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Is Trump Taking Over?

Essay by   •  August 28, 2018  •  Article Review  •  1,087 Words (5 Pages)  •  400 Views

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Is Trump Taking Over?

Will America ever experience an imperialist President? Presidents are the most powerful and influential people to the American government, but they have always been put in check by the other branches of the government. In the past, some presidents have tried to gain more power to go around the other branches of government; but they have never succeeded. With Trump in office, people have said he is more ambitious than past presidents and will become the next Caesar. The Opinion Columnist Ross Douthat refutes this point in “Waiting For Caesar” in the August 1, 2018 issue of the New York Times. Douthat shuts down the arguments of people that say Trump may overstep and gain power that he does not deserve and by saying there is no way the American people would keep him in office if he tried to gain power.

Douthat starts the article by adding some background information about how Obama’s presidency started. He states there were three phases of Obama’s presidency: The Liberal Phase, Bargaining Phase, and the Imperial Phase. Douthat then talks about how Obama’s Imperial phase did not come until after he got re-elected but thinks Trumps will come much sooner. If Trump starts to try to use or take powers people do not think he deserves, the writer states “it's hard to imagine Trump successfully making deals with Democrats if his party loses the House in November, and so two years may stretch ahead of us in which literally nothing passes Congress except the necessary budget deals.” Douthat says since Americans are able to counter the president by putting a different party in the House America will not have a breakdown to a Caesar-like leader. The only way he says America could have an imperialist leader was if America had a popular president and an unpopular Supreme Court or Congress. Douthat indicates that Trump has a very unlikely chance to be able to do anything of this sort because his poll numbers were far worse than Obama’s. As soon as Obama went toward this route, Democrats lost the Senate and then the White House.

The first argument Douthat talks about in the article is that Trump is the first President to try to overstep his powers, and people are afraid he will get it without opposition. Douthat then effectively argues that other presidents have tried for more power, just not as aggressively, but still failed at the very start. Douthat notes that “the imperial Obama was a politically unsuccessful Obama, whose party lost the Senate and then the White House during its imperial phase.” Obama’s Presidency had three phases to it. It started with the Liberal Agenda, which was Obama trying to change as much as he could while he had control of the House of Representatives. When Obama’s popularity went down due to the liberal phase, the bargaining phase began. He then had to lessen what he was trying to do or change because if it was too extreme it would not go through the Republican house. The third and final stage was an imperial one. Obama started to listen to activists which were telling him to use more powers through the “presidential pen”. Once this third



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