Summer Blog # 4

Posted by JOANNA BLUME on 8/13/2019

Please do the blog posts in order! (Start with week 1 and move through them in numerical order.)


As we start the semester exploring the topic of power, invariably we must look at our own concentrated version of individualized power--the President.  What always strikes me as odd is how my students (as well as the general public) think of the President as an autocrat! Love him or hate him, our President gets much of the credit and blame for nearly everything.  People call every congressional action by the President's name. We hear phrases like "the Obama bailouts" and terms like "Obamacare/Trumpcare" in the media. These terms and phrases imply that the President acted alone to implement policies and programs. Nothing could be further from the truth! Americans forget about the months and months of creation, deal-making, and compromising in Congress and just assume that President wrote, passed and implemented the law. Long after a President leaves office, he will still exude power. He will command attention by the media, much like former Presidents Obama, Clinton and the Bushes do. Now, we have a very different President, who commands attention through Twitter rather than the traditional media. His use of the "bully pulpit" is unprecedented, unconventional and controversial. So, with that introduction, here is what I would like you to do this week:


  1. Read the article below and study the chart.
  2. Why do you feel the American public chose Trump to be President? In other words, what was his appeal?
  3. Based on the article, the chart and any other additional sources, explain why you feel President Trump remains unpopular with many. What, if anything, should he do to improve his image? 
  4. Finally, assess what you feel are President Trump's strengths and weaknesses.


Trump Approval Ratings