UNG students react to President Trump’s first days in office

(CC0 Public Domain/Pixabay)
(CC0 Public Domain/Pixabay)

It’s been less than two weeks since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, and since he assumed office there has been a wide spectrum of reactions to the new leader of the free world.

In this short time, Trump has taken steps toward realizing several of his campaign promises, including building a border wall between the United States and Mexico and enacting a travel ban that prevented entry to the country from places such as Iran, Iraq and Syria. But Trump has also been subject of a heated dispute with several members of the media, with counselor Kellyanne Conway telling NBC’s “Meet the Press” the Trump Administration would have to “rethink” its relationship with the press after criticism was aimed at the new president.

Alongside a shaky dynamic with the press, the public outcry after Trump’s inauguration has been loud, with coordinated events like the Women’s March and airport protests dominating the conversation surrounding the president and his early actions.

In light of Trump’s eventful first days in office, the Vanguard reached out to members of the University of North Georgia’s student body to get a sense of where the community stands regarding the president. We found that while some were optimistic, others were disheartened.

“He’s bringing jobs back to the United States, he’s also putting America first. We’ve been getting screwed. For example, we protect Japan. We should at least get something in return for that. … He’s not a politician. I like that. Yes, he’s said some not so great things on the campaign trail, but what he’s going to do is awesome. … It feels good to have a president who genuinely loves this country. He put a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns before the inauguration. He is pushing for no federal income tax on [single people] who make less than $25,000 per year. This will mean more money for the economy, reduce the federal deficit and put people back to work. For instance, Walmart is adding 10,000 new jobs. This is keeping jobs in the country.

– Jesse White, sophomore, political science major

“I’m disappointed in the demagogue that we have elected, but also hope he doesn’t fail because this is my country too. Also, Trump really isn’t going to be the problem, it’s his cabinet, and the positions of power he allowed them to withhold that I worry about. I am sad to see eight years of excellence and class ruined by hypocrisy and separation.”

– Rachel Harrell, senior, criminal justice major

“I personally am very optimistic about Trump’s presidency. I was excited to watch his inauguration. I have very high hopes and expectations for our new president.”

– Kayla Ritchie, senior, political science major

“Trump has already shown a proclivity towards attacking negative press — even small criticisms. Rather than discussing Russian interference or economic plans, he … lashed out at the ‘Hamilton’ cast, Meryl Streep and even our beloved civil rights hero John Lewis. At a press conference, he mocked the publications who wrote negative things about him. He shows a vindictiveness usually reserved for dictators and others who silence political opponents.”

– Natalie Purser, senior, political science major

“While I am not a fan of President Trump and am disturbed by many of the allegations against his character, I have hope. His speech tied together elements of our civil religion unlike anything I had heard from him. He was conciliatory and I hope he fulfills his call to ‘Speak openly … debate honestly … pursue solidarity.’ As the former vice president of the College Democrats, I’m disappointed in the boycott by congressional Democrats and by the actions of protestors, which have already become violent and destructive.”

– Ben Harkins, alumnus, political science

“President Trump has narrowed down the Supreme Court Justice position candidates to two conservative, white males; he has since tweaked his perspective on climate change with an end goal of economic growth and job creation while slashing the Environmental Protection Agency’s budgets for an American Energy Renaissance; he has withdrawn the U.S. from affiliation with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, straining relations with China and 10 other countries making up 40 percent of world trade.

Regardless of where your political loyalties lie, I strongly encourage the UNG community to be informed. President Trump is experienced in business, but there are so many facets that shape a quality president. As things change all around us in the next four years, the most impactful things we can do as individuals in our diverse community is to be aware, crave knowledge, continue learning and know your rights. Regardless of your ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, etc., these political decisions have the power to change your liberties as a U.S. citizen. Stay enlightened and skeptical about our changing world.”

–  Jordan Harris, senior, biology major

So what do you think about President Trump? Are you supportive of what he’s done so far in his presidency? Are you already joining in on one of the protests being organized in the coming days? Or are you perhaps still waiting to pass judgment on our new president until later in his term?

  • Kenneth has written on and off for the Vanguard for several years now, as well as several online publications like Paste Magazine, GamesRadar+ and others. His two vices in life are his criminally-under-followed Twitter (@shepardcdr) and his picture of Chris Pratt that sits beside his bedside.

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