Trump Ends Antagonistic Year in Shutdown By John Zogby
Oh, what a year it has been. Even moments that normally produce a sense of unity — for example, the deaths of the nation's leading statesmen — turned into fights.
The president spent most of the year basking in a growing economy and nearly full employment but that wasn't enough to ensure his own party of either victory or a softened blow in the off-year elections. Now at the end of the year, the stock market is going crazy, talk of an economic slowdown is in the air, and there have been big layoffs at major manufacturers and retailers. If indeed “It's the economy, stupid,” then the economy may be stupid in 2019.
Presidents and Congresses are elected to fund and manage the government. The U.S. ends the year with neither. Government shutdowns — even 'partial shutdowns' — have not played out well with voters over the past 25 years, and this one won't either. This is the first time the shutdown is the creation of the president alone, even his own White House is scrambling to manage the damage. There is no compromise in sight as of this writing and the threat of an open-ended shutdown only hurts hundreds of thousands of federal employees and millions of beneficiaries of programs and funding.
The president has had his successes: A tax cut, serious reduction of the impact of the Affordable Care Act, the announcement of troop withdrawals from Syria and (partially) Afghanistan, and so on. But as the year ends, he is only president of 'these United States' (partial list) not 'the United States'. He has not drained the swamp but merely replaced it with a swamp of his own. Donald Trump is neither a good president nor a good man.
John Zogby (@TheJohnZogby) is the founder of the Zogby Poll and Zogby companies, including John Zogby Strategies, and author of We Are Many We Are One: Neo-Tribes and Tribal Analytics in the 21st Century America.