Here is a summary of the top 5 political issues making headlines this week.
1. Despite Accomplishments, Trump Leaves Office a Failure
After four divisive years, Donald Trump’s presidency did not end with a bang but a whimper. The loudest, most boisterous and chaotic president in American history quietly left the White House around 8 AM and proceeded to his home in Florida to little fanfare.
Declining to attend now President Biden’s inauguration, he is the first incumbent in over 150 years to skip the swearing in of his successor.
Much will be written and said about Trump’s rise to power and perhaps it is too early to make a snap judgement of what his legacy will be. However, I believe that in 50 years Donald Trump’s presidency will be remembered for some concrete achievements that were ultimately overshadowed by the sheer lack of character of the man. If there was any doubt of this, the riot on January 6th that was undoubtedly provoked by the president in an effort to cling to power, sealed his fate as a failed president.
Now, it is important to note that there were significant achievements made by the Trump administration that won’t be reported by the liberal media. Just a snapshot of these policy wins include:
- Landmark peace agreements in the Middle East.
- Efforts to decrease the cost of prescription drug prices.
- Considerable prison reform.
- Creation of the much needed Space Force.
- Appointing scores of conservative judges.
- Historic energy reform and independence.
However, despite the achievements accomplished by Trump’s administration, ultimately Donald Trump was undone by one man. Donald Trump.
The now former president proved time and time again that he did not have the temperament for the office. Incessantly attacking rivals and peers via the media and his favorite tool, Twitter, Trump ushered in four years of chaos the likes of which America may not recover from. His constant need for attention and adulation completely hobbled any efforts to unify or heal the country.
Trump’s bullying, narcissism, lying and complete disregard for the rule of law or America’s democratic institutions will land him in the bottom quartile of American presidents. His failure to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, his mismanagement of a cratering economy, an inability to win a second term and the failed January 6th insurrection will be Trump’s legacy.
A man who defied the odds to become president, made some accomplishments but ultimately was brought down by his own character flaws. Ostracized and sequestered to his palace in southern Florida, Trump can’t even lash out via Twitter, having been banished from the platform weeks ago.
While Trump’s legislative achievements cannot be ignored, his failed administration leaves conservatives and Americans as a whole questioning. “Where do we go from here?’
a. Now that he’s out of office, what’s next for Donald Trump? – Fox8 Regional News
b. Obituary for a Failed Presidency – The New Yorker
c. The Worst Presidency in History – The Atlantic
2. President Biden Makes a Plea for Unity
It is fair to say that the United States is the most divided it has been since the Civil War. Republicans and Democrats live in different locations, absorb different news, partake in different cultures and view each other with hatred and suspicion. We are a nation that is woefully divided; and President Joe Biden claims he is the man to heal the country.
In his inaugural address, “America United”, the 46th President of the United States tried his best to channel one of his predecessors, “the great unifier” Abraham Lincoln who led America through the Civil War. During his first speech as president, Biden outlined what the cause of his administration would be; unity.
“Uniting to fight the foes we face, anger, resentment, and hatred. Extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness, and hopelessness with unity, we can do great things, important things.”
During his campaign for president, Biden’s slogan was “Restore the Soul of America” and it appears that he plans to stay true to that message. The word “unity” was a word that repeated several times during the address and right now President Biden is riding high.
However, in a few weeks “the honeymoon phase” of Biden’s presidency will expire and his calls for unity will be harder to attain. Once the president puts forward his multi-trillion dollar policy proposals he will assuredly run into conflict with congressional Republicans (although they are in the minority).
Despite any problems on the horizon, it was a good day for all Americans and we can all bask in a moment of unification. This conservative writer wishes the incoming Biden administration well and hopes Joe Biden’s leadership and pledge toward unity leads the nation toward a more perfect union.
a. Read Joe Biden’s first speech as president – PBS News Hour
3. Washington D.C. Transforms into a War Zone
Today America inaugurated a new president and vice president in continuation of a long held tradition of adhering to a peaceful transition of power. However, if you drove down the streets here in Washington D.C. you would get less of a feeling of celebration and more of the belief that the city was under siege.
After the violet insurgency that failed on January 6th the federal government decided to increase security to levels not seen since September 11th, 2001. Calling in the National Guard from nearby states the level of troops in the city exceeded roughly 25,000, more than the total number of U.S. personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. Due to the failed insurrection, the government was not taking any chances with the safety and security of the Biden inauguration. However this decision came at great cost; the seat of government of the United States looked like a scene from an apocalyptic movie.
All week soldiers were being bussed into the city, erecting checkpoints, traffic blocks and fences topped with razor wire. As an individual who lives in Washington D.C. I can say that I have never seen anything like it. The city looks prepared for war.
While the security was undoubtedly needed, the fact that troops had to be brought into the city in the first place dampened the mood for some. When asked about how he felt about the inauguration, Governor Tom Wolf (D) of Pennsylvania replied “sad”. When pressed further the visibly emotional governor bemoaned the fact that Washington D.C. had to be turned “into a military camp”.
Although it is depressing that such a historic and proud city had to take on so much security ahead of the inauguration, the American people can take pride in that the fabric of our democracy may be bruised and bent but it remains unbroken.
a. Washington is Transformed into a War Zone Ahead of Inauguration – Vanity Fair
4. Mike Pence, True to his Oath and America’s Democracy Attends Biden’s Inauguration
Losing is never easy, especially when it comes at the highest level of politics. It takes a strong individual to recognize when they have lost, when the other side has won and to congratulate the winner. Former President Donald Trump refused to do just that by skipping the inauguration of his successor Joe Biden today. The responsibility in representing the outgoing administration fell to his vice president, Mike Pence.
While President Biden and Vice President Harris took their respective oaths of office, Pence stood behind them respectfully, watching them begin a new administration. While to many, Pence’s decision to attend the inauguration (over that of a farewell Trump rally I might add) was him fulfilling a traditional duty, I must disagree. Vice President Pence could have followed Trump’s bitter direction and cast a shadow over the peaceful transfer of power but he didn’t.
Mike Pence is a conservative. At their best, conservatives cling to principles, institutions and traditions. By attending the inauguration Pence stayed true to one of the oldest traditions in American politics. That of a beaten outgoing administration looking on as a new one takes power and wishing them luck.
It is important to note that Pence’s break with Trump (their relationship has reportedly collapsed since the failed insurrection that endangered Pence’s life) will likely bar him from winning the Republican nomination for president in 2024. Due to this perceived “betrayal” the Trump faction of the party will never support him. Pence knew this full well but he decided that American democracy was more important than his political career.
This “profile in courage” deserves applause.
Vice President Pence, finally free from Donald Trump’s influence took it upon himself to represent the outgoing administration and support the new administration today. Despite any missteps he might have made over the last four years, history will likely reward him for his courage.
b. Power Up Trump Pence Relationship May Set Lowest Bar Yet – The Washington Post
5. It’s the Democrats’ Mess Now
The last four years politics in America have been vicious to say the least. Both parties have been at each other’s throats over political scandals both real and imaginary. As outlined earlier, the Trump administration did accomplish some major feats. However, at every turn, the previous administration was hounded and attacked by Democrats in the House of Representatives and the Senate. It is very likely that this incessant public attack on the Trump administration hindered any ability to quelch serious issues facing the country. Again and again, Democrats insisted that if they were only given the reigns of power, that they would set America back on track.
Well, as the saying goes, “be careful what you wish for”.
For the first time in over a decade the Democrats will hold the House of Representatives, the Senate and with President Biden the executive branch of government. All decisions and missteps going forward will be on them. No longer is there the big orange boogeyman in Donald Trump to blame for anything and everything that is wrong with America.
In short, it’s the Democrats’ mess now.
It would be unfair to blame the new majority coalition for problems related to the pandemic or the economy right away. But as months and years go by the Democrats have the will and the power to enact sweeping changes to American society. If they are not successful, it will be fair to lay that blame at their feet.
It is this writer’s hope that the current government will be successful in leading the nation out of its current state. That Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats can bind up the scars of a polarized country. However, if corruption or far left policy proposals are discovered along the way expect for the new Democratic government to come under significant scrutiny.
b. Schumer becomes new Senate majority leader – The Hill