Trump’s last year in office leaves a legacy behind


Ted Eytan

The storming of the Capitol signified the effects the Trump administration’s manipulation had on the American people.

As one of the most controversial presidents in American history, former President Donald Trump leaves a legacy as his term ends.

On the promise of putting America first, Trump entered the White House with much confidence and support from his followers. Guaranteeing them that he would find a new solution to Obamacare, repeal immigrant executive orders, and increase the economy by 4% by the end of his presidency, Trump seemed to have his goals set in stone.

However, the Trump administration turned into a government ruled through twitter and a source of insults and mistruths. 

“I can tell you with 100% certainty that we have never had a presidency like [Trump’s],” Michael Allred, world history teacher, said.

From 2016 to 2019, Trump and his administration spent time showing their true intentions by giving tax cuts to big corporations, implementing a no-tolerance policy that separated families at the border, and banned travel from Muslim-majority countries. 

Despite this, any actions that the Trump administration took in their first three years was completely overshadowed by the gravity of what occurred in 2020. The COVID-19 global pandemic swept the nation, reaching 26 million cases and 440,000 deaths while the numbers continue to increase.

“If you had asked me before the pandemic, I probably would have talked a lot about the tax cuts, deregulation, even immigration,” Julian Zelizer, a history and public affairs professor at Princeton University, said. “The pandemic swept up the country and defined what was going on. And so by definition, everything he has done this year will be elevated beyond anything in the first three years.”

When the first cases emerged in January of 2020, the danger of this virus and the effect it could have on Americans was downplayed heavily by Trump. While undermining the work of health officials trying to advise Americans, Trump spread mistruths about potential remedies for the virus.

“I feel like he could have done more, and way earlier than when he did. I remember he told us that it wasn’t that big of a deal, and that it would pass soon, but here we are,” Bach Mach, 12, said. 

Later in the year, the death of George Floyd at the hands of police sparked a massive outburst of protests, calling for the removal of systemic racism. These protests were, for the most part, covered by the media that focused on the violence, looting, and destruction going on.

Trump’s response to these events was to threaten the state government with sending in the national guard to put a halt to the protests, which only provoked the protests to become stronger and louder. 

“It was like he didn’t care. A lot of the protests going on were peaceful, and were just big groups of people coming together to fight something wrong in the government,” Lizzy Kaufman, 12, said. “It’s horrible that his response was to send in the military to pepper spray and harass the people fighting for equality.”

The dissatisfaction with his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, his immoral response to the Black Lives Matter protests, and his impeachment in late 2019 all resulted in Trump losing the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden. 

Following this, according to the New York Times, Trump spent 77 days between the end of the election and the inauguration of Biden spreading misinformation about the election and making false claims that it was stolen from him. 

“If you can’t believe in your elections, your elections stop happening. They stop being fair, and that’s the most important part about democracy,” Allred said. “I’m afraid of how trendy it was to call out the election for being fake or a fraud. I’m afraid it will continue to happen, but hopefully it will not, hopefully we have restored democracy.”

The Trump administration’s falsehoods about the election reached a climax when Trump supporters broke into the United States Capitol building and committed an attempted coup and riot, resulting in five deaths. 

“It was how he kept saying that the government is corrupt and completely against him that pushed his supporters to riot. When you have the president of the United States saying that the system he runs is a fraud, people are going to listen and some will let it get to them,” Kaufman said. 

In recuperation after the riots, the House of Representatives impeached Trump for inciting an insurrection, making him the only president in U.S. history to have been impeached twice. 

The high ambitions and hopes of the Trump administration crumbled during their last year, amounting to a loss in the election and a riot to fully send them off the rails. Breaking a tradition of going to the new president’s inauguration, Trump and his family left the White House in a helicopter, leaving behind a tainted legacy of his actions. 

“What Trump did in office will probably stick around a lot longer than he did in office,” Mach said. “I think now our responsibility is to look past what happened and see how we can improve from what he did. It’s all about learning from your mistakes.”