The 2016 presidential election was historic, for many reasons. It was as bizarre as it was polarizing. Students play a huge part in the political scene, and many have strong thoughts about Trump’s presidency so far, good and bad. I talked with Husky students about topics ranging from their thoughts on Inauguration Day, to their hope for the presidency going forward.
Inauguration Day was very interesting this year. The attendance of the crowd was disputed by news outlets and social media alike. And, with a outside-of-the-box personality like Trump’s, it was sure to be unique. “I thought it was funny when the speaker said it was the largest and most viewed,” said student Senay Abraham, who classifies himself as an independent. That press conference spurred widespread internet and media scrutiny.
Another student, Graisen Pearson, was afraid something might happen to Trump. Pearson, who voted for Trump, explained: “With all the people who were rioting, I was scared he would get assassinated at the Inauguration.” Tensions were surely high after a tight election that caused controversy.
A big chunk of controversy has been Trump’s cabinet picks, specifically Secretary of Education nominee Betsy Devos. “Trump’s cabinet is terribly underqualified,” Abraham said. “Especially Betsy Devos.” Devos was the subject of scrutiny when she was publicly challenged by Al Franken, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. Even Pearson crosses party lines to agree. “Devos’ background may suggest she is qualified, her statements and agenda suggest otherwise,” she said.
So far, Trump has stirred up even more controversy with some of his executive orders. Trump signed documents ordering immigration bans, removal of funds from global abortion clinics, a peel back on the Affordable Care Act, and perhaps most controversially, building a wall to separate the United States and Mexico. Many argue that the wall would be a waste of taxpayer money and an invitation for bad blood with Mexico. Others argue that Mexican immigration is a huge problem, and this would be a good way to stop it.
A quality some people loved about Donald Trump was his supposed honesty. “One thing we can agree on is that Trump definitely sticks to his agenda,” said Pearson. And, to his credit, he has followed through on some promises. That doesn’t stop student Clifton Parks, who identifies as a Democrat, from criticizing what Trump has done so far, saying “Trump has done some sketchy stuff so far.” There have been mass protests, some related to some moves Trump has made. Abraham believes that the moves have had a “devastating impact”, and he believes the policies are giving America a bad rep.
One thing all Americans can agree on, is hoping for the very best outcome, no matter what party you identify with. Regardless of who won the election, we all have to hope they can do the best job for us Americans. The students all hoped for different things. Carson Bettcher, who identifies as an independent, hopes that Trump dials back the aggressive attitude about immigrants as well as Obama Care. Obama Care, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act, has been an extremely polarizing topic in this political season. Trump has said in the past that he intends to repeal the ACA.
The presidency of Donald Trump has sent major shockwaves throughout the United States as well as the entire world. With students being such an integral and important part of today’s society, they are more invested into politics than ever. The students I talked to felt strongly about many important issues, but they all could agree that they hope things improve going forward. That’s all we can ever hope for, right?