THE HIGH TIDE

A Year of Trump: America in Retrospect

Jack Prator, Special to High Tide

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January 20th marks the commencement of what is arguably the most decisive election most in the Greenwave family have ever seen. The High Tide reached out to students who loved, hated, and were indifferent about this first year. We asked those who wrote articles to respectfully express their opinions.

Below is the first installment of this feature, written by 11th grader, Jack Prator.

This has been the longest 365 days of my memory. Most people that follow politics would agree unless you spent the last year staring at your shoes with a mortified look on your face. In conjunction with the year’s disarray, the current administration has never ceased to surprise me. I was sure that this shock factor would fade after a few months. That was not the case. I was always aware of the high speed at which we obtain news and information, but I suddenly found myself overwhelmed with headlines. Twitter and Politico notifications nudged at my pocket continuously throughout each day. Another realization I observed soon after Inauguration Day is how quickly these headlines would seem to vanish into thin air. A hot news story regarding the president’s ill-mannered way of addressing a topic, or an empty claim, or even a flat-out lie would last a week at the most on the front pages. These two factors combined create the perfect conditions for exaggerations, lies, and seedy international affairs to thrive in. I have never experienced such a high octane, sloppy, and untrustworthy administration before.

By the time the shock of November 7th had washed over me I was preparing for a difficult, spirit-breaking year. The event that set the tone for me and hundreds of other Americans occurred when Trump made a statement saying that John Lewis was “all talk. No action,” in response to Lewis’ refusal to attend the inauguration. The president of the United States, our Commander in Chief, made this claim about a remarkable figure in the Civil Rights movement and our history.  A man who organized 20,000 people in Selma to peacefully act out against racial injustice and a man who was met with a billy club to the head for his idea of a country of equality was verbally attacked by another man that seems only to inspire injustice. This slander blindsided most Americans that had a scarce amount of hope for the coming term and the most minimal amount of U.S. history knowledge. This incompetence and ignorance shown by the president were consistent across 2017.

In moving away from these social aspects of Trump’s presidency, it can be observed that his economic actions and policies have been very radical. Many would argue that the economic growth we are seeing is all because of Trump’s presidency, and many others would argue that Obama’s past work is facilitating the boom. I believe that we are in an awkward period and only time will tell. It is too early to credit this growth to Trump and we are fast approaching the point where Obama’s policies would be wearing off. However, I can tell you that the repeal of Obamacare coupled with the recent replacement with the GOP tax bill is a recipe for disaster. Slashing the corporate tax from 35% to 21% is a way for Trump to set up all his rich business friends and further his personal agenda. In addition to this, the cuts for the middle class have an expiration date of 2025, while the corporate cuts are permanent. Medicaid faces a 4% cut, hurting the elderly, and the dissipation of the Individual Mandate will hurt people buying insurance by raising premiums. Finally, the total cost of the bill that Trump claims will pay for itself comes out at around $1.5 trillion. Trump seems to enjoy comparing himself to Ronald Reagan in his trickle-down economics plan but the parallels are far-fetched. Reagan’s plan was calculated and planned and dissected. Trump and the GOP’s plan was rushed through Congress. A plan affecting virtually all Americans and their health was just a bullet on Trump’s list that he needed to cross out.

Trump’s overall attitude is a threat to our democracy. He unceasingly ridicules the press with “fake news” claims, but then turns around and lies to the American people himself. While journalism is a better friend to the people of the U.S. than the government, a president that threatens America’s freedom of speech threatens his constituents. His threats to foreign countries and child-like unprofessionalism have made the U.S. the laughingstock of international politics, if not put a red dot on all our foreheads. The obstruction of justice shown in the Comey scandal shows the untouchability of the position of president. Trump is not a man I trust to run our country and an embarrassing representation of the people of the United States.

Update: Note how each president spent Martin Luther King Day

“President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama help paint a mural depicting Martin Luther King Jr., at the Jobs Have Priority Naylor Road Family Shelter, Jan. 16, 2017 in Washington.(ABC News)”

“President George W. Bush helps volunteers paint a mural at a high school during the Martin Luther King Jr day of service in Washington, Jan. 15, 2007.(ABC News)”

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