Everyone in the country has the same basic question regarding our new president. They know a Trump presidency is going to be different than anything we have ever seen, but the question is: Is that a good thing or not?
The beginning of the Trump presidency has done little to quell the questions. President Trump is in a radically different position than any president of recent times. Not only is the country divided and the media decidedly opposed to him, but his approval ratings taking office are lower than any president in modern history.
There won’t be a honeymoon period where he will receive the benefit of the doubt. Most presidents have a decided amount of political capital that they get to spend their first 100 days in office. Trump has none of that, evidenced by the marches that took place across the world the day following his inauguration.
I’m writing this just two days into the Trump presidency and things are happening at an amazing pace, from the Keystone pipeline to Obamacare, to Supreme Court nominees and withdrawing from the TPP agreement. He has already changed the course of Washington, but in so doing, has been able to “overcome” all those policy changes with negative stories about Illegal voting and spats about the size of the inauguration crowd.
His move to stop EPA actions and media positioning until his people are in place makes great sense, but it raises some issues relative to optics. The messaging focus has precluded much garnering of good will. And with his approval numbers at their lowest point, Trump has to win over the majority of people and accomplish big things in order to raise those numbers. Here are a few areas of importance:
Agriculture: Farmers and ranchers voted in a significant way for Trump. While some are celebrating that he pulled out of the TPP trade deal, it was a major disappointment for most in the beef industry. Conversely, nothing signifies how radical this administration is going to be relative to regulation than the changes that are occurring at the EPA.
Agriculture remains largely off the radar and most of the impact in the early days will simply be spillover from addressing other issues. Agriculture tends to be more hopeful than many segments, but Trump has one major advantage and that is the bar is pretty low, so it shouldn’t take much to exceed those expectations.
The rhetoric and hate: He routinely is labeled as being a racist, sexist, etc., and has even been compared to Hitler I actually believe this labeling will work in his favor as the 65 million people who voted for him and the 20% who didn’t, but are willing to give him a chance are becoming frustrated at the vitriol and absurdity.
The next 100 days should be exciting, and if the next 98 shape up like the first two, the net impact on agriculture should be positive.