NEW YORK, Jan. 19 Donald Trump came into office in a probably most divisive election in American history.
One year into his tweet-posting, media-bashing presidency, Americans are still divided and polarized in their views on what the real-estate-mogul-turned president has achieved in office.
“I found his first year unexpectedly divisive (more than is typical in today’s United States) and I am disappointed that the result is a sense that policy is adrift — more noise than action,” said Avery Goldstein, political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Dangerous rhetoric combined with what so far appear to be bluffs about taking dramatic steps,” Goldstein told Xinhua in a written interview on Friday.
PEOPLE WHO DIDN’T LIKE TRUMP STILL DON’T
In the streets of New York City, a Democratic stronghold, people are frustrated and angry with the Republican Trump.
“His policies have aimed at reversing almost anything he could that President Obama had done, without a cohesive, thought-out policy going forward,” Janet, in her 50s, told Xinhua. “He has not got any significant legislation done. In his comments, and tweets, he has been divisive.”
One year on from his inauguration, hardly a day passes without Trump’s tweets causing waves in Washington and among public opinion, although some say he is merely illustrating his intentions.
“I am not super political. I wish he would get out of this Twitter thing, he talks too much. He needs to shut up and quit doing that,” Wendy Debbie said. “He is not a typical president at all. We’ll see what he’ll do next. It’s a big gamble (for us).”
“I think he tweets too much,” said Eli Gonzalez, a business owner in Houston. “So he’s probably getting in trouble with all the tweeting he’s doing. If he would just tweet less, he’d probably get less backlash.”
On the west coast, Chat Deleon, a property manager in San Francisco, is no fan of Trump either.
“I don’t like him. He is not professional, too outspoken, very vocal and open. He is not a good president. He is not good to middle class people. I did not benefit from his tax cut policy,” she said.
“I dislike him not because I’m a Democrat, but because of his personality or character. He didn’t do a good job,” said Deleon, who has identified herself as a Democrat for more than 30 years.
TRUMP SUPPORTERS PRAISE PERFORMANCE
On the other end of the political spectrum, Trump’s supporters give high credit to him for delivering on some of his campaign promises. Some of those who have benefited from his policy are happy about his performance so far.
“I think President Trump is doing a great job, and the stock market proves my point,” said Kyle Smith, a rancher from Fort Morgan Colorado, who was attending America’s oldest and largest stock and cattle in Denver, Colorado.
“Trump’s first year was a big success,” Joe Newton, a ranch hand from Greeley, Colorado, told Xinhua on Thursday at the Denver Coliseum, filled with pick-up trucks with Trump bumper stickers.
“Trump is already helping our industry and he has revived the coal industry as well. The president is very popular in this part of rural America,” he said.
“I am a big Trump supporter,” said Tracy Parker, a hairstylist from Longmont, Colorado. “This is Trump territory and we’re behind him 100 percent, despite what the media say.”
DIVISIVE TAX CUT BILL
Even on the tax cut bill Trump signed into law in December, the first big legislative win of his presidency also generated equal criticism and applause as some say the law is a gift to corporations and the wealthy, with little to help average Americans.
Moon Truong, a female relationship manager of the Bank of America in San Francisco, said, “My bank benefits from that because the corporate tax is down. The bank gave an extra 1,000 U.S. dollars in bonus to me and all other employees.”
The tax package allows companies to accelerate depreciation on capital equipment, and will “stimulate U.S. investment and boost U.S. economic growth,” John Manzella, an author based in Buffalo, New York, told Xinhua on Friday.
However, the tax cut, which reduces the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent beginning in 2018, has proved irritating to others.
In Chicago, thirty-something Gabby White, said “The most disappointing thing I think is the tax. He is reducing the tax for rich people, and the middle class is shrinking because of that.”
HOPE IN THE ECONOMY
Expectations remains high that Trump will make a difference in his remaining term.
“I didn’t vote for Trump in the 2016 presidential election. And I don’t like Trump’s style as U.S. President. But we have to admit that he has done not badly,” said a Los Angeles taxi driver in his thirties who identified himself as Martin.
“The economy is strong in the past year. The unemployment rate has fallen. Trump is bringing more manufacturing jobs back to our country. I disagree with him in many ways, but I support his effort to add jobs to the economy,” he added.
“The economy is turning around, stocks are soaring, the unemployment rate is dropping. Big corporations are giving out bonuses to people,” said Sandon K. Saffier, a New York consultant. “I think hopefully we’ll get beyond this sort of bickering and polarization between the two sides.” Enditem
(Editing by Zhu Lei and Zheng Jie in New York; Reporting by Yang Shilong in New York, Miao Zhuang in Chicago, Ye Zaiqi in San Francisco, Gao Shan in Los Angeles, Huang Heng in Denver, Gao Lu in Houston. Zhang Mocheng, Huang Hexun, Zhang Yichi, Zhang Mengxi in New York also contributed to the story.)