Donald Trump is the wealthiest president in U.S history, with a net worth of about $3.5 billion; this far supersedes even the likes of former President John. F Kennedy, who, if he had lived, would have inherited $1 billion from his father.1 So how did Donald Trump go from real estate investor to the most powerful leader in the world?
It is accurate to say that Mr. Trump is not your typical president. Raised by father Fred Trump and his mother Mary Anne MacLeod Trump, who had emigrated from Scotland, Donald is often remembered as a mischievous child by his friends and family, and as a result, was sent to a military school in New York when he was just 13 years old. At that school is where young Donald was thought to have developed his competitive nature, influential abilities, and desire to establish his own path – key characteristics that would prove to be vital weapons in his overwhelming success in the economic and political realms.
Despite never actually joining the armed forces, Donald Trump excelled at military school where he was heavily disciplined and was pushed to always come out on top. Given this, it is no wonder as to why, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with his bachelor’s degree in economics, he immediately sought to assume leadership of the Trump family company. In a detailed report on President Trump by the Miller Center – an affiliate of the University of Virginia that specializes in U.S presidential scholarship – Fred Sr., Donald’s father, is recalled admitting, “Donald has a competitive spirit, and I don’t want to compete with him.”2 This was just the beginning of Trump’s unique impact on the United States.
Realistically, most people in my generation will remember Donald Trump for being the 45th President of this great nation, however, the truth is that a large portion of other generations still remember, and will always remember, him as an iconic American businessman and celebrity. Besides establishing a multitude of hotels and resorts around the world, Trump has built an extremely reputable name for himself in the entertainment industry. From selling his own merchandise, to owning various beauty pageants ranging from Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA, and even to running his own television show titled, “The Apprentice”, he has certainly had his fair share of successes. However, these wins did not come without a few losses. Due to failed business attempts, Trump has had to file for bankruptcy four times.3 Nonetheless, it is evident that he has used his fame as a tool to gather a following and to get people rallied behind his presidential journey. Social media has been an influence as well, as Donald Trump has been able to utilize many mediums to always find a way to win.
So, we know that Trump is a unique character in America’s history, but what contributions has he made to our country as president?
President Trump has had to deal with an array of issues thus far in his term, but a main goal of his has always been to safeguard the interests of American workers. This is primarily demonstrated by the millions of jobs that he has created for people of all races and ethnicities. On top of this, his positions on the American economy have been quite explicit. Trump desires to consistently do what he believes is best for his citizens, regardless of what other countries might think. Consequently, his aggressive economic policies have stimulated improvements in unemployment levels, gender pay gaps, and overall economic growth, but have also produced tensions among the international community, examples being the tariff war with China, the dissatisfaction with NAFTA, and the criticisms of various European policies. His positions on these issues can be widely debated but one thing is certain – in every instance, Trump has acted with complete passion and never waivers from the reason why people elected him.
Furthermore, President Trump’s administration is credited with many other impactful policies and actions, such as: confirming two justices – Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh – to the Supreme Court, making the U.S a neutral gas exporter, increasing funds to the VA and military, and beginning the process of building a wall at our southern border.4 Whether or not you agree with these policies, you have to acknowledge the persuasive ability of Trump to get the nation behind his agenda and his relentless determination to fulfill what he has promised to his base.
In conclusion, it is apparent that Donald Trump has not followed the beaten path in terms of his presidency. Without any real political experience, most of the nation thought his 2016 campaign was a joke, as he had already attempted to run in 2000 as a Reform Party candidate.5 Yet, as he always does, he somehow found a way to become victorious. Due to the experiences he has had over his lifetime, he knows no other option than to be a strong, influential, and distinct man. From the moment he beat Hillary Clinton by a narrow margin in the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump has been fully devoted on developing his presidential legacy in the footsteps of the one he left in his previous life – he is going to be a type leader the nation has never seen.
1“10 Things You Didn't Know About Donald Trump.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2011/05/02/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-donald-trump.
2“Donald Trump: Life before the Presidency.” Miller Center, 18 Oct. 2017, https://millercenter.org/president/trump/life-presidency.
3“Donald Trump's Life Story: From Hotel Developer to President.” BBC News, BBC, 20 Jan. 2017, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35318432.
4“Trump Administration Accomplishments.” The White House, The United States Government, https://www.whitehouse.gov/trump-administration-accomplishments/.
5“Donald Trump's Life Story: From Hotel Developer to President.” BBC News, BBC, 20 Jan. 2017, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35318432.
“10 Things You Didn't Know About Donald Trump.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2011/05/02/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-donald-trump.
“Donald Trump: Life before the Presidency.” Miller Center, 18 Oct. 2017, https://millercenter.org/president/trump/life-presidency.
“Donald Trump's Life Story: From Hotel Developer to President.” BBC News, BBC, 20 Jan. 2017, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35318432.
“Trump Administration Accomplishments.” The White House, The United States Government, https://www.whitehouse.gov/trump-administration-accomplishments/.
Chang, Ailsa. “This Is Where Donald Trump Played By The Rules And Learned To Beat The Game.” NPR, NPR, 10 Nov. 2015, https://www.npr.org/2015/11/10/455331251/this-is-where-donald-trump-played-by-the-rules-and-learned-to-beat-the-game.