When Donald Trump, a colourful businessman who had never held political office, threw his hat in the ring of the 2016 US Presidential election contest, nobody took him seriously. Before then, the consensus about successful US presidential candidates was that they needed to be either senators or governors or generals.
But, here was a New York businessman whose nearest thing to a political slogan -appart from birther comments- was to say to anyone that cared to listen, ‘I am the biggest landowner in New York’. It was difficult to take him seriously politically.
Huffington Post for instance, covered his campaign in their entertainment section not their politics section. Lol.
Many comedians did laugh pieces on Trump, from those that centered on his ‘ unruly’ hair to to jokes about his ‘tiny’ fingers.
So, it was a rude shock when this ‘funny’ man, was announced as the winner in the November 2016 election. The smiles were wiped out of the faces of many. Many experts felt they had been slapped in the face by the enigmatic American electorate.
Trump’s inauguration as President on January 2017, heralded a second phase of the way the mainstream press covers Trump- with a vindictive vindictiveness. A look at news aggregated on Googlepage seemed to fill ones eyes with all sought of negative news about Trump. The articles ranged from the reasonable campaign types expected of opposition press to the punches below the proverbial belt. Trump had no honeymoon period. Just media attacks from day 1 of his presidency.
As a result, President Trump was not adequately covered by the mainstream press. Many achievements went undereported. So below, we will try to bring some of those achievements, while also pointing out some places we feel Trump should have done better. The aim is to see if President Trump’s first year has been as bad as it is widely made out to be in the mainstream media.
1. Stock Market Boom: The Dow Jones reached its highest point in its 120 year history under Donald Trump this year. Under him, the stock market has made about 5.4 trillion.
Of course, lots of articles have been written, showing how the boom ‘is not Donald Trump’s doing’, rather than celebrating a milestone in US economic history or even analysing it objectively for lessons to be learnt.
Many media houses have sought to downplay the triumph of one of the things that has made America great in history: its powerful stock exchanges.
2. More jobs: So far President Trump has gotten the best employment figures of any POTUS in 16 years, which is a real feat. The mainstream media has again been doing all it can to dispute views that President Trump should take a large portion of the credit for this, despite the fact that a lot of his moves since becoming president elect have been about attracting jobs jobs and more jobs, even to the extent straying into protectionist and mercantilist at some points.
The media might have been right in fighting against moves that verged on being protectionist, but in the greater picture, fighting the Trump jobs surge was a no no, and risked decreasing trust in the mainstream media itself.
3. Housing Boom: This year, US homeowners made a whopping $2 trillion on their homes. The total market value of US homes reached $31.8 trillion, about 1.5 times the total GDP of the US.
The mainstream media is more likely to gloss over facts like these, rather than celebrate them. This drives Trump to tweet more and give less interviews. At the end, Trump seems to be sthrenghtening his base via his tweets as he depends more on it- and conservative news organizations like Fox, Drudge Report, Breitbart and InstaPundit- that are unlikely to dump him any time soon.
4. Standing up for Japan and South Korea: Trump didn’t abandon these allies in the face of aggressive behaviour from the ever-more-confident Kim Jong Un and his nuclear weapons. Instead, he has moved to bolster US support for boh countries even at great risk to the US.
Not doing so would have left Japan with little choice but to go nuclear, a situation which could lead to high tensions between Japan and China. So, if you really analyse it, Trump’s embrace of Richard Nixon’s policy of international unpredictability has in its own way, made the world a safer place.
Of course, the US has to do more to assure North Korea that if it should give up it’s nukes, it will not have a regime change experience like the one that toppled and killed Muamar Ghadaffi after he ended Libya’s nuclear programme.
5. Trump’s responses to the Hurricanes that attacked Texas and Florida were excellent. And while the media had waited for him to make a big blooper, he came out in shinning colours.
Having said all these, Trump should improve is several areas in 2018.
1. Freedom for Julian Assange: This is somethong Donald Trump should pursue in 2018. The US is known as an icon of freedom the world over, and the fact that Mr Assange is still holed up in a compound after so many years is not a pass mark for Trump.
Sir, you have to defend US values internationally, not minding what the liberal media will say, and do it before your opponents in Congress make a law barring you from doing it without their permission. Sometimes, a singular act of conscience is more important than macro policies. Ask Raul Wallenberg.
2.Improving Relations With Russia Is An Opportunity you must creativeley exploit Mr Trump.
You have been barred from unilaterally lifting the sanctions on Russia, but the US needs a friendly, cooperative Russia to navigate more smoothly internationally. You have an excellent relationship with Vladimir Putin. Leverage on it to improve relations with Russia. There is a lot you can do to create rosy relations with Russia -sanctions or no sanctions. Take some positive steps in that direction in 2018, Sir.
3. Black Lives Matter: President Trump needs to do more to make Afro Americans feel a sense of belonging in the Unites States. Their ancestors never asked to come to the United States. Now that they have been dragged there, Trump has the responsibility to make them feel a sense of belonging.
Alleged Insult To Nigeria And Haiti: I don’t want to believe that President Trump insulted Nigeria and Haiti. I want to give the White House the benefit of the doubt over the issue, as they have denied the whole thing. But if Trump really said those things he is accused of, then here is my response to him:
“Nigeria and Haiti are two great black countries. While Nigeria is the most populous black country in the world, Haiti is the first independent black country. Both countries deserve respect.
“Not respecting these countries means that by extension you are disrespectibg 12% of your country’s population. Records have shown that most Afro Americans are of Igbo origin. Respect that.”
But as I said, I will give you the benefit of the doubt Mr Trump, as your aides have denied you ever uttered the derogatory words some have accused you of uttering.
Conclusion: Trump performed creditably well in 2017, but mustn’t rest on his oars in 2018.