Donald Trump once said at a Trump Enterprise board meeting, “In the end, you’re measured not by how much you undertake, but by what you finally accomplish.”
How exactly does anybody attempt to sum up Donald Trump’s life and career? According to his website, he’s been an author, an entrepreneur, and a television producer, but most Americans have never seriously looked at him as a politician.
Trump has every intention of changing that perspective of himself and the political landscape of the United States by running for and being elected to presidential office in 2016. According to CNN Politics, that’s entirely possible as Trump currently has 41 percent of the Republican votes going into the new fiscal year.
I’ll be looking at Trump’s views on three of the major topics in the upcoming election: the building of the Keystone Pipeline, economic reform, and reform of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It would be a terrible oversight on my part if I didn’t make mention of Trump’s primary talking point which is immigration reform.
Trump doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to talking about illegal immigration and, on more than one occasion, has landed himself in hot water because of comments he’s made about the issue. Still, one has to admire his dedication to the cause and the novel, albeit somewhat extreme methods of solving the problem at hand.
According to Trump’s election website, his biggest and most tangible method of solving the immigration issue is to build the oft-talked about wall on the Mexican American Border, and make Mexico pay the lion’s share of the cost. While this may seem a bit far out, it isn’t the first time Mexico has built a wall to combat illegal immigration. In 2011 they built a wall along their southern border to combat illegal Guatemalan immigrants.
Couple that with an increase incase of emergenct presence, automatic deportation for illegal immigrants convicted of crimes, and an end to birthright citizenship, the entire landscape of immigration in the United States could be altered in very short order.Although he’s been vocal on all of the topics I’ll be discussing, Trump’s view on immigration has and may well continue to overshadow his position on other topics he’ll confront.
The Keystone XL Pipeline, for example, is a critical issue that Trump has legitimate opinions about that has had very little exposure. In an article by Theodore Schleifer of CNN Politics, Trump was quoted saying, “If I am elected President, I will immediately approve the Keystone XL pipeline. No impact on environment and there will be lots of jobs for the U.S.”
His views on the Keystone Pipeline also tie directly to his views on the economy and its recovery in lieu of the recent recession. CNN Money has indicated that Trump believes by increasing taxes of the richest Americans (including himself) and reducing those of the middle class we can give the economy the boost it would need to recuperate faster than it has in the past eight years. This would, of course, be in conjunction with mandatory cuts to government spending and lowering of corporate taxes, which, according to Trump, would help create jobs within the continental United States.
Health care in the States has become something of a red-button topic; it never fails to stir up a heated debate but seldom draws conclusions that any political group can agree upon. Despite his early support of a Single-Payer Healthcare system (similar to what Bernie Sanders currently wants) Forbes has recently reported that Trump no longer believes that system would work. In fact, Trump has been noted as saying if elected, he would attempt to pass legislation that would put a comprehensive health care plan into place that would be funded mainly by corporate taxes.
So how is he going to do that with Obamacare in place, you may ask? Simply put, Trump has made it clear that the first thing he’d do upon election is to make every effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Every candidate has his or her shortcomings and issues heading into the 2016 election. For Hillary Clinton, it’s her inability to be transparent amongst her peers; for Bernie Sanders, it’s the fact that he’s a socialist; and for Trump, it’s the fact that he has a propensity to say the most inflammatory, outlandish things many of us has ever heard from a politician.
This presents voters with an interesting prospect when considering Trump for presidency. As a country we’ve longed for a President and politicians who’ll stick to their guns and not just tell us what we want to hear, but will Trump’s outspoken nature cause more harm than good?
Ryan J. Wasser is a fourth-year student majoring in political science. He can be reached at RJWasserofficial@gmail.com.