Trump’s government is no laughing matter

Since assuming the Presidency of the United States a month and a half ago, Donald Trump has consistently been making headlines (and certainly not for good reasons). Perhaps the US’ most controversial president, Trump, the businessman turned president, is making a mess of things across the pond. Behind every President is a government, and whilst it is quite funny to laugh at the ludicracy of what is happening in America at the moment, laughing at the incapability of Trump’s government is disguising the very real issues.

Trump and controversy go hand-in-hand, but the President of the United States is not doing much in the way of reassuring people that he has things under control. What we’ve seen so far of Trump’s first 100 days have certainly not been uneventful. With Flynn’s resignation, the ridiculous executive orders and the record number of “no” votes on his cabinet nominations, the Trump administration can be described in one word: instability. Whilst his supporters seem to be happy with what he’s doing, the rest of the country and indeed the world is looking on with horror and anticipation. Every day someone asks themselves the question: “Oh God, what has he done now?”.

It’s hard to know where to start. Just before Valentine’s Day, Michael Flynn and his position as National Security Adviser had a bittersweet break-up – Flynn was forced to resign after details about his conversations with Russia about sanctions were uncovered. It’s hard to know what to believe, in this era of “Fake News”, with some reports stating that Trump knew about this conversation almost immediately after it happened. Either way, it’s probably a good thing that Flynn has gone, he didn’t have much in the way of governmental experience, but then again, neither does Trump and he somehow managed to win the highest office in America.

One month on, and Trump’s cabinet nominations are getting more “no” votes than ever. His picks are unpopular with congress, and whilst the Democrats’ majority power has been taken away, they are banding together to object to the cabinet picks. Fair enough, really, as the choices they are presented with have been particularly poor. The incredibly unqualified Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary received the most “no votes” of any nominee for the position, as did the ever-controversial Jeff Sessions. Trump’s lack of governmental experience is peeking through the cracks of his underqualified nominations and the resistance they’re faced with in congress.

Like I said, it’s funny to laugh at how badly Trump’s government is navigating the first 100 days or how much controversy he’s causing without taking it too seriously, because frankly the fact that he is running a country is, in itself, hard to believe. But surely we should be focussing on how incapable his nominations for very important government positions are, and trying to address that?

I know it’s a cliché and everyone is saying it, but these really are uncertain times. As the “leader of the free world”, Trump needs to put forward a united and strong front – this includes a strong government behind him. Some people support him (why?), and many don’t, but he is the President and he needs to get on with it. He needs to unite the country, which is an especially hard job because he is such a divisive figure and the instability of his government is not doing him any favours.

Francesca Elsey

(Image courtesy of the Washington Post)

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