The tale of two Americas began early in the 2015-16 presidential campaign and it continues beyond 100 days into the presidency of Donald Trump. Less than half of voters polled are hopeful for the future of America.
The day of the inauguration, the nation consisted of Trump skeptics, haters, and faithful. America was divided at the deepest level; beyond states and parties into communities and households.
American citizens did not want Hillary Clinton to be elected, as much as they did not want Trump. Many voters opted for whoever they hated least. Overall, people did not want the president to be the usual politician. They wanted change.
America Votes for Change
Those who supported Trump, still do, according to interviews conducted by The New York Times. They appreciate his pompous attitude and applaud his accomplishments. People are encouraged that he attempted to make the policy changes promised during his campaign.
Republican Party chairman of Sauk County, Wisconsin told The New York Times:
We’ve been on the back burner, defensively, since Obama took office. The first thing I said to my wife when I heard about Syria was, ‘Syria isn’t really the target. He’s put the world on notice – we’re back.
Administrative Opposition Divides America
Voters who did not want Trump to be president, oppose his administration even more. People reported waking up each morning wondering: What did the president do now?
Strength grows for the opposition as they take to protesting in the streets. There are people running for public office, who had not considered the idea, because they want change. The presidential election has made people realize they do not have to be a politician to make a difference.
Maureen Sauer did not feel the January Women’s March would make a difference. However, the march inspired her to effect change in her community. She joined a group called, Dormant No More, the League of Women Voters, and the school board. She even helped oust the mayor.
Sauer said the Trump presidency has incited people to become involved and pay attention to current affairs. She is not a Trump supporter but is trying to stay positive by finding the good in the mess.
Some remain skeptical of the Trump presidency. Many agnostics, however, are sure they do not want America in the hands of left-wing activists. The forked American road implies two different directions for citizens.
Advantage of Two Americas?
The tale of two Americas has empowered alt-right movement, through the election of Trump. According to Matthew Heimbach, in a New York Times interview, their political agenda has been brought to the forefront: Anti-immigration policy, the sharp division of the people, and unrest in the political atmosphere. Heimbach said the overall goal is an independent homeland.
During the campaign, Heimbach pushed a black woman at a Trump rally. When the woman sued, the alt-right supporter stated he “acted pursuant to the directives of the candidate.”
Heimbach is the leader of the Traditionalist Worker Party in Indiana. The Party wants to divide the country into nation-states based on ethnicity, religion, and race. He feels this vision is close at hand. “Getting Trump elected was a great first step. Now it’s time to deploy Stage 2.”
Across the polls, Trump has the lowest presidential approval rating in 25 years. In response to the Post/ABC Poll released on April 24, 2017, Trump tweeted, “…popular vote. ABC News/Washington Post Poll (wrong big on election) said almost all stand by their vote on me & 53% said strong leader.”
Those who voted for the president remain loyal. Trump has not garnered any additional support among citizens or Congress, since the election.
Issues That Have Kept America Divided
Effectiveness of first 100 days
Trump does not understand the needs of the people.
Airstrikes to Syria
Lack of Experience in the White House
Trump is the first elected president, who has not spent any time in the military or government office. His top advisers lack the same experience. He assumed, experience in business and entertainment would be enough.
He called foreign leaders and did not consult with, or inform experts he was doing so. The president spoke with the chief executive of Lockheed Martin, personally, about the cost of the F-35 fighter planes. These are not typical conversations for the president.
Trump, himself, is divided between business and heart:
Making business decisions and buying buildings don’t involve heart. This involves heart. These are heavy decisions.
His convictions were made apparent in his press conference after the chemical attack on Syria. Yet, those children are not welcome in America.
A White House Divided
The White House is at odds. The war room, Steve Bannon’s office, is peppered with over 200 individual campaign promises and the “Make America Great Again” slogan. However, across the hall, Jared Kushner is focused on an entrepreneurial administration in “beta mode.” The two different viewpoints are not benefiting America, they are creating conflict in leadership.
On April 12, Trump changed his stance on four campaign promises: The freeze on federal hiring, China’s currency manipulation, the elimination of the Export-Import bank, and NATO. Admittedly, things are not as simple as Trump believed. Politics is complicated and everything he does has an impact far beyond the White House.
However, all agree the White House has entered uncharted territory, according to The New York Times. Trump is aggressively undoing the legacy Barack Obama left behind, through executive orders.
A top official in the Bush administration stated:
The biggest difference between President Trump and his predecessors is that he is the first president in my political lifetime who comes to the office unbeholden to typical political pressures. That gives him as much leverage as someone who won with landslide numbers – and the freedom to govern his way. And his voters love him for it.
Moral Traditions End With 45th President
Supporters cheer on Trump. It is perceived as a willingness to shake things up and fight for the people. Those who support him, do so, because he is not a traditional president. He has Twitter-tantrums daily, much like a regular person would do when frustrated and needs to feel heard.
The president is not supposed to show emotion or complain about his depiction on late-night television. He certainly should not criticize Supreme Court judges, threaten Republican members of Congress, or shut down the government when he does not get his way. He should not declare war with the media or accuse his predecessor of illegal acts.
The 40-year-tradition of American-moral leadership is lost in the 45th president. Trump will not release his tax returns or disclose information about his real estate empire. These are ethical requirements.
America is steeped in tradition, nonetheless, citizens are tired of traditional politics. Thusly, Trump’s personal decisions are further dividing the country.
By Jeanette Smith
POLITICO: The education of Donald Trump
The New York Times: Circling Back to Voters, 100 Days Into Trump Era
The New York Times: How Trump Has Reshaped the Presidency, and How It’s Changed Him Too
NBC News: Donald Trump’s First 100 Days; It’s the Start of a Presidency Like No Other
Rasmussen Reports: Daily Tracking Poll
The Washington Post: Poll: Trump at 100 days
Gallup: Trump’s Jobs Approval in First Quarter Lowest By 14 Points
Featured Image Courtesy of Chauncey Davis’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image Courtesy of Thomas Hawk’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License