Donald Trump’s Presidency and Legacy; a Critique

Carter Gramiak, Columnist

Although Carter Gramiak is a political columnist for The Whittier Miscellany, any opinions expressed in this article are entirely his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the paper.


November 8th, 2016: election day. Even in middle school, I felt the massive implications of what could happen that night. It felt weird. The weird day quickly turned into an anxious night, and as my household was overcome with joy because of Governor John Carney’s election and my dad’s acceptance of his Chief of Staff position, a fateful and historic night was unfolding across America. State after state turned red on MSNBC’s map, and Trump sealed the presidency. Nobody could have foreseen the absolute insanity and lunacy that would occur over the next 4 years. On November 3rd, 2020, the American people voted to wake up from this national nightmare. On January 20th, 2021, we did. But, we can’t let him leave the presidency without reviewing the absolutely horrendous four years of Donald Trump. 

Donald Trump’s niece, Mary L. Trump got it right in her book Too Much and Never Enough (which I would recommend everyone to read) when she talked about Donald’s most prevalent and detrimental trait- Donal Trump looks out for one person, and one person only: Donald Trump. This, when reflecting on the last four years, is the essence of the entire Trump presidency and Trumpism as a whole. It is the hallmark of his personality, only being able to consider and care for his own needs and goals. Donald Trump is racist so, naturally, in the early days of his presidency he banned all Muslim people from entering the country simply because they are Muslim. Donald Trump is transphobic so, naturally, he banned all transgender men and women from participating in our armed forces. What positive outcomes did these policies have on the country? Absolutely none. The only things that those policies served to do were alienate minority groups in American society and make public Trump’s horrendous ideals; he only did it for himself. 

Now, I will give credit where credit is due, Donald Trump DID make history. He did something that no other president has ever done. He was impeached not once, but twice. He lost the popular vote not once, but twice. He is the first president in over 30 years to not win a second term. So, kudos to you, Mr. President! Now, how could we not recap the Trump administration without discussing the reason for those two impeachments? We couldn’t. His first impeachment was for colluding with the Russians in the 2016 election and his second was for inciting terror and violence against his colleagues and friends at the Capitol on January 6th. TOTALLY normal stuff for a sitting president to do! 

Even after four years of real inaction towards the true problems America faced, all the while cutting taxes for billionaires and raising it on people who couldn’t even afford the original tax rate, Trump cemented his legacy through his actions after the 2020 election all the way up to Joe Biden’s inauguration. In a few words, Trump directly tried to subvert the democratic processes that this country was founded on. In more than a few words? Well, buckle up.

By the end of the week of the election, the writing was on the wall. All of the major news networks had come to the exact same conclusion: Joe Biden won the election. Not by a little bit, either. More than 7 million votes and 70 electoral votes separated the two candidates. That electoral difference is what former President Trump himself called a landslide victory in 2016. However, for Trump, it wasn’t over. He and his incredible and capable legal team surely would be able to show the courts his undeniable victory and he would win. 60 lawsuits later, Trump hadn’t succeeded once. 

Trump, however, couldn’t leave office without a bang. So, in the closing weeks of his presidency, he decided to just casually fuel insurrection and delegitimize the incoming administration, and in turn, the United States as a whole. This all goes back to what the very smart Mary L. Trump said: he only cares about himself. Even at the cost of the country, Trump was looking to only fuel his own ego.