It has been more than a year since Donald Trump was elected as the 45th POTUS (President of the United States of America). Trump’s first year in office has exceeded everyone’s worst expectations. It has been a roller coaster ride for the world’s most powerful country and a popcorn flick for other nations.
US President Donald Trump ravaged his rivals during the elections by spreading hatred and making selfish promises. Trump’s rise has created an explosion of hate crimes in the US. Intolerance has seen a rise in his regime. The diversity in the US has now been replaced by diversion. He began his presidency by signing an executive order halting all refugee admissions and temporarily barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries. The move sparked numerous protests and legal challenges.
This Muslim ban was just beginning of a chaotic year in the US politics.
Trump repealed anything that was the legacy of former President Barack Obama including Obamacare, the ‘Affordable Care Act’, signed into law by Obama, that gave affordable healthcare to thousands of Americans.
He also scrapped Obama’s DACA policy that allowed individuals who were brought to the United States illegally as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit in the US.
The Trump administration is considering rolling back a rule that allows thousands of visa holders to work in the US along with their spouses, which could affect a lot of Indians working in the United States. Over 60,000 spouses of Indian H-1B visa holders may soon go jobless due to this. Trump also faced a backlash when Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who was at a White House meeting, said that Trump had called African countries ‘shitholes’ several times and used ‘racist’ language.
He broke the tradition of presidents visiting White House Correspondents’ Dinner by not attending for two years in a row. And banned transgenders from joining the US military by announcing it on Twitter. On the foreign policy front, Trump’s major steps involved undoing the work of his predecessor, ex-president Barack Obama. He withdrew from negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade pact with Asia, calling it ‘attack on America’s business.’ Later, he asked advisors to review it again after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited him at the White House in April. From calling China a currency manipulator to threatening North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un with nuclear weapons and calling him ‘Little Rocket Man’, Donald Trump paved the way for World War III. But luckily due to Winter Olympics and South Korea, Trump and Kim have agreed to hold talks and meet in May.
Trump stated that global warming is a conspiracy by China and hence left the ‘Paris Climate Agreement’, making the US the only country that did not sign the pact.
The Trump administration widened the gap between the Palestinians and Israelis by announcing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and increasing the animosity between them.
He even started a trade war with China by imposing tariffs, which resulted in the crashing of the stock markets. It seems like everyone, who gets close to the US President, eventually turns on him. It is hard to keep count of people who have resigned from the Trump administration or have been fired.
According to Newsweek, Donald Trump ended his first year in office as the most unpopular president in United States polling history. Yet, while he may have record disapproval ratings, his support among those who voted for him remains solid. And having confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, secured his Muslim travel ban, cracked down on immigration and passed a huge tax cut, Trump is able to turn to Republicans at the end of last year and say, “I’ve delivered what I promised during my campaign trail.”
There are a few positive sides to Trump’s presidency as well. Columnist Jill Abramson says, in an article in The Guardian, ‘There is, perhaps, one glimmer of hope. Trump could provide a positive jolt to the body politic. His galvanisation of women’s energy may be even more profound than if Hillary Clinton had defeated him. At the time of writing, there are 439 women running for Congress in 2018, according to Rutgers University’s Center for Women in Politics, the highest number of female candidates ever. Most, but not all, are progressive Democrats.” The ‘Women March’ after the day of Trump’s inauguration was historic as women protested against the racist, sexist President. Trump has brought a lot of people from different cultures, races and religions together to stand up to him and make their voices heard.
Trump has actively backed men who have been accused of sexual harassment like himself. Roy Moore, allegedly accused of sexual harassment by several women, lost the election in Alabama due to the large turnout of black women, who came out and voted to oppose the candidate endorsed by him. As a result, Democrat Doug Jones won the seat. Trump himself has been subject to over 19 accusations of sexual assault since 1980, three lawsuits, and was recorded on tape discussing assaultive behaviour. Trump has denied all allegations against him. Many women have come forward since claiming to be victims of sexual harassment by him.
Trump also came under fire for paying money to porn actor Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter in 2006 between them. Daniels appeared on ‘60 Minutes’ and spoke to Journalist Anderson Cooper about the details of their encounter and how she was paid hush money and threatened by Trump.
Trump earlier denied paying Daniels but then later acknowledged the payment. The controversy seems to be intensifying by the minute. But are these allegations enough for Trump’s impeachment from the Oval?
Everyone around Trump is going down. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is going through the Trump team for the Russia collusion investigation like Pacman that eats everything in its path.
With everything that’s been going on in the White House, people on social media have been criticising Trump and calling for his impeachment. But what is impeachment? After much debate at the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, the attendees approved the concept of impeachment.
Adapted from British law, the impeachment process was included in Article 2, Section 4 of the US Constitution, that states ‘President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.’ Basically, to put it in today’s words, Impeachment is basically how the US Congress can swipe left on a president they do not like. .
Firstly, the Congress representatives vote on passing the impeachment articles. It doesn’t mean that he is convicted. The second step is a trial in the Senate. The Chief Justice presides the trial and all the other Senators act as the jury. If two-thirds of the Senators find the President guilty, then only he or she is evicted from the White House and the Vice-President takes over. The process is complex and has never happened.
Now, when you look at what POTUS has done in the past whole year, his behaviour is impeachable. But even if there are evidence of treason, bribery and misdemeanours by Trump, both Houses are controlled by Republicans. Trump is making the conservatives happy and hence, it does seem unlikely that he will be impeached unless Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team prove that the Trump campaign was indeed in collusion with Russia.
And if that does not happen, then one can only hope that after four years of Trump, Americans would know to never vote someone like him into office ever again. With Donald Trump’s three more years left in the office, I can only conclude, “God really bless, America!”