Trump's First Month

Promising to return power to the people, Donald Trump ran, and was elected, on a platform that emphasized his commitment to keeping his campaign promises. After just one month in office, he has already addressed a number of issues raised during his campaign, although he still has a long way to go before he can be considered a presidential success.

Since Inauguration Day, the economy has experienced an upswing, as Trump promised it would. By the end of January, the more optimistic business climate for some employers resulting from Trump’s taking office had helped to create 227,000 jobs –  52,000 more than expected that month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also soared above 20,000 points for the first time ever. Its average daily closing has been on an upward trend, from around 18,300 points, since Election Day. The NASDAQ is also up significantly in the last month.

In addition, Trump has met and negotiated with executives from major corporations, such as Carrier and Boeing, about keeping operations in the United States. Though these companies will ultimately decide whether to keep operations in the U.S., or in some cases bring them back, based on their profit margins, it is worth noting that Trump is at least going beyond his predecessors by speaking with companies in his attempt to bolster the economy. If he succeeds in the long run, he will have proved he has the business intelligence that his supporters so proudly tout.

In the realm of social issues, Trump has not fared nearly as well. With the lowest approval rating of any new president to date (40 percent in the Gallup Poll), he faces constant opposition, as well as daily protests outside the White House. Of the several executive orders Trump has already signed, his opponents seem to have reacted most strongly to his travel ban on people from several Muslim nations, which was quickly halted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Though Trump is writing a revised, or possibly an altogether new, executive order on travel from such countries, it is not likely that he will recover much support from opposition forces with it.

In reaction to his calls to defund Planned Parenthood and his stance on the environment, on LGBTQ+ rights, and so on, Trump also faced an enormous women’s march on Washington, with similar marches occurring simultaneously around the country.

Trump has also been locked in a battle of epic proportions with the mainstream media, while facing intense criticism from congressional Democrats and even some members of his own party. Republican Senator John McCain even commented that Trump’s threats to the press are early signs of dictatorship. Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, has apparently shamed the president (in private, to a senator) for his attack on federal appellate judges following the halting of the travel ban. Additionally, with the resignation of Michael Flynn and the frequent trouble surrounding Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway, President Trump has encountered obstacles in his own administration, which he probably did not expect.  

Despite his low poll numbers, war with the media, and opposition on several fronts, however, Trump still has the ability to turn his presidency into something productive for the American people. He has already experienced a degree of economic success, and with plans to tackle tax cuts and health care reforms in the coming months, he is well on his way on some issues. Only time will tell whether he fulfills his campaign promises.