*I didn’t think Trump was a good candidate. I didn’t vote for him and I didn’t want him to win. But I distinctly remember telling a friend once he won that I hoped I was wrong about how bad things would probably become under the Trump presidency.
I wasn’t wrong.
As a liberal, it is extremely difficult to believe anything positive will come of the Trump presidency. I root against his policy because it is difficult to believe that much positive will come of cutting the funding to Planned Parenthood, reforming income tax policy to favor wealthy and upper middle class families, and seriously altering national healthcare as established in the Affordable Care Act.
Perhaps it is my working class background shining through in opposition to Trump’s wealthy background but it should be noted that the policies that Trump supports and advocates for negatively affect working class people. The women who use Planned Parenthood as their primary OBGYN provider are not wealthy. And neglecting to provide funding for Planned Parenthood to allow for the best possible familial situations for newborns only leads to further issues with poor and working class people in the future. More unwanted pregnancies means more neglected children, more low income preschool programs necessary, more low income housing, and (in the best possible scenarios) more federal education loans that the federal government will need to pick up the bill for. This is a short sighted policy initiative at best.
The same goes for reforming the tax code to favor wealthy and upper middle class families. I can appreciate that people deserve to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Nevertheless while people may complain, folks are prospering under the current tax code – meaning tax cuts are unnecessary. The tax code that President Trump would like to see implemented would not allow for the federal government to continue funding the same number of programs it currently does. And I haven’t seen him talking about any substantial deletions from the national budget. So again his vision for the future of the country does not go beyond his term in office. Long term fiscal planning would dictate that he look closer at federal expenditures and obligations. Instead Trump looks at things with the perspective of a private citizen and does not attempt to do what’s best for the country in general.
Similarly, while the Affordable Care Act is not a flawless program it is an attempt to assist the most people possible. President Trump is approaching the legislation as if he is still running one of his companies and looking at how to minimize the cost of compliance. Unfortunately minimizing cost almost always means minimizing effectiveness. President Trump grew up in a big city as part of a wealthy family when most of the people in our country don’t fall into either of those categories. Perhaps his background and his inability to envision things from a different perspective than that of his background are what make him (in my opinion) unfit for the presidency and his policies anathema to most Americans.
While I cannot claim firsthand experience I would imagine that conservatives are not happy with President Trump either. This isn’t shocking considering that there was talk of many leading Republican politicians not endorsing him during the campaign and others condemning his statements and actions. If you are a conservative, you can be happy that Trump is promoting a conservative agenda but there is little to suggest it will successfully be enacted. Because of his relationship with Putin and the possibility of Russian meddling in the election, because of his inflammatory statements about Muslims (which touch upon one of the foundational freedoms of the Constitution) and immigrants (when most people know or are related to a first generation immigrant), because of his posturing about North Korea, because of the way he speaks about women, it will be very difficult to imagine Congressional Democrats voting for anything he proposes. Not only because they may genuinely disagree with Trump and his policies, but also because they know they represent constituents that genuinely disagree with Trump and his policies and they want to get re-elected.
From a liberal perspective Trump is a bad president because he isn’t doing the things that will improve the country. From a conservative perspective Trump is a bad president because he isn’t going to be able to do the things that they believe will improve the country.
Either way we’re screwed.
Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War. His writing has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @historictrev.