From a conservative point of view, Donald Trump’s presidency so far has produced a mixed bag of both successes and failures. These successes or failures are based on fulfillment of the President’s promises from the campaign trail, and a few other factors such as his approval rating and his “Presidentiality” (or lack thereof).
Fulfillment of his campaign promises has certainly been an uphill battle for the President. In the eyes of a conservative, his greatest accomplishment in this arena so far has been his appointment of the Constitutional conservative Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. This will have a long lasting effect due to the life-long tenure Supreme Court justices enjoy.
One major failure under President Trump’s administration has been that of a lack of healthcare reform. On the campaign trail, Trump promised time and again to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. However, despite that strong rhetoric, the American public has yet to see a healthcare reform bill pass the Senate. In order to fulfill his promise and not to anger his supporters, President Trump needs to sit down with Senate Republicans and draw up a solution.
Another central issue to Trump’s campaign is tax reform. This is an issue which it would seem most of the Republican party and its various factions can agree upon. Nevertheless, a bill concerning tax reform has yet to reach the President’s desk. The vast majority of those who voted for Donald Trump demand lower taxes, and if measures are not taken to meet those demands, said voters will certainly be angered.
President Trump has however made headway on the issue of trade. During the campaign he consistently promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and exit the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). These are both issues that in part explain the President’s appeal with disenfranchised working class voters in the Rust Belt states, as they view these trade agreements as the source of their economic despair and trouble finding jobs. As of August 2017, Trump has both signed an executive order to exit the TPP and agreed to renegotiate NAFTA, two clear promises kept.
Although fulfilling campaign promises is an all-important issue for a president, it is not the only measure by which we judge his tenure. One of the most telling measures of a president’s performance is his job approval rating. Donald Trump’s approval rating is one of the lowest in American history. According to the Gallup poll, Trump’s average approval rating since his inauguration is 40%. In order to increase this rating, Trump needs to work towards clearing up the log jam in the Senate and come through on more of his campaign promises so that his voter base grows rather than shrinks.
Arguably one of the largest factors contributing to Trump’s low approval ratings is the way in which he carries himself. In other words – Donald Trump is not presidential. Now, some consider that quality a virtue and some consider it a flaw. A coal miner in rural Pennsylvania might feel that he can relate to Donald Trump more as opposed to a well spoken Washington career politician, while an office worker in Philadelphia might see Trump’s simple speech as a disqualification for the office of the President. No matter which opinion you take on the issue, The Donald’s unfiltered pronouncements have gotten him into trouble on many occasions. Just look at his Twitter feed!
One thing is for sure, though. If President Trump is not able to get the cogs moving in Washington soon, his reelection hopes will be poor at best. He cannot afford to lose the favor of the working class Rust Belt voter, so he best get to work and come through on his promises (and maybe tone down the tweets a smidge).