interest, interest 2017

Trump Column

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By Elijah Yap

The trump presidency is nothing if not disputed. In the 50 days since his inauguration of disputable size, he has rolled out a travel ban with disputable success, made statements of disputable veracity, and proposed a healthcare bill of (very) disputable popularity.

And yet throughout the arguments of legality, constitutionality, and precedent, one thing has shone through: Trump’s committedness to fulfil campaign promises, sometimes in surprisingly literal ways. Even within these first several months we have seen the makings of a literal wall, a literal muslim ban, a literal repeal and replace plan. Whatever your opinions on these schemes, it is clear that we must now take Trump not just seriously but literally too.

Trump is not, of course, making that easy. From the politically explosive but roundly debunked, to almost comical microwave camera speculation by Kellanne Conway, Trump’s administration has contravened facts almost daily. And the consequences of being powerfully wrong are beginning to show. Pitting the credibility of the President against a foreign spy agency or that of Congress stress vital ties as much as they do stockbrokers’ nerves. And no matter the grating effects of his words, Trumps unabashed lying shows no signs of slowing down.

In spite of all this, a degree of normalcy remains. Any president, fully supported by both houses, would be expected to move forwards just as quickly with their campaign promises, agenda, and political wrangling as President Trump has done. Despite run ins with judges, party defectors and popular outrage, Trump has worked largely within the system he has inherited, even as he strains against it. Whether he continues to do so in future disputes remains to be seen.

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