Transformative Trump Legacy

Found this in our local paper and was struck by how well President Trump stacks up to the Presidential history of our best Presidents.

Author is a well known journalist and now teaches at CMU.

No president since FDR has had remotely the impact on two branches of the American government that Mr. Trump has had.

The changes he wrought in the presidency are complemented with the changes he wrought in the bureaucracy, the result being an overhaul of the executive branch. Whether that endures is one of the principal political mysteries of the age.

But there is no question that the changes he has wrought in the judicial branch are transformative. In installing three Supreme Court justices in one term, he set the high court on a new conservative path.

In the last century, Warren Harding, Harry Truman, Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan appointed four justices, but they did not alter the executive branch nearly as fundamentally as Mr. Trump. The president’s 53 circuit court appointees in four years approaches the number Barack Obama (55), George W. Bush (62) and Bill Clinton (66) placed in eight years.

Mr. Trump’s impact is all the more astonishing when his meager legislative record is compared with that of his one-term antecedent, Mr. Polk, who set out to accomplish four goals and achieved them: settling the Oregon boundary question, cutting tariffs, creating an independent treasury system as an alternative to a national bank, and acquiring California and New Mexico.

Earlier one-term presidents left behind party upheaval (William Howard Taft, Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter) or economic upheaval (Mr. Hoover, the elder Mr. Bush). Mr. Trump departs with a strong stock market but high unemployment — and a virus still raging.

But it already is clear that some of the Trump initiatives will endure.

If health and perspective allow. President Trumps legacy may not have concluded with the virus infused election of 2020.

The judges are McConnell’s doing, not Trumps.


Methinks historians will take a dim view of the last fours years.

Time will tell.



The article basically argues that Trump’s bombastic Presidential approach will be remembered. It’s not necessarily saying that’s a good or bad thing.


I read it a bit differently.

Pressure is on Biden for policy items like…

Despite promising a dramatic contrast with Mr. Trump, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. likely will continue some of his policies, maintaining an aggressive posture toward China, insisting America’s NATO allies increase their defense spending, expressing skepticism about trade agreements, and building on brightening prospects in the Middle East.

Indeed, a transition memo a left-leaning assembly of progressive groups and church activists sent to the Biden team quotes these July 2019 remarks by the former vice president: “It’s past time to end the forever wars, which have cost us untold blood and treasure. Staying entrenched in unwinnable conflicts drains our capacity to lead on other issues” — words that could have come out of the mouth of Mr. Trump, who this month announced the withdrawal of most American forces from Somalia, where 700 troops have been fighting against Islamist militants.

Thought provoking and even handed is the tone I read. Even handed is remarkable after all the rhetoric against him during his Presidency.

Ok. But those are just statements of fact and policy. They aren’t necessarily good or bad.

OK. Fair point. I have claimed Trump legacy will far surpass the appreciation he got while in office. This essay by a bone fide scholar is a step in that direction.

I think in the short term, Trump’s legacy will remain divisive. In the long term, hard to say. Depends on if this trend of leadership continues.

Is the division his policy or his personality? His policy is what will last and be discussed.

Nobody will care if he used pet names and off hand insults.

The Charlottesville and suckers and losers vindictive will also age poorly when studied in detail.

Just wait and see what he does before his second term is over.

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That Trump can run again is a Damocles Sword over every decision Biden makes.

Are you predicting a 2024 win for Trump, or that he will be sworn in next month? If it’s the latter, how do you envision that happening?

Wouldn’t you like to know weather boy??


Traditionally the President gets the credit. Majority leader can’t do squat unless the President nominates someone.

Not surprising those who don’t much like Trump would offer that opinion. Time and historians will be the deciding factor, not those who don’t like Trump.

And they dont get to the floor without Majority leader…And the Federalist society picked them…Not Trump.

Because of Bush Jr, USA elected Obama - first black president.

Because of Trump, USA elected Biden and Harris(first female and black VP). And soon, first female and black president.

You can spin this anyway you like. Presidents get the credit, whether you like it or not. :wink:

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You could also make the case that we got Trump because of Obama. What’s your point? :confused:

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Presidents are assessed blame also.