At 2:45 a.m., almost a year ago today, President Trump officially became the president-elect of the 2016 presidential election. Something that sent many people into a state of unrest and uncertainty over what the future of our country would look like, led by one of the most disliked presidential-elect in our nation’s history. Dislike and distrust of the Trump administration has only grown since he has taken office.
Issues like immigration and sexual assault have been a couple of many issues that have caused Trump’s disapproval rating to steadily decrease since he took office. When Trump first took office he was at a 54.5 percent approval rating, now President Trump sits at around 37 percent, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
To put that into perspective, former President Barack Obama had an approval rating of 67 percent when he first entered office and an approval rating of 57 percent after one year in office, according to Gallup.
The decrease in approval for President Trump has been steady over the past year, however chair of the Political Science department, Brad Leitch believes the main reason for Trump’s approval decline occurred early on in his presidency.
“The women’s march at the very beginning,” said Leitch. “I think you have to point to the women’s march as the single most effective moment in articulating resistance to the Trump presidency.”
According to Time, on the first day of Trump’s presidency an estimated 2.6 million people took part in 673 marches in all 50 states and 32 countries around the world joining in solidarity together to protest.
The protests were mainly due to the administration’s desire to take funding away from Planned Parenthood and the allegations revolving Trump and his “grab ‘em by the pussy” comment during the heat of the presidential race.
Many of these issues, including sexual assault, have fostered an environment that pressures Americans into siding exclusively with the left or the right.
According to a pew report, as of late October only 32 percent of people take both conservative and liberal positions, whereas 49 percent held mixed values in 2004. Which Leitch believes raises an important question about Trump’s presidency and to why this divide has come about.
“I think there’s a really important question as to whether this is polarizing our country or rather revealing existing polarizations,” said Leitch. “Trump is in no way trying to reach towards the center and is in no way trying to unify the country or articulating a unified conception of what it means to be an American.”
An issue that has exacerbated this polarization in American has been Trump’s handling of immigration, specifically the controversial travel ban and the elimination of DACA. Many affected are those who are reliant on the program or those who are descendants of immigrants.
Fourth year communications major, Elizabeth Rodriguez believes immigration is the main thing that she has an issue with Trump’s presidency.
“For me, being a first generation Mexican-American, his attack on immigration and just the general way he’s went about immigration reform is the worst part,” said Rodriguez. “My family has been able to come here and create this life for my sister and I and why shouldn’t others be able to do the same? President Trump is taking away that opportunity for future generations to build a life in America.”
As the year mark of Trump’s presidency comes and goes there are many questions left to be unanswered revolving the Trump administration, however Leitch believes, if anything, there is something to be said about the democratic system.
Leitch said, “I think we are getting an important lesson into the limits of presidential power and the separation of power’s ability to hem in what the president wants.”