By: Thomas Moore, Campus Editor
It’s 2019 and Donald Trump is President of the United States. America is in a state of fear, chaos and disarray. His effects have left no one untouched, including my own family. My mother has hardly left her bedroom since Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Too sick and weak to leave her room, she stays in bed. My father is unemployed. However, the reason my mom hasn’t left the bedroom since Kavanaugh’s nomination is because she ironically threw out her knee the same day and had to get a knee replacement this fall. Her sickness is the result of a severe sinus infection. My dad is unemployed because he quit his job to look after her. But the point remains: often, tragic coincidences are conflated with Trump’s direct influence and administration. Most people seem to be doing just fine, despite what the media might say.
Now, I do not mean to belittle the situation of people who are tragically affected by this administration. My heart goes out to those who experience such suffering. Families are being separated at the border. The government is (partially) shut down. But I do wish to present two points: that mainstream media in America today is dishonest, unethical and manipulative, and the situation in America is not as bad as they make it out to be. Previous administrations have also made controversial and even unethical decisions. We can’t over-emphasize the failings of President Trump while forgetting the failings of past administrations.
In the 1990’s, the Clinton administration cracked down hard on illegal immigration, starting a trend that continued under Bush and Obama, a trend that people suddenly care about. The Clinton administration also oversaw what was previously the longest government shutdown in U.S. history (21 days). Clinton was not the only one: Carter, Reagan, H.W. Bush and Obama also all underwent government shutdowns.
Many people believe that because families are being separated and that somehow America is worse off than it used to be. This seems to be because people have forgotten (or worse, intentionally neglected) history. During World War II, America placed Japanese people in internment camps because Franklin D. Roosevelt and other Democrats thought they were a threat to America because of their race. Family separation is tragic, but let’s not forget that there was once a time in American history when a President Andrew Jackson, also a Democrat, coerced Native Americans out of their homes in Georgia and forced them on a treacherous trek over several states to relocate in Oklahoma. Just 55 years ago, African Americans did not even have the right to vote; until 1865, they were enslaved. This is why people who say that Trump is the worst president ever make me cringe; their ignorance of what previous administrations have done is unbearable.
This is a frightening thought pattern in our current republic. Educated people must do what they can to educate those who are overly afraid. People must take responsibility for informing the masses of the facts. People must be reminded that they will go home tonight, watch Netflix, eat Hawaiian pizza and sleep soundly without the fear the government will throw them in prison for making a critical comment about the administration. They must be reminded that they have done this virtually every night since Trump was elected.
It should be noted, however, that there are many things President Trump could improve on; he often makes bad calls, and many people would prefer a president who is less vulgar, and rightfully so. He could have done something about family separation at the border, acting on what presidents like Obama and Clinton neglected. I myself wish that we had a president who could balance the best of both worlds; a president who has upstanding character and sound judgement.
Unfortunately, at the end of the day, it does not matter what Trump does, because people will hate him no matter what. Shortly after he took office, he ordered missile strikes on Syria, prompting a large amount of protests. Recently, he ordered the troops be pulled out of Syria, again just to receive backlash from the Left. Whereas previous presidents can call for stronger borders and ask for funding, this president cannot.