Trump's year-one report card is in, and it isn't pretty

Trump's year-one report card is in, and it isn't pretty
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As we approach the one-year anniversary of President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham: 'I could not disagree more' with Trump support of Afghanistan troop withdrawal GOP believes Democrats handing them winning 2022 campaign Former GOP operative installed as NSA top lawyer resigns MORE in office, America is judging how he performed. Those who opposed him from the beginning (namely, the majority of the American people who did not vote for him) most likely give him a failing grade. But it is worth going through various categories by which commanders-in-chief are judged to see how Trump and his administration fared.  

Let’s look at the economy, health care, immigration, national security, international relations, presidential leadership and America’s place in the world.  

First and foremost, let’s look at the economy, which is what most people in normal times care about most. It the issue by which most presidents’ approval ratings rise and fall. Trump is not most presidents.


The economy is doing well. But contrary to what Trump and his spokespeople would have us believe, it cannot be all attributed to Donald Trump. His predecessor, President Obama, was the one who made the tough decisions and implemented the right policies to get the American economy on track and growing again after the Great Recession.

Trump was handed an economy on the upswing. When Obama left office, he had presided over the biggest run of private-sector job creation in history. More jobs were created in President Obama’s last year than were created in Trump’s first year in office.  

Regardless, Trump’s anticipated huge corporate tax giveaways and massive deregulation — even at the expense of consumer and environmental protections — did drive stock market growth and probably incentivized job creation as companies expected a huge windfall. And come it will, with the passage of the massive corporate tax cuts that mainly benefit corporations and the wealthy.  

The question remains, will middle-class and working-class voters see their incomes rise in the long-term? Given that only 26 percent approved of the corporate tax cuts that passed late last year, they are not feeling economically secure yet. So as we grade on the economy, Obama gets an “A,” Trump gets an “Incomplete.”

On health care, Trump gets a whopping failing grade. His and the GOP’s obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act led to their embarrassing defeat last year on the floor of the Senate. Turns out when you try to take away health care from tens of millions of Americans and replace it with a plan that no one likes, you lose.


That did not stop them from continuing to try to kill health care for millions, which they did when they included the repeal of the individual mandate in their corporate tax giveaway law. Millions will still lose their health care, so a failing grade is more than deserved.  

On the issue of immigration, Trump fails miserably as well. He ran and won his campaign on a bigoted, xenophobic, anti-immigrant platform. Since then, he has flip-flopped more than I-Hop on the issue, including where he stands on giving the "Dreamers" a permanent solution after he handed them a nightmare of uncertainty, abruptly ending DACA, the Obama-era program that gave them protection from deportation and the ability to study, work or serve in the military.

He vilifies immigrants every chance he gets and used the Department of Homeland Security to put out a report using cherry-picked statistics that wrongly depict the majority of immigrants as terrorists. It may please white supremacists, who love Trump, but it is very Orwellian and incredibly disturbing that it is coming from the president. He gets an “F” on immigration.  

On national security, Trump is being tested every day and it seems that, instead of dialing down the tempestuous atmosphere that can lead to an international incident with North Korea, Trump makes it worse. We have never been closer to nuclear war in the last 30 years than we are right now with Trump at the helm. He gets an “F.”

Same goes for international relations, as Trump has been disastrous on the international stage. He has ceded American leadership around the globe to our closest economic competitor, China. In the wake of America’s retreat, China’s global economic footprint has grown and will continue to do so.

He has insulted and degraded our allies to the point that they have publicly stated that the United States is no longer a reliable partner to look to for leadership and that they must depend on themselves.

The last two categories — presidential leadership and America’s place in the world — should be combined, as they are so intricately intertwined. I believe Trump will go down as one of the absolute worst presidents of the United States.

He is not a leader; he is even less presidential. He is impulsive, frenetic, egotistical, uninterested in facts and divisive. He denigrates our most important and revered institutions upon which our democracy and our national security depend: the free press, the courts, our law enforcement agencies, our intelligence agencies, our free elections.

Each one has been repeatedly attacked by Trump, and each one is in danger every day Trump is in the White House.  

What can we do? We can hope that Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE’s investigation will wrap up soon with indictments and proof of wrongdoing worthy of impeachment. We can hope that Republicans get a spine and realize the damage their leader is doing to their party and the country and hope that they will stand up to the White House.

We can work hard to push fair policies and support leaders who represent the majority of America. We can help Democrats take over Congress in November, as they will serve on behalf of the American people as a strong counterbalance to this out-of-control, discombobulated White House.  

All of the above speaks volumes about America’s place in the world. The latest Gallup poll shows that global approval of America’s leadership is at an all-time low of 30 percent. Donald Trump continues to enjoy record-low approval ratings in his first year in office as well.  

Mr. Trump, your grades are in: You have utterly failed in your first year at being president.  

Maria Cardona is a principal at the Dewey Square Group, a Democratic strategist and a CNN/CNN Español political commentator. Follow her on Twitter @MariaTCardona.