Many words can be used to describe President Donald Trump’s first month in office, yet “insignificant” is rarely one of them. In the last issue of The Point News, Alejandro Arias and Angela Cruz co-authored an article depicting the President’s actions over his first ten days in office. Arias stated that their 14,000-word synopsis was still not enough to cover the complete breadth of action within those initial days.
Such a vast amount of actions are sure to turn some heads, and potentially create adverse reactions. Generally, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) student body has been predominantly liberal. A community letter published by The Point News in regards to a local radio station’s take on SMCM stated that people feel “[SMCM] is nothing but a bunch of artsy fartsy freaks that live in their own little-stoned world.”
In order to provide a more substantive analysis on SMCM’s political leanings, The Point News interviewed a random assortment of students to gauge their reactions on how President Donald Trump is doing at his new job. These interviewees do not speak for the entirety of the student body, but they do provide a more in-depth understanding of some people’s attitudes towards the current administration. Those interviewed were selected at random.
The general consensus of those interviewed is that President Trump is doing a subpar job. The majority of students described his performance using either the word “terrible” or “horrible.” One student, who asked to be quoted anonymously said “Unfortunately, Trump has actually done much of what he said he would [do,] particularly when it comes to immigration […] the big exception is that he is not by any means ‘draining the swamp.’” They proceeded to cite his advisors and cabinet members as examples of Trump neglecting to “drain the swamp.”
Erica Feldezer, a Senior Art major, explained that “[Trump] is repeating history, similar to some fascist leaders in the past… I’d say he is not doing too well.” The anger towards our current administration was consistent in its presence, but not always its level. Gillian Rosenzweig-Stein, a Political Science and Public Policy major, explained that “[Trump’s performance has been] not as catastrophic as I initially believed it would be.” Rosenzweig-Stein made it very clear however that Trump was not doing a good job in her mind, “his executive orders, poor choice of cabinet members and constant overuse of twitter is worrisome.” She continued to list his interactions with foreign leaders as a concern. On the more extreme side of the spectrum Ben Derlan, a Senior Art major, exclaimed “Never before has a president been so inexperienced, thoughtless, and irreverently self-centered[…]”
According to those interviewed, the most significant actions taken thus far by President Trump are the “immigration ban”, “Executive order to defund international abortion funds”, “relationship with Russia”, “hav[ing] a VP [Mike Pence] who believes in conversion therapy for gay people”,”openly lying to [and] threatening journalists”, “actions against the environment” and “poor cabinet choices.” Feldezer expressed surprise that people were shocked by his actions, citing the fact that Trump made all the aforementioned promises during the campaign.
The overall level of participation is essentially the same as many of the interviewees expected. Carly Chase, a Junior Biology Major, told The Point News that “our outrage is showing, and I am proud.” Another student said that they expected the level of protest they have seen, stating “ [Trump] sucks.”
On the other hand, Rosenzweig-Stein found the reaction to be “different [… there have been] many more protests than I anticipated, which is good.” Maddy Gibson, a first-year Biology, and Anthropology student echo Rosenzweig-Stein’s sentiments “I didn’t expect all the protests…. There are so many good people out there who are fighting for the earth […] education, for women’s rights, and for human rights.” Gibson says that this is not about political parties anymore, “It’s about love.”
Derlan said that this election served as a “wake-up call” for him. He has always tried to be politically active, but Trump’s election has mobilized him.
Among those interviewed, no one said that they were confident in the current administration’s ability to lead this nation. One anonymous individual said that they did not feel that the country was being led in the right direction, but they stated: “I think everything will turn out alright, but certain things could use some changing.”
Looking towards the future, all of the respondents mentioned their plans to vote in the 2018 election. As Kelsey Joyce, a Sophomore Art and Philosophy double major exclaimed: “I’ll be all up in that voting booth exercising my right to vote, hopefully, take my country out of the hands of that dusty orangutan looking Cheeto.” Other reasons to vote according to the respondents included “civic duty”, “[avoiding] continu[ing] our downhill spiral,” “electing more democrats” and “[because] what else can I do???[sic].”