ART BY MEGAN LIEN
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this piece are not a reflection of the views of Paw Prints Weekly as a whole. They are the sole views of the author. Paw Prints Weekly celebrates a diverse audience and staff, and it supports the declaration of the duties and rights of a Journalist per the U.S. Constitution.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate to prefer the latter.” Indeed, in the same vein, media has undoubtedly become an integral, irreplaceable part of today’s society. Unbeknownst to us, many times the media may be dictating what we believe and to what extent. It seems ironic coming from a newspaper publication, but oftentimes, the media tends to exaggerate situations, blowing them out of proportion to arouse heated feelings or to stir up controversy.
No one knows the consequences of this better than our very own president, Donald Trump. Starting his career as an entrepreneur, Trump has dealt with his fair share of success and controversy; however, the media portrayal of him is a monster of destruction. An unpopular opinion perhaps, but maybe there could be different outlooks taken when trying to understand the policies and decisions Trump makes. A saint he is not, but a villain he is not either.
Take for example, the America First policy in which the supposed primary focus is to put America’s interest and national security first. By barring six countries from entering the U.S., Trump has received more than needed of media backlash. And while it’s true that Trump’s radical approach is callous to a fault, articles are filled with pathos that exert only one perspective – placing the travel ban is a cruel act to those seeking a new life from poverty and fear. Understandably, as President of the United States, blatant discrimination of an entire group of people is not only shameful but also irresponsible. But the truth of the matter remains; if the national security is compromised, the government is blamed. And if the government – in this case, the president – looks to take action, he is shot down for being too bold. Inappropriate indeed, but his actions reflect a willingness to put things into motion, a perspective not commonly considered.
Trump is not the only president that has placed a travel ban; people tend to forget that Barack Obama also once placed a travel ban when he became president. However, Trump has received the most criticism for this policy from popular media, such as New York Times. The point here is not that Trump is a Kissinger level policy maker, but that perhaps he receives an unnecessary amount of flack for the work he does. As the lines between general criticism and actual witch hunting blur, it is best to keep an open-mind to the issues at hand.
Another commonly disputed major decision made by Trump is pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Playing the devil’s advocate here, at the cost of environmental conservation, Trump’s move potentially cuts costs for American based companies, who now no longer need to worry about being environmentally friendly. Trump does not believe in what the Paris Agreement exists for, and so have many experts stated as well.
Once again, the media is filled with critics pointing Trump as senseless, uneducated, and someone ready to lead the world to self-destruction. On the other hand, people are not considering the positive outcomes of leaving the agreement. Whether or not the Paris Agreement is effective is debatable, but it is definitely costly. Energy regulations harm American jobs; manufacturing, a big part of the American economy and gross domestic production Trump’s decision to leave the agreement would potentially lead to economic growth.
To be clear, by no means is this at all intended to praise Trump for what he has done these past months as President of the United States. His actions are more often than not, crass, his political correctness nonexistent and his lack of a filter unquestionably detrimental to the public perception of the United States on a global stage. No president has been so polarizing as our current one. But when one puts into perspective all the controversial actions recently sanctioned by our president, looking for the possible positives amongst the negatives is something the media and its war on Trump has failed to do. When one digs deeper and cares to read the fine print, perhaps there are some arguably redeemable details hidden between the lines. One thing is for certain: in this time of social unrest and uncertainty, we need a decisive leader more than ever. Will Donald Trump shape up, adopt a more diplomatic tone and expand his world views, or will he continue to work undeterred and leaving himself wide open to the scorn and distaste of the media?