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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Columns

America is not yet ‘Great Again’


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Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it,” said then presidential candidate Donald Trump in his speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination.

After a year in the White House, President Trump has stumbled into roadblock after roadblock in implementing key campaign promises. Even though the Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress, they have failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, and failed to secure funding for Trump’s key immigration policy of a wall between the United States and Mexico border.

These are two key issues that mobilized Trump’s base to get him to the White House.

During his first year, Trump has shown little interest in learning how the federal government works, instead relying on his image as a savvy businessman. It is this image that for so long symbolized the idea of American greatness. The idea of success in America has for a long time symbolized the image of a tough individual with an entrepreneurial spirit who uses his or her talents to “make it to the top.”

Trump’s image as the head of a successful business empire contributed to his rise to the presidency. His supporters claimed his success in the real estate business would help restore America to its former golden age and “Make America Great Again.”

However, in his first year Trump has eroded the myth of American greatness.

Trump sold himself as the outsider savior who would use his talents to fix the deeply gridlocked Congress and push major legislation with ease. His image as a Washington outsider promoted this mentality.

From the beginning of his candidacy and into his young presidency, Trump has emphasized a return to policies that put “America First,” reinstating the imagery that propelled him to the presidency. This reluctance to go abroad and aide other nations is reminiscent of America’s early years, before WWI.

He has stumbled into a position of power and is inadequate to meet the demands of the job of the presidency. Trump’s White House has been plagued by leaks and a rotating cast of inefficient aides. His tweets are incendiary and brash, becoming frequent headlines that leave the rest of the country with wide eyes.

For instance, take his North Korean tweets, nicknaming leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, “Little Rocket Man,” using provocative language to provoke Jong-un.

The image that success equals greatness is beginning to crumble as the pressures of the Oval Office tear back Trump’s true colors. This has contributed to delegitimizing the idea of American greatness based on wealth and business success. His “success” as a businessman did not adequately transfer to the pressures of the highest office of the land.

Trump has instead fallen into his own pitfalls. He represents the embodiment of American excess instead of American greatness. He is impulsive, loudmouthed, arrogant, and difficult to manage.

Trump’s way of managing the executive office is not only inefficient, it leads to our reputation suffering overseas. The United States is no longer being seen as a global leader, and that could cause a shake up in alliances that diminishes our global standing in the world.

His low approval ratings means the rest of the country is waking up from their fever dream.

Trump has come to represent the stereotype of the ignorant American that the rest of the world hates about the United States; the American that is too emboldened in their own greatness and superiority, that refuses to see where they might be lacking skills or when to apologize for wrongdoing.

Opinion columnist Janet Miranda is a marketing junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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