America’s very first reality TV star President Donald J. Trump, was sworn into office this past Friday, sparking civil unrest, dramatic spikes in the stock market, and many theories about what to expect during his time in office.
President Trump’s time in office seems to be off to a tumultuous start. On the day of the inauguration, a black-clad group of anti-establishment activists joined anti-Trump protesters and fought with riot police, who responded with stun grenades.
According to the One America News Network, Washington prosecutors came up with an estimate of $100,000 in damage between smashed windows, vehicles set on fire and property damage. 235 people were arrested.
The next day, more than one million people gathered in numerous major American cities to protest his presidency.
The organizers of the March in Washington said they drew nearly five million protesters. Other such demonstrations took place internationally: Manilla, Philippines; London, UK; Tokyo, Japan; Berlin, Germany; Hong Kong, China; and Melbourne, Australia among many others.
The most recent estimates by CBC News indicate that the attendance for the Women’s March exceeded attendance for the president’s inauguration ceremony. Regional transportation officials tweeted that 1,001,616 trips in Washington D.C. were taken on the rail system on the day of the Women’s March while Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said that on Friday, the day of Trump’s inauguration, just over 570,000 trips were taken on the rail system.
While people worldwide voice their discontent with the new president, stock values rise. On the day President Trump was sworn into office, CNN News reported a 95 point increase (equivalent to a $95 increase) in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), one of the most watched stock indexes in the world.
This follows the trend President Trump set on the day that followed the election, when the DJIA gained 257 points ($257). Since that day up until the end of 2016, the DJIA gained more than 1,400 points ($1400).
Talking about his administration, Trump promises that they will follow two rules: “Buy American, and hire American.” His plans to slash taxes, cut regulations, increase infrastructure spending, and encourage corporate profits seem to be doing well for Wall Street.
Yet, despite the market’s performance, CNN reports that Trump’s remarks about China and Mexico might spark trade wars, and even bring growth to a halt.
With the crowds and the numbers in such disagreement, it’s hard to determine what to think. CBC News turned to Tim O’Brien, the author of TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald, and Michael D’Antonio, a Pulitzer Prize winner and author of the 2015 Trump bio Never Enough.
Some very strong statements were made by both biographers: D’Antonio said “He could overreact in a moment of crisis — order a military strike, order one against the wrong target,” and O’Brien said “I don’t think Donald Trump has changed since he was about seven years old. I think Donald Trump is essentially a seven-year-old grown old.”
Despite their harsh statements, both authors agree that there is still hope.
“He can be bellowing, he can be bullying, but he also can change in his mind and he’s done it many times,” said D’Antonio. “So if he can tap into that part of himself that is a survivor and is adaptable, we’ll be entertained by his behavior but we may also be benefiting from his leadership.”
So, is America on a path to greatness or catastrophe? Time will tell.