Currently, things aren’t looking up for Donald Trump and his presidency.
Ever since he assumed the rein of affairs, his presidency has been mired in different controversies and scandals. From his impulsive obnoxious tweets to his crusade of repealing everything that has Obama’s imprint to appointment gaffes, is surely leading him to the path of becoming America’s worst-ever President.
The world was taken aback when the narcissistic insignia dreadful comb-over hairdo Trump was announced as the winner of the US presidential elections. In many climes around the globe, his victory engendered grave concerns as well as skepticism that he was going to make America great again as expounded during his campaigns.
Fast-forward 100-days later, with a smug glow of self-congratulation and braggadocio, Trump stated that he had done more in his first 100 days in office than any other President ever. He also blamed everything and everyone but himself for his inability to deliver on most of his campaign promises, as well as lambasting the media and the constitution for his woes.
Half a year after, Trump with his infamous extravagant pomposity since assuming office has been attacking anyone or institution that challenges him. From the many disturbing aspects of his controversial and dizzying 6-months as president, a theme is emerging that, in the long run, may prove disastrous for the US and the world at large.
Amongst his many controversies is the growing investigation into his administration’s connections to Russia. There’s also the flailing attempt by Trump to gut Obamacare and replace it with a new health care system that the Congressional Budget Office has determined would leave tens of millions more Americans without coverage. His Muslim ban has since fallen like a pack of cards and there are constant reports of infighting in the White House.
Apparently, the American people seem to be tired of the constant whirlwind of controversy that the Trump presidency has created. The latest polls of his approval rating have pretty much uniformly brought bad news for the president. In a recent poll conducted by Gallup Tracking Polls, his approval rating was pegged at just 37%, while 58% percent of Americans disapproved of his presidency.
In another poll conducted by the American Research Group, Trump’s approval rating was at a new low of 35%. That’s down from 37% approval in the group’s June poll and 39% in both the polls for May and April. Even Trump’s favorite poll, Rasmussen Reports—which is often criticized for being right-leaning—found the president’s approval rating had tied his all-time-low in a survey recently.
Overall, Trump’s first six months in office was accompanied by the worst approval rating for any president in the history of modern polling. A perusal of his worsening approval ratings shows that it is as a result of many of his unpopular policies, inability to act presidential, political gaffes and a whole lot of scandals.
One of such policies is the withdrawal from the Paris treaty on Climate Change. The US is by far the largest contributor to climate change. Ironically, on the heels of Trump’s claim that most NATO members aren’t paying their fair share to the organization, he announced that “we won’t do our fair share to curb the climate change threats that we are the most responsible for”. This withdrawal is symbolic in that it is a middle finger by Trump to the rest of the world, and to future generations.
With Trump in the White House, the US’s relationship with the rest of the world has changed in some important ways. There is an increased and heightened nuclear tension in Asia, as his presidency is raising major security questions in the region. Immediately after his visit to some Gulf countries, Qatar was issued a list of hostile demands including shutting down Al-Jazeera. Observers have since opined that this course of action by some Gulf countries is US-backed if not US-led.
Obama was elected to end America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was extremely reluctant to get involved in another conflict in the Middle East. Even when the scale of atrocities in Syria became brutally clear, he remained convinced military intervention would be a costly failure. Instead the Obama administration focused on providing humanitarian aid, funding moderate Syrian rebels and promoting a ceasefire and political negotiations aimed at President Assad’s departure.
Staying in Asia, under Obama the foreign policy towards North Korea was coined “strategic patience”(i.e. squeeze North Korea with sanctions, persuade others to do the same, particularly China, and wait it out). However, Trump has since shown that the era of strategic patience is over. Instead he has consistently stated that “all options are on the table”, since sending an armada of US warships towards the Korean peninsula raising the spectre of military action.
Trump was also previously opposed to US military action in Syria, calling for greater focus on domestic policies. So it was quite a turnaround when Trump ordered US missile strikes on a Syrian government airbase in April. The strike was the first time the US had directly targeted the Syrian regime since the conflict began, and viewed as a breathtaking policy shift for a previously isolationist leader.
Presently, the Iran nuclear accord is in doubt. For Obama, the deal that saw sanctions against Iran lifted in exchange for guarantees it would not pursue nuclear weapons was a “historic understanding”. However, Trump has consistently maintained on a dismantling of the treaty but has not specified what he wanted to do. Hence, relations between the two countries did not get off to a good start after the Trump presidency began.
The US has since placed new sanctions on Iran and the Trump administration has announced a review of the whole US policy towards Iran. This would take in not only Tehran’s compliance with the nuclear deal but also its actions in the Middle East where it is a key player in the Syrian conflict and a rival of Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Most damaging to his administration recently is his son’s confirmation that his father’s campaign was positively giddy about the prospect of colluding with Russia in 2016. While investigations are still ongoing, many Americans believe that Trump colluded with Russia in influencing his victory at the last US presidential polls. Many Americans still view Russia as their Cold War era enemies and are wary of a “personal relationship” between Trump and Putin
For a variety of reasons having to do with his behavior, his popularity, his lifestyle and his age, Trump seems less likely than any of his predecessors to serve a full four years. With scandals plaguing his administration, allegations of a possible collusion with Russia, policy failures, as well as demonstrating his ignorance of how the rule of law works, removal from office apparently isn’t far behind. Hence, a pair of House Democrats has introduced the first official articles of impeachment against Trump. As well as Twitter currently abuzz with the hashtag #25thAmendmentNow, a movement seeking his removal from office.