Guess who’s back, back again? President Donald Trump’s back, tell a friend. Or don’t. Up to you.
He’s been trying to Keep America Great since 2017. Before getting into politics, he was chairman and president of the Trump Organization starting in 1971, and became a real estate mogul (see: his Trump Towers around the world). You might know his catchphrase “you’re fired” from when he hosted “The Apprentice” in the 2000s. He also co-wrote a couple books, like “The Art of the Deal,” and created Trump University...but that didn’t turn out so well. Plus he’s got a couple of TV and movie cameos on his IMDB page.
The Elephant in the Room
Let’s start with pre-White House. He’s been accused of shady business tactics, like dodging millions in taxes and racially discriminating against tenants. And got heat for questioning whether President Obama was born in the US. During the 2016 campaign, a video came out of him saying it’s OK to grab women “by the p*ssy.” Since then, more than a dozen women have accused him of sexual misconduct, from inappropriate touching to sexual assault. He’s denied the allegations. Since taking office, he’s been in hot water for some controversial policies, like his “zero tolerance” policy and travel ban from some Muslim-majority countries. Also, for seeming to give Turkey the greenlight to target Kurdish allies in Syria. He’s also called the media the “enemy of the people.” The Mueller investigation did not find evidence of a Trump-Russia conspiracy. But it did list 10 instances of possible obstruction of justice.
And then there’s the impeachment inquiry. The House had been talking about impeachment for a while. But in September 2019, it announced an inquiry into Trump centered on a July 2019 phone call between Trump and Ukraine’s president. A rough transcript of the call shows Trump nudging Ukraine’s prez to investigate Joe Biden. Here’s the context: In 2016 when he was VP, Biden pressured the Ukrainian gov to fire its top prosecutor, who was widely seen as failing to fight corruption. But one company the prosecutor had been looking into was a natural gas company Biden’s son sat on the board of. The call happened days after the Trump admin moved to withhold close to $400 million in aid to Ukraine. Dems are arguing that Trump abused the power of the presidency to target a political rival. And one of the many looming questions here is whether Trump’s behavior constitutes a quid pro quo, aka using the aid as leverage to try to get dirt on Biden. Trump says he did no such thing – and that he’s in the right to ask questions. Stay tuned.
The 2020 Policies
On abortion…he’s against abortions except in three instances: rape, incest, and if the mother’s life is at risk. And his administration implemented rules that would make it easier for healthcare workers to refuse to perform abortions and other services if they violate their religious or moral beliefs.
On education…he’s in favor of school vouchers, which give students public funds to go to non-public schools (think: private or charter). He also wants to fix the student loan crisis by doing two things. One: capping the amount of student loan debt students and parents can take on. Two: reducing the number of repayment plans available to them.
On immigration…he still hasn’t gotten his wall, but he’s still trying to get more funding for border security, which would go to things like aid for unaccompanied minors. He’s also tried to end asylum protections for most migrants who arrive at the US-Mexico border.
On criminal justice…last year, he signed a criminal justice reform bill that did things like lower certain mandatory minimum sentences and ensure that inmates are within 500 miles of family. He also made headlines for commuting the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, who was serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense.
On health care…he’s planning to roll out big plans for it soon. For now, he’s promising to protect people with pre-existing conditions. He’s also proposed lowering funding for Medicaid and Medicare. And don’t ask him how he feels about the Affordable Care Act.
On the economy…one thing he’s especially proud of is the Republican tax plan, which was the biggest tax rewrite in decades. And during his first term, the unemployment rate has dropped to a 50-year low. He’s also made moves that he says will help keep US jobs at home (see: steel and aluminum tariffs, ditching the Trans-Pacific Partnership). Expect this to be another big talking point on the campaign trail.
The last time a president didn’t get re-elected was in 1992. While he’s still popular with Republican voters, his overall approval ratings in a key poll are pretty low compared to other presidents – and some polls show Biden doing better than him in the general election in some key states.