November 23, 2016

KRAVITZ’S KORNER | Evaluating A Trump Presidency

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Ever since Donald Trump’s stunning Electoral College victory, there has been a lot of talk about what Trump will do as president. A lot of people believe that his presidency will destroy America and that the world will descend into chaos under his watch. However, few have taken a sober look at what Trump can actually do as president. Upon closely inspecting his plans for the country, it becomes apparent that his presidency might yield positive results.

Potential positives:

Reducing Inner-City Crime

As the so-called “law-and-order candidate,” Trump plans to increase funds for programs that support law enforcement efforts to prevent crime, drug use and violence. Residents of inner cities have been unjustly suffering for decades due to rampant crime. In 2015 alone, the homicide rate jumped nearly 17 percent in the largest 50 cities in America, and cities like Baltimore and Chicago are having the most deadly years on record. In The War on Cops, Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald finds that proactive policing and lengthened sentencing for violent crime save thousands of lives, particularly those of minorities. Trump’s goal of bolstering policing efforts nationwide should markedly decrease crime and invigorate downtrodden urban communities.

Ending the Iran Deal

The Iran Deal is undoubtedly one of the United States’ worst foreign policy moves. By effectively rewarding a regime that is the largest state sponsor of terror and paving their way for a nuclear weapon, the Iran Deal undermines longstanding American foreign policy objectives and threatens to disrupt global order. Iran has supported numerous terror attacks, armed militant groups that destabilize the region, and continually threatened to wipe Israel, our closest ally in the region, off the map. Moreover, despite what some may have predicted, Iran has not demonstrated better behavior since the signing of the Nuclear Accords. Fortunately, Trump has pledged to undo this disastrous foreign policy agreement. The United States needs to immediately resume full sanctions on Iran until it complies with international law and puts an end to all its subversive activities.

Suspending Immigration From Terror-Prone Regions

Trump promises to suspend immigration from countries “compromised by terrorism.” The director of the F.B.I. testified to Congress that that the U.S. government cannot properly vet Middle Eastern refugees. ISIS has publicly stated that it plans to wreak havoc abroad by taking advantage of lax immigration policies in Western countries. Thus, it is unreasonable for the U.S. government to expend government resources on accepting immigrants that the United States cannot determine pose a credible threat to public safety.

Repealing ObamaCare

ObamaCare has been a complete failure. Healthcare has gotten more expensive, insurance exchanges are failing in several states, and the number of uninsured Americans is expected to increase. Trump pledged to get rid of this failed policy, although he has hinted at preserving some of its more popular features: children up to age 26 being allowed to stay on their parents’ plan and preventing insurance companies from denying coverage due to preexisting conditions. It is unclear how Trump plans to architect a successful healthcare policy, but it is clear that the current system has been a detriment to the country and needs to be scrapped.

Potential negatives:

Trade Deals

A centerpiece of Trump’s platform has been his protectionist trade policies intended to help American workers. Trump plans to renegotiate several trade deals, which will likely involve increasing tariffs on imported goods. While such a policy would certainly put American laborers back to work, it would drastically increase the cost of goods and be a regressive tax on those Americans who rely on inexpensive imported goods. Currently, East Asian countries are able to produce many goods cheaper than in the U.S., making importing goods more economically advantageous. If the U.S. government imposes heavy tariffs on imported goods, companies will have to resort to making goods in the U.S., which is not cost effective and will result in elevated prices for ordinary goods for consumers.


Trump plans to back the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement, open up offshore drilling, enable unfettered carbon emission production and resume coal mining. While the United States should not pursue environmental policies that severely inhibit economic growth, Trump’s plan would heavily accelerate the effects of climate change and cause irreversible damage to Earth.

Isolationist Foreign Policy

Trump has consistently criticized U.S. involvement in the Middle East, and regularly attacks the U.S. War in Iraq. He has also made remarks about the U.S. not honoring the NATO agreement. Should Trump’s team adopt an isolationist foreign policy, there could be far-sweeping ramifications. Russia will be allowed to continue arming Syria and abetting in Assad’s war crimes, as well as continue its illegal expansionist policies in Eastern Europe, potentially disrupting the post-Cold War world order. In addition, China may continue its ruthless island building activities in the South China Sea, in contravention with international law. The United States needs a leader that will project American strength abroad by protecting U.S. allies and interests, which goes against what Trump intends to do.

Trump’s Temperament and Race Relations

Trump has consistently demonstrated erratic temperament. He picks fights on Twitter, says outlandish statements in public, ignores the advice of experts and abandons normal presidential behaviors. This trait has the potential for Trump to be careless and make ill-advised decisions.

Trump also has a history of racist and misogynistic behavior. Moreover, his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has close ties to the alt-right movement. Trump’s position as the leader of the free world raises legitimate questions on acceptable behaviors and attitudes to hold. Hopefully, the Trump Administration will be able reassure Americans that their civil rights are not in jeopardy, and that bigotry is intolerable. However, judging by the magnitude of protests across the country and the emboldening of racist groups within the U.S. following Trump’s victory, Trump has been unable to put these concerns to rest. Unfortunately, this aspect of his presidency has the potential to further divide the country across racial, political and economic lines and cause significant domestic unrest.

The outcome of a presidential election is a referendum on how effective the incumbent president and party has been. From the result of this election, it is clear that people were dissatisfied with how the Obama Administration and democrats have been running this country. As a result, Trump is on his way to enact his vision for how America should look. Since he is working within the confines of a democracy, Trump’s proposals will take time to implement, and only after the changes are officially made will the public be able to ascertain how successful of a president he is. Once Trump’s term is up, Americans will have the opportunity to decide whether they want Trump to remain their leader. For the time being, however, Americans should root for Trump to improve the country, because if he does a poor job as president, then everyone suffers.