By Sebastian Moronta Blanco, Staff Writer
Since Trump’s inauguration in January, the US has experienced a kind of sustained political turmoil that makes folks remember fondly of a time when the craziest thing our president did was put his feet up on the desk in the oval office or ask for spicy mustard at a burger joint. I’m not making those up by the way. Just google “Obama mustard”, you’ll know what I mean. iii
iiRegardless, we are now led by a misogynistic tanning bed, and trying to keep up with the news feels like unicycling through a hail of arrows.
In terms of enacted policy, the Trump administration hasn’t accomplished much. Trump has signed nearly 60 policies into law, most of which roll back regulations set in place by the Obama administration.
Some of these include a restriction on the purchase of firearms by those with mental disorders, protections against the dumping of coal-mining waste in federal waterways, and a bill that let federal employees get reimbursed for Uber and Lyft rides.
Now that’s not to say he hasn’t tried. Trump has made pushes to implement his healthcare and immigration policies, most of which have either failed to garner enough support, or were struck down or challenged by the court system.
Beyond that, the Trump presidency has been marred by controversies surrounding the Russia investigation, Trump’s business dealings, the pardoning of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, administration staff quarreling and shake-ups, and a whole bunch of other things that have to do with whatever crazy thing he said, or tweeted, that day.
In short, this presidency is going just about as well as you would expect one to while being run by an elderly narcissist who knows as much about public office as he does about fashionable tie length.
A lot of the most ground-breaking headlines from the past nearly eight months have come from Trump’s fundamental misunderstanding of the functions and operations of government, and a willful determination to ignore or subvert them.
This is perhaps best illustrated by his refusal to divest from his businesses, earning profits from a private business while president, something no president in history has ever done on account of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, outlawing the very practice. Even Jimmy Carter had to sell his peanut farm before he took office!
He’s not a man who abides by the rules. Even when he fired F.B.I. Director James Comey, and then admitted to doing so because of the Russia investigation on live television, it was either because he didn’t know it was likely a flagrant act of obstruction of justice, or he didn’t care. He never bothered to comb through the rules. He just walked into the Oval Office prepared to run a country like a business. Well, more like one of his.
But regardless of how Donald Trump specifically approaches each issue, his presidency thus far has made something very clear: The U.S. is damn near impossible to run effectively by a non-politician.
The last presidential race, among other things, established that a prerequisite to the presidency does not have to include political experience, and rumors of future non-politician candidates have since grown ten-fold. People are suddenly imagining a country run by Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk as if they would somehow do a better job than what we have now.
The problem isn’t entirely that we have a leader who doesn’t care about or respect our laws, it’s that we have one who doesn’t understand them.
As scummy as most politicians are, those who have studied law and public policy will always be the most qualified to be president, and electing them may prevent presidents from committing (most) impeachable offenses.
We must also enact policies that will have these presidents constitutionality questioned long after they’ve been impeached (wishful thinking I know).
Most politicians these days shouldn’t be president, but no non-politician should. Running the greatest country on the planet isn’t something anyone can just slide into, and I would even support on-the-books legislation requiring presidential candidates to have prior experience holding elected office.
Some of the damage Trump has done will take long after he leaves office to undo. It’s our responsibility as the American electorate to ensure that the leaders who follow him are more prepared than he is.