A Reflection on President Trump’s First Year in Office

By Cameron Sowder | Reporter

On November 8, 2016, citizens of the United States elected Donald Trump as president. Trump made many, many promises in his election campaign and while it may seem like he should already be elbow deep in doing what he told the American people he would do, the problems and situations he vowed to end can be much more complicated than they seem. A little past one year in, the world looks to see how things are progressing and what is to come for the American people.


From the beginning of his campaign, Trump denounced organizations like ISIS and to his credit has aligned the United States with the rest of the world against ISIS to further push the group back. On November 9, 20175 the organization was pushed out of the last major stronghold they had in Syria. This is a huge step towards putting an end to foreign terrorism. However, there still is a long way to go before the overall conflict is over. Since his presidency, there has been very little change in domestic terrorism. Occurring in the form of car crashes and bombings, there doesn’t seem to be a decline in the near future under this administration.

Climate Change

Trump throughout his campaign never really touched upon climate change, so the American people didn’t quite know what to expect. In June 2017, Trump announced that the US was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, saying that it “handicaps the United States economy in order to win praise from the very foreign capitals and global activists that have long sought to gain wealth at our country’s expense” (Statement on June 1, 2017). The agreement set out to push more environmentally safe options such as fuel alternatives and energy conservation. As of November 6, 2017, the United States is the only country not signed to the plan.


This subject is tricky. One of the midpoint topics of Trumps campaign was the debt ceiling and how it would get paid off. There won’t be any noticeable turnaround for United States debt for at least another couple of years because of how long it will most likely take to pass and then implement any laws. Is there any way to know what will come of debt? The answer is in almost all cases no, although there is definitive potential for the future to hold benefits. In a statement on November 2, 2017, the president said that “economic confidence is skyrocketing and our GDP grew 3 percent yet again this quarter.” Until change is directly seen, all the American people can look towards is promises and possible solutions up until one works.

The unemployment rate, however, is continuing to noticeably decrease out of the back end of the Obama administration. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment since October 2009 has decreased gradually by about 5.9% as of October 2017.


For a while, it had seemed like Trump had found a way to bypass the system to achieve his goals with immigration. He used a lot of his executive power in January 2017 to completely cut off immigration in Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya. The order came under a lot of fire, being called the ‘Muslim ban,’ however, after a few revisions, the order is still present in America. Trump stated on September 5, 2017 that “Only by the reliable enforcement of immigration law can we produce safe communities, a robust middle class, and economic fairness for all Americans.”

The border wall was Trump’s biggest promise during his campaign. It became a staple to his election. At this moment, Trump doesn’t have the wall built or the money to fund it in place. Mexico refuses to pay for it and getting the budget for it locally is almost impossible in this political climate.


So are we making progress? I believe so. I however don’t know whether we can say that the progress is good or bad yet. There’s a fair amount of both changing up the American lifestyle and there is plenty more to come by the time this term is over, and at that point we will most likely have an even better image of the presidency as it continues into the future.

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