SHAW SHOUT (12/14/18)

     Since it has taken office, the Trump administration has been in crisis mode, either self-induced or brought on by the terrible side-effects of a volatile climate which has produced some of the most severe natural disasters we have seen. The task of leading and healing a country after crisis strikes is never easy. The task becomes even more difficult when the rate and scale of crises have become too many to hold on to and deal with. Recently, we have been constantly bombarded with news about situations that seem to require our full attention. As a country, most of us live full lives that cannot be dedicated to the many issues that affect the country. We look toward our leaders to take care of the issues and bring us back from the edge. The reason why people are now feeling angry and distraught is because of that lack of rational response to complex issues from the leader of our country. President Trump does not perform well in one of his most important duties as President, to protect and heal the nation, in a world which continues to show it is without a stable direction.

     There is one thing that is going for Trump, which is that the economy is doing well. Now, we have the lowest unemployment rate we have seen in 50 years. This is not disputable. However, Trump is not president of just the economy; he is the president of our country and all that comes with it. Even with Trump becoming the face of the high note that the economy is holding, he still holds dismal approval ratings and for good reason. Trump lacks thought-out, rational responses to situations like the opioid epidemic, the migrants from Central America, mass shootings and even Hurricane Maria. The responses, or sometimes lack thereof, to these situations has made some Americans unhappy with Trump’s overall job.

     The migrants, who have traveled thousands of miles to come to the United States, have been severely mistreated. I am not going to debate whether or not the best solution for them or our country is to just completely open our border without supervision. I am going to say, however, that we should be treating them as people and with a respect and understanding of the issues that have plagued them. The US military at the border shot tear gas at the migrants after they tried going around the barricaded port-of-entry, which included women and children. This type of response shows that President Trump is not thinking about the blowback of his actions. This lack of calculation is a severe danger to the country and will continue to grow as he continues to mistreat the migrants.

     The mass shootings that are tearing at the fabric of our minds are not Trump’s fault. They are, however, his responsibility to try to help prevent. For two years, he has had control over both of houses of Congress. In those two years, the Las Vegas Massacre, the Stoneman Douglas shooting and the Santa Fe High School shooting have occurred. There have been multiple calls to address the issue. To most of these calls, Trump has remained silent in front of an angry, tired people who do not want to keep reliving the same tragedy. Trump could be the one, if he works with the newly Democratic House of Representatives, to do something meaningful when it comes to mass shootings. However, the odds are slim due to his lack of interest so far and his disdain for bipartisanship.

     Hurricane Maria is his most egregious ignorance of power that Trump has demonstrated. Hurricane Maria, which leveled much of the Caribbean and battered Florida, was the third hurricane to cause problems during Trump’s administration. The first storm was Hurricane Harvey, which submerged Texas. The second storm was Hurricane Irma, which devastated parts of Florida. The response we saw in face of the destruction in Texas and Florida was much better than the response to the destruction we saw in Puerto Rico. In fact, the amount of aid workers in Puerto Rico, ten thousand, nine days after the storm was only a third of the workers in Houston, thirty thousand. Tarps, a vital part of post-hurricane damage control, were also lacking in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico received 5,000 in the first nine days, Florida received 98,000 and Texas received 20,000. This lack of support and meeting the resources that Puerto Rico needed was the reason for a morbidly high death toll. According to George Washington University, the death toll was near three thousand. Trump, however, instead of accepting this death toll and trying to make up for the terrible logistics of moving aid to an island and the past issues his administration has caused, has repeatedly thrown the death toll into doubt and praised himself. This is ignorance at the highest level. A president should know when to admit to his own when he is wrong and to make right what he did wrong.

     Trump, as well as his entire administration, have made an art of responding to situations inhumanely and ignorantly. This truly is not about the policy or the fact that Trump is a self-proclaimed conservative. Trump, unlike many of his conservative and liberal predecessors alike, has thrown the whole role of the President’s office out the window. He has not responded with class to situations that require it. A president’s response to dire situations like natural disasters or to emotionally heavy ones like mass shootings and immigration make all the difference. Trump’s responses have made a difference, but a negative one. President Trump must learn to respond to these challenging situations in order to better protect and heal the nation.