Manchester University
Oak Leaves

April 7, 2017

Journalist Discusses 'Trump Revolution'

Shelby Harrell

Journalist and professor Nicole Hemmer visited Manchester University to share her ideas about the “Trump Revolution.”
Hemmer, who is a contributing writer for the U.S. News and World Report, CNN, the Atlantic, Vox, and produces her own podcasts, began her talk by giving a basic understanding of the meaning behind the phrase “Trump Revolution.” “What makes Trump revolutionary,” Hemmer said, “is that he is essentially challenges almost every precedent sent down by our previous presidents.”
Carefully examining the persona and characteristics of someone who could traditionally be considered a good president, Hemmer listed a number of characteristics that differentiate Trump from more traditional presidents before him. Her discussion also called to attention Trump’s lack of political or military experience. “Many voters are reasoning that Trump’s lack of traditional experience limits his ability to effectively perform his duties as president,” Hemmer said, “and this completely undermines his presidential authority.”
However, Trump’s apparent lack of involvement in any political position was also the reason behind his popularity as the presidential candidate for the republican party. According to Hemmer, there has been a high amount of distrust among political figures in office. Though many consider the Trump Revolution a current occurrence, this revolution has likely been gestating for a number of decades. “The high amount of political distrust initially started in the year 1973 with the publication of the Pentagon Papers detailing information from the war that American citizens were not exposed to,” Hemmer said. “In addition, the Watergate scandal took place around the same time.” Approximately 65 percent of American citizens lost faith in their government that year.

Trump’s status as a presidential revolutionary is also attributed to his differing relationship with political parties compared to past presidents. “In the 19th century, political parties were often more powerful than the president himself,” Hemmer said. “However, that has obviously changed over the years.” She then went on to explain that Trump has his own brand of party.
Professor Leonard Williams, who brought Hemmer to campus, spearheaded the VIA. “It made sense to bring someone with an understanding of our political position today,” Williams said. “Nicole provides enough expertise in the area to accomplish our goal of setting the Trump administration into context.”
Williams also noted that the “Trump Revolution” VIA was open to other members of the community besides Manchester University students and faculty. “We opened this presentation for anyone with a thirst for knowledge,” Williams said, “not just political science students.”
For example, senior peace studies major Michael Himlie attended the event in order to gain more knowledge of the current president of the United States. “Trump’s policies are so unprecedented,” Himlie remarked, “that everybody is taking interest.” 

In addition to her previous statements regarding Trump as a president, Hemmer also broached the topic of the relationship between government and the media. Hemmer specifically referenced Trump’s “loose” relationship with accurate facts and representations. “Trump does no fact checking,” Hemmer said. “It’s always been this way since he has no one to hold him accountable.” 

As one of the many attendees of this VIA, first year Hannah Newby remarked that Hemmer’s argument seemed to be a little biased. “It seemed to be more directed toward the Democrats in the room as opposed to the Republicans,” Newby said, “there wasn’t really a balance.” 

Despite any diverging viewpoints among the students and faculty at Manchester, Williams reveled in the fact that this is the prime time for students to learn about politics. “The first 100 days of the presidency is a great time for citizens to develop their attitudes toward our president and to eventually make their final judgements,” he said. The president’s first 100 days in office began the day after his inauguration and will conclude on April 29, 2017.

In addition to enlightening the student body on the concept of the Trump Revolution as a whole, both Hemmer and Williams hope to bring valuable insight into the world of politics. “Our goal for this VIA,” Williams said, “is that students get something to chew on from a broader perspective.”