[U.S Politics] Donald Trump ushered in a new era of populism and nationalism. His policies had a profound impact on the economy, society, and foreign affairs.
"I am especially proud to be the first president in decades who has started no new wars” - (Donald Trump)
Under Trump, the economy experienced significant growth. The unemployment rate fell to record lows, and the stock market reached new heights. Trump's tax cuts and deregulation are credited with fueling this economic growth.
Trump made energy independence a top priority of his presidency. He rolled back regulations on the oil and gas industry, and he worked to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change. As a result, the United States became a net exporter of energy for the first time in decades.
Trump renegotiated several trade deals, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). These new deals were designed to protect American jobs and businesses.
Trump also imposed tariffs on goods from China and other countries as part of his "America First" economic policy in an effort to reduce the trade deficit.
Trump took a hard line on immigration. He built miles of wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and implemented a number of policies to make it more difficult for people to enter the country illegally.
Trump’s administration built 52 miles of new primary border barriers — the first impediment people encounter if they’re trying to cross the southern border with Mexico, that can block access either for people on foot or for vehicles — where there were none before. The administration built 458 total miles of primary and secondary border barriers- the majority were replacements of smaller, dilapidated barriers. (PolitiFact)
The Trump administration implemented a number of policies that were intended to benefit Black America, these included:
The First Step Act, a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill that reduced mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offenses and made it easier for some prisoners to earn early release.
The First Step Act corrected many of the injustices of the Clinton Crime Bill and others (including ones authored by then-Sen. Joe Biden), injustices that disproportionately affected Black men, such as the 100-to-1 crack cocaine disparity. (Source)
Opportunity Zones, a tax break program designed to encourage investment in low-income communities. Opportunity Zones were created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Trump.
The Pledge to America's Workers, a White House initiative that aimed to train and upskill workers for jobs in the 21st century economy.
Increased funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
President Trump signed a bipartisan bill that permanently provides for more than $250 million a year to the nation’s historically black colleges and universities, along with dozens of other institutions that serve large shares of minority students. (Source)
During the Trump administration the Black unemployment rate fell to the lowest level on record prior to the pandemic in 2020.
Black Political Opinion: Were we better off under Trump?
The Trump administration was seemingly on a good path in several key areas before the pandemic struck. Trump's response in handling the pandemic was widely criticized as being inadequate and chaotic. He was accused of spreading misinformation and criticized for divisive rhetoric and behavior.
Donald Trump’s Twitter account was a key part of his presidency, and his tweets were often viewed as mean-spirited and insulting. Some people found his tweets to be entertaining, many others found them to be offensive and disrespectful. Trump’s tweets were a major factor in why many people did not like him.
Trump was investigated throughout his presidency. These investigations included the Mueller investigation, which looked into Russian interference in the 2016 election, however, found no collusion between the Trump campaign.
The culmination of these factors, and the negative media coverage that went on during his time in office, may have helped tank Trump's re-election bid in 2020. He lost the popular vote by more than 7 million and the electoral college by a vote of 306 to 232.
Gallup reports that 56% said they're better off than in 2016, but 56% also said President Donald Trump does not deserve to be reelected. (Source)
The aftermath of the election and what occurred on Jan 6, 2021, sealed Donald Trump's presidency as was one of the most consequential in American history. He was charged with “incitement of insurrection” and became the first U.S. president to be impeached twice and subsequently acquitted both times.
The former President is the Republican frontrunner in the 2024 election and is currently facing multiple indictments that allege crimes including falsifying business records, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy to commit election fraud. Trump has denied all of the charges against him.
Trump is a polarizing figure, to say the least. But if you put aside the politics and rhetoric, there's no denying that he made some positive contributions to the country during his time in office.
Black Political Opinion reports on political topics and news from the perspective of a Black female, conservative leaning Independent. On X @MsLashaunTurner