like in practice, if they make it that far, but there is hope that his agenda will become more acceptable to the majority of Americans.

If Mr. Trump runs the country like a businessman and refuses to compromise, he will be unable to address issues and implement policies.

“Our country’s problems will go unsolved and left for future generations,” said Dr. Anders Lewis, AMSA’s history department chair.

Any president’s power, however, is limited by the U.S. Constitution. Checks and balances between the three branches of government prevent Mr. Trump from enforcing policies and legislation without support from many other politicians within the government.

“Congress can’t be bossed around by him,” Mrs. Bowen said. He is forced to work with 538 congressmen of varying political views. Even though the Republican Party controls the legislative and executive branches, many conservative politicians do not agree with his policies.

Regardless of what’s possible politically, Mr. Trump needs to reach out and show that he really is everybody’s president, and Dr. Lewis believes that Mr. Trump has quite the challenging road ahead of him.  

“He needs to show people who don’t like him that he cares about all people,” Dr. Lewis said. “Up to this point he hasn’t shown any inclination to do that.”

In fairness, Mr. Trump is still five weeks away from taking the oath of office. And, although he is so “polarizing,” Mr. MacAdams said, “Trump is somebody who is not shy about sharing what he thinks is right.”

The public will know how he feels, even if many people disagree with him. If he can exhibit enthusiasm, authenticity, and the willingness to follow words with actions, those things could help him succeed as president.

Although Mr. Trump is quite an unpredictable man, it is conceivable that he may turn out to be a good president and bring effective change to the lives of many Americans.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Can a President Trump succeed?

    Analysis

    Trump and the echoes of Watergate

  • Can a President Trump succeed?

    Analysis

    Debate over the death penalty

  • Can a President Trump succeed?

    Analysis

    The thin line between sensitivity and censorship

  • Can a President Trump succeed?

    Analysis

    Race and America: a problem without an apparent end

  • Can a President Trump succeed?

    Analysis

    Disney wins big with Lucasfilm

  • Analysis

    Fear and anxiety across the Atlantic mirrors America’s own crisis

  • Can a President Trump succeed?

    Analysis

    Thinking twice about Dylan’s Nobel Prize

  • Can a President Trump succeed?

    Analysis

    The West must come together to combat terror

  • Can a President Trump succeed?

    Analysis

    Let’s talk about Trump–for real

  • Can a President Trump succeed?

    Analysis

    Experiencing both ends of the political spectrum

Obligated to Truth
Can a President Trump succeed?