Sunday Debate – Did Trump deserve a second term?

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Sunday Debate - Did Trump deserve a second term?
Sunday Debate - Did Trump deserve a second term? Credit - Twitter

DONALD Trump is a marmite kind of guy, you either love or loathe him, but personality aside, how well did he do as President? Did Trump deserve a second term?

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Though he’s been to many the most controversial and divisive president in modern US history, Trump has had a remarkably steady approval rating thanks to his loyal supporters.

Even as polling has shown that most Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, his overall approval rating has barely changed.


Here are Trump’s biggest accomplishments and failures as president, measured by their overall impact and taking into account the general response from Congress, the public, and world, as we look to see if he deserved another term.

Trump’s most lasting impact on the country will be the reshaping of the federal judiciary.


Trump has installed three Supreme Court justices and 220 judges overall to the federal bench. Amy Coney Barrett became Trump’s third Supreme Court justice on October 26, barely a week before Election Day.

By December 2019, Trump nominees made up roughly 25 per cent of all US circuit court judges, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.

He’s appointed 53 judges on the 13 US circuit courts. To put this into perspective, former President Barack Obama appointed 55 circuit judges in his two terms in the White House.

This means his presidency will continue to have an influence on the direction of the US because of the sheer number of conservative federal judges he’s installed.

Three years into his presidency, Trump’s signature legislative achievement remains a Republican tax bill that made sweeping changes to the tax code, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

It permanently slashed the corporate tax rate to 21 per cent from 35 per cent while also providing temporary benefits for individuals and their families.

Trump signed the First Step Act into law in December 2018, marking the first legislative victory in years for advocates seeking to reform the criminal justice system.

The bill passed with overwhelming support in Congress. It offers relatively modest changes to the federal prison system but was praised as an important step forward by groups and activists seeking to end mass incarceration.

Trump’s response to a deadly neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, remains one of the most controversial moments in his presidency.

It was emblematic of Trump’s struggle to bring the country together after tragedies. His response also typified his controversial record on race relations and white supremacy.

The president was criticised by Republicans and Democrats alike over his response and his failure to offer condemnation of white-supremacist violence.

America’s global image has declined significantly under Trump, who has repeatedly insulted key US allies while cosying up to dictators.

The president’s tendency to push important allies away and isolate the US, including by pulling out of landmark international agreements like the Paris climate accord, has had a huge impact.

People across the world have expressed negative views on Trump. Pew Research Center in January 2020 released a survey of 32 countries that showed an average of 64 per cent said they do not have confidence in Trump to do the right thing in world affairs and just 29 per cent expressed confidence in the president.

Trump in 2016 campaigned on reducing undocumented immigration, pledging to take a hardline approach.

He made good on that promise when coming into office, but has been accused of human rights abuses and violating international law by the UN.

Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic will likely go down as one of the biggest disasters in US history.

The US has the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world, with over 6.3 million confirmed cases and over 230,000 reported fatalities (as of early November). The US has had more coronavirus cases than the populations of many countries. And more Americans have died from the virus than the number of US soldiers killed in combat in every war since 1945 combined.

Trump often took credit for the robust US economy before the pandemic, ignoring that much of the growth began during the Obama administration.

The US is now facing one of the worst economic crises in its history under Trump, which is intrinsically linked to his disastrous response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joe Biden will take office in January with COVID-19 by far the dominant issue.

Having spent months hammering Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic response, he has promised a unified national plan.

Mr Biden has promised to pump billions into American business in what would represent perhaps the biggest federal intervention in years.

He has expressed his support for a national minimum wage of $15 an hour, and offering loans to small and medium-sized firms hit by the pandemic.

Mr Biden has faced his fair share of criticism for his record on issues relating to the black community.

But his proposal to push for racial equality in the United States was a major pillar of his “Build Back Better” campaign agenda.

Mr Biden sees his environmental policies as an economic goldmine for the country too. He is planning to invest a staggering $2trn in clean energy technology like solar and wind.

The new president has promised to get rid of the restrictions on immigration that Mr Trump put in place and, yes, stop building that wall on the border with Mexico.

Having watched Donald Trump dismantle much of what he built during eight years alongside Barack Obama, Mr Biden is certain to try to put some of those pieces back together.

We can expect the new president to reach out to America’s traditional allies in Europe and beyond and repair some of the bridges that, if not burned, are a little scorched.

So we ask you, our readers, for your view this week in our Sunday debate, should Donald Trump have been given a second term? Did he cause more harm than good? Will Joe Biden make significant changes?

Remember to keep it civil and respectful, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

 





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