Will The Current Administration Actually Make Any Changes?
It seems like America has been waiting ages for change that doesn’t ever materialize. Each administration has posed a clear set of aims, but where are the results? Even after voting in a man who had the word ‘change’ as his slogan, our political and economic system is still undeniably stuck in the mud.
This year’s election saw one of USA’s more controversial candidates gain power. His rise represented a growing frustration among American people, largely resulting from an enduring political system that only offers two sides of the same coin.
So the question is: Will Donald Trump manage to affect real change? Or is it time to accept elected politicians hold no real power in the Federal Government?
What Obama Promised
When Obama first took to the stage, he signified hope for many people. Not only was he the first black president, but his manifesto also called for a kinder American where human rights would be the order of the day. He promised a country that would support the poorest in society while keeping us safe from the threats abroad.
While many chanted his slogans of hope and change, others were not convinced. Labeled as cynics, they proposed that all of Obama’s words could not be transformed into action. They claimed the Democratic candidate was just another political elitist who would eventually turn out to be just more of the same.
What We Got
Politifact.com has produced an excellent recap of all of Obama’s promises and whether they were achieved or not. Overall, just less than 50 percent came to fruition. While 27 percent were settled by compromise, an entire quarter remained unchanged. His biggest concerns included securing borders, restructuring the prison system, establishing digital privacy rights and introducing universal healthcare. To Obama’s credit, several attempts were made in these directions, but very few produced any significant changes.
Terrorism has only risen throughout the Obama administration, his Obamacare was fraught with holes and, though the Edward Snowden leaks unveiled gross negligence of our privacy, no legislation has passed to target the problem. Astonishingly, they still don’t even need a warrant to access your data, so don’t stop hiding your IP address just yet!
The sluggish nature of Obama’s time in government was likely the prerequisite for the rise of our new President. Trump’s rash statements and crass personality offend many, but his bold anti-establishment rhetoric secured his place in power.
What Trump Promised
Rising to power amidst a worrying increase in terror attacks, Trump promised to do what Obama couldn’t. He vowed to take the hard line and put a stop to the global crisis by addressing the issues head-on. His tactics included his notorious ‘Muslim ban,’ a wall paid for by Mexico and a new approach when dealing with our supposed allies in the Middle East.
Few believed these things were possible, claiming many of his policies were an inexcusable breach of human rights and that his character was not worthy of the responsibility of the presidency. However, regardless of political leaning, it was evident to all that Trump promised change. After his rise to power, the world waited with baited breath to know what our lives would look like under his government.
What Will We Get?
Just over a week after coming into office, Trump had already attempted to put his two most controversial policies into action. On the January 25th, he produced an order calling for the construction of a USA/Mexico border wall. Although the Mexican President had continuously refused to provide funding, Trump took to Twitter to voice his hopes. He stated that although the Republicans may pay for the moment, he was confident that he would regain the money from Mexico.
Two days later, he signed off on a lighter version of his proposed Muslim ban, which temporarily suspended refugee intake and indefinitely restricted travel from several majority Muslim countries. Federal Courts overturned this order shortly thereafter, and Trump has faced endless battles to re-instate the policy. At the end of June, an even more watered-down version of the order eventually passed. While there are still restrictions placed on the same countries, most foreign travelers with any affiliation to the US will still be permitted.
This moderated version of the law may be necessary for keeping tense race relations at bay, but it still makes an alarming statement about the American political situation and its propensity to resist actual change.
Our Political Reality
As citizens, our power is with our vote. We elect our leaders because we believe in their ideas. In reality, though, the power of our chosen candidates is extremely limited. Both Obama and Trump entered office with big ideas and dreams of a completely different America. Once instated, though, all attempts to instill their ideas become lackluster and inconclusive.
Unfortunately, this problem arises from one of the many flaws in our political system: Supreme Court members – arguably the most powerful influencers in US politics – are not elected by the people. Instead, they are nominated and instated by the already ruling members of the Executive office, the Senate and the Judiciary Committee. Considering this, it’s clear the political system will do nothing more than perpetuate its own interests, act in its own belief and be as a barrier for real change. How will progressive motions ever be passed if the court ruling over them was elected by the existing political establishment? The reality of modern politics is that one person cannot affect change, no matter how many voters invest in their manifesto and ideals.
While Trump may continue to spend his term in office trying to bring his vision to life, it’s doubtful his administration will be able to affect genuine change. The complexities of the US Federal government were created so no dictator could even gain power. However, in doing this, it has also stunted the possibility for progressive idealists from either party to update our world to face the challenges of an increasingly uncertain future.
About the Author: Sandra is an alternative blogger who is passionate about cutting through the media lies and getting down to the truth. She believes we’re living in an era where politicians never tell the truth and that the internet has provided a platform to call them out.