Successful year for Trump?

One year on from his surprise presidential election victory

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Donald Trump: one year on from his surprise election victory

By Daniel J. McLaughlin

November 8, 2016 was meant to be the day when the glass ceiling shattered - when America elected its first female president, following the two terms of its first black commander-in-chief. Instead, it was the hopes and dreams of Hillary Clinton and her fellow Democrats that were shattered, as the unexpected happened - Donald Trump, provocateur and political novice, had won the race for the White House.

With November 8, 2017 passing, the one-year anniversary of his victory, what has changed in the United States with the former businessman and reality TV personality in the Oval Office?

There's certainly less trust and confidence in the abilities of Trump from the American voters. A CNN poll, commissioned to examine attitudes towards the president one year on, shows that only 40 per cent think he is doing a good job, and keeping the promises he made on the campaign trail - this is down from 48 per cent in April. There has also been a drop in the number of Americans who believe he can bring the kind of change the country needs, falling from 49 per cent shortly after the election to 40 per cent.

The president has lost ground on being able to unite the country, and he is failing to be the consoler-in-chief in times of crisis. Only 30 per cent say they think Trump will unite the country, rather than divide it, plummeting by 13 points since his victory in November last year. Fewer Americans also believe he is honest and trustworthy, and 63 per cent say he does not deserve re-election in 2020 - plus 64 per cent say they are not proud to have Trump as president.

While trust and faith in Trump has changed over the course of a year, the man himself has remained resolutely the same. Writing for Joe, the Irish news website, Dion Fanning argues that Trump staying true to himself is "the most disturbing thing of all" - and those who believed there would be a distinction between candidate Trump and President Trump were optimistic.

He argues: "He tweets the same way, he acts as irresponsibly, he reacts to slights as he has done in his whole adult life, which seems simply to be an extension of his adolescence.

"It's almost as if when you elect a childish 70-year-old narcissist as president he will act as you would expect a childish 70-year-old narcissist to act if they were elected president."

Trump has stayed the same, and the Rolling Stone magazine adds that nothing has changed. With polls showing that the president would win a repeat of last year's election, they argue that 12 months later, America is "dumber, and more divided, than ever". A divided country is exactly the right environment for Trump to thrive in, describing him as "belligerent, unrepentant, unapologetic and creates seemingly irreparable conflict as a matter of professional habit". The country is now split into two: with Trump manning one side, and those opposing him on the other. This political format needs to change to stop the president.

Matt Taibbi argues in the Rolling Stone: "Despising Trump and his followers is easy. What's hard is imagining how we put Humpty Dumpty together again. This country is broken. It is devastated by hate and distrust.

"What is needed is a massive effort at national reconciliation. It will have to be inspired, delicate and ingenious to work. Someone needs to come up with a positive vision for the entire country, one that is more about love and community than blame."

For the time being, there has to be damage control against the unprecedented president - and that is already happening. He has managed to achieve absolutely nothing since entering the White House, the Independent argues, due to a "painful-looking case of bureaucratic blueballs".

"Tolerance has been expelled from Capitol Hill, diversity is being met with derision and empathy is getting harder and harder to find," they observe, but add that there is a glimmer of hope. His "bigoted" Muslim travel ban has been shot down by the courts; his attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare saw his own party voting him down; Congress will prevent the president from tearing apart the Iran deal; and Trump's transgender troop ban is being blocked by a federal judge.

Donald Trump may be celebrating one year since his election victory, but his time in the White House has not been made easy for the president. It is one down, and three to go during his first term - to Trump, it may be an achievement; to many others, it is a countdown until he leaves the Oval Office.

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