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Pass or Fail: Trump's First Test
September 9, 2017
by Spencer Santilli
There comes a time in every Presidency where the elected leader of the free world must come to grips with their own humanity. For George W. Bush, this came early on in his Presidency with the catastrophic events of 9/11 and later with the even more devastating natural events of Hurricane Katrina. His delayed and lackluster response to the latter led to Kanye West stating on a live telethon benefit that, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

Obama was handed the worst economy in decades, multiple oil spills, and the Newtown mass shooting of elementary school children all within his first term. Say what you want about his politics, Obama was a genuine man when it came to these dark moments of history. There will always be debate about how the events were handled, but there is no envy from me when it comes to being the one responsible to drive the discussion and response when it comes to such things.

With the recent decisions to end DACA, transgender military bans, and a slew of inappropriate Tweets, Donald Trump doesn’t exactly build a firm case for himself. However with the raging fires on the west coast, Houston still underwater, and Hurricane Irma barreling towards South Florida, Trump is going to have to face the very tragic reality that the Presidency isn’t just about fixing the economy and keeping illegal immigrants out of the country. That being said, President Trump is going to have his already decrepit record of humanity tested even further.

I’ve seen the images from Houston of Trump handing out aid packages and kissing babies. I heard the story of Trump donating $1 million of his own cash to Houston and I’ll believe it when I see it. (Mind you that it costs American taxpayers roughly $3.6 million for Trump to spend a luxury weekend at Mar-A-Lago and there have already been nearly a dozen weekends.) I don’t believe for a second that the man thinks that his presence is anything more than a good photo-op to hopefully build some semblance of a presidential image. The man is a fraud through and through and these attempts at creating a soul are completely transparent to me.

I know that a rise in power almost always means a loss of “realness” and that down to earth feeling that the everyman seems to identify and appreciate. But I don’t think Trump had any of this to lose in the first place. Maybe instead of building a wall across the Mexican border, the money should be spent building a southern seawall that can help reduce the damage from these catastrophic storms.

Tragedy is unavoidable for any President, but the ever more evident problem is that nobody voted for Trump because of his humanity. I don’t think that Donald Trump even considered for a moment these very real moments when he took his oath of office. Thankfully, the true American spirit of community and fellowship arises in these types of moments and has allowed the country to overcome worse than this current slew of disasters and tragedies. Yet it could not be clearer to me that this American goodwill and fellowship will not flow from the White House unless there is an opportunity to improve disastrous Trump’s image.
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