President Donald Trump has seemed to focus on killing off Obama's key legacy achievements in the first nine months of his presidency. This hostile act is undermining the global image and liberal democracy of the United States.
Trump pulled out of the 2015 Paris climate change international agreement in June, claiming the pact won't benefit American citizens, and the United States is open for renegotiation. Key players of the pact, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron among a few others, slammed Trump's decisions.
Since the start of his presidency, he has tried several times to repeal the so-called affordable Obamacare and replace it with his own healthcare bill. Even some of his top Republicans, including Sen. John McCain, joined rival Democrats to oppose Trump's anti-Obamacare proposal, saying the proposal lacks details to explain the bill's costs, how it will affect insurance premiums and how that will help or hurt people.
Trump ordered an end to the Obama-era program of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation for two years, saying the program has hurt Americans citizens by usurping their jobs and pushing down wages. Since the beginning of the program in 2012, more than 800,000 children were brought to the United States and they are all subject to deportation under Trump's order.
His executive order to ban the DACA program has sparked outrage and protests in front of the White House and received condemnations from leaders, such as former President Barack Obama who called his action in a tweet "wrong," "self-defeating" and "cruel." Under the DACA program, minors can stay and work in the United States for two years before facing immediate deportation.
Most of Trump's presidential acts have created anger and division across the United States and have lowered his national approval rating by 39 percent after six months of presidency, placing him as one of the most unpopular presidents in U.S. history, according to the BBC, citing a poll by U.S.-based Gallup research and management consultant firm.
"I think he feels he has an advantage when people are very emotional and very upset with him and very angry," said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in an interview at his office with the World Press Institute 2017 fellows. "He is so inflammatory. Part of his style is to create conflict," he added.
His presidential acts so far to undo Obama-era achievements prove that Trump is a populist president who seeks to work on behalf of certain opportunists or groups. That's a threat to the democracy and pluralism system of the United States, and as a result the country may face more disunity. On the other hand, his acts to reduce the U.S. role as international player may damage the country's international standing and leadership, and could push the nation into global isolation.
Trump's plan to scrap or renegotiate Iran's nuclear deal could decrease the allies trust and respect of the United States. His acts to shift the U.S. strategy in global affairs toward uncertainty could result in losing allies in Europe or elsewhere. Meanwhile, his acts to impose his own plans and replace the Obama's legacies may increasingly divide his nation.