AP Government Post #5

Have American’s expectations about the presidency exceeded one man’s or woman’s ability to govern in an increasingly complex society?  In answering this question, think about the expectations that  President Trump generated during his the campaign.  Politifact details the promises made by President Trump and their status.  Did President Obama raise the expectations on his presidency?

This post will close on April 6 at 5:00 PM.  Refer the Discussion Post rubric if you have questions on how to earn points.

88 thoughts on “AP Government Post #5

  1. I think modern technology and social media today has made unrealistic expectations. With the internet, anyone has access to any opinion and they can be influenced to believe a president is doing a poor job when in reality a president might be just as good as another.

    • I agree, and while nearly everyone has access to news sites and social media, people can say whatever they want. Trump can say whatever he wants on twitter, and make whatever promises he wants, and while that may gain him support (and twitter followers) just because he wants them doesn’t mean that Congress will let it happen.

    • I agree, it is difficult to objectively define the success of a president when even facts are split along party lines. Social media may not be the most accurate source of information, but it is the most common.

      • I didn’t even think about that. How the different parties probably consider different things to be true. That will definitely make what the president does sound different from person to person.

    • I completely agree. There is only so much a person can do and there are things happening behind the scenes as well that the public doesn’t always see.

  2. It’s not that’s the job has changed all that much over the years, but society around it, with hyperpluralism at its peak and with the helps of modern technology, everybody’s voice can be heard and it can be heard loudly, and it’s jmoossible for one man to please everybody so it makes the job impossible.

    • And the reason why everyone’s voice is heard is because of modern technology such as the internet and social media.

      • I also feel like modern technology has the ability to enable more people to become involved in the political process. I wonder if this would cancel out the amount of propaganda produced on such a large scale today.

      • But I don’t think technology alone is responsible for such a chaotic environment in our political world. I think it is more of the misdirecting of information from the people who know what is going on and the between those who are in powers.

    • Everyone wants something now a days and no one wants to be happy with what we get, and when they do get what they want it’s still not enough

      • And we also expect things so quickly because of how far we are able to find information with the internet and social media.

    • I certainly think it’s interesting that the president’s voice is now one of the loudest on social media today. Society surrounding the president, and the president’s role both seem to have shifted.

    • I agree! There is too many expectations put on the president and when they are not fulfilled people get frustrated.

  3. While I believe it is almost impossible to fulfill every promise made during a campaign, and to every pundit, I believe there is a stark difference between promising with the hope of trying, and promising with the hope of getting votes.

    I think despite the numerous fulfilled and unfulfilled promises of Obama’s 2 term presidency, the expectations for his presidency were already drastically high, due to the 2008 housing crisis, being a Democratic president after a two term Republican president, and entering in, in the midst of the war on terror. No matter how many promises Obama made, fulfilled or disregarded, the presidency was already going to have expectations of unreachable proportions.

    • I agree with you. Things happen during a presidency that we have to focus our attention and efforts to, so promises may be left unfulfilled.

    • I agree that it is impossible for the president to follow through with every promise made during their campaign. I still think it is wrong to lie just to get support from voters.

  4. I do think that our society has exaggerated the power that one person can have in government. Without real support from their party, Congress, or their cabinet, it doesn’t matter who you are, the President can’t always do what they want. Trump said that he was going to build the US/Mexico border wall, but Congress has repeatedly told him that they will not give him any funding for that cause. Even President Obama wanted to make some new laws in his two terms, but with the Republicans in general control (majority) of Congress, nearly all of his proposed bills and laws were denied. America overestimated the power one person could have as president.

    • I agree that it is unfair to expect much from a president when Congress is set up against them. People seem to ignore the checks and balances in government in favor of criticising the president.

    • I agree that the presidential power portrayed to the average American person is inflated. I feel that presidents need to have realistic goals for themselves and they need to be upfront with the public when they cannot deliver something they promised.

    • Right. The system of checks and balances ensures that the President can’t just do whatever he wants. Even if some people support his decisions, he can’t really make new laws without Congress’s approval.

  5. I am unsure if the expectations the American people have for the president have changed; Nixon set the bar pretty low. However it seems that expectations still rose after his scandal. It’s hard to follow up a good president because expectations are high, it’s hard to follow up a bad president because the economy is your problem now.

    • I feel like no matter what, the expectations are astronomically high.

      Unless you’re Donald Trump.

      Because nothing matters anymore.

  6. I believe that the expectations of the president to govern over all things going I feel can be overwhelming, with the increase in technology and more acceptance of others opinions (barely) I think that there’s a lot that people want changed and to happen now, and for one person that can be overwhelming, the amount of people that are against you and the mixed opinions make decisions hard to please everyone.

    • I agree. The US is a fast growing world and people want things done now, but that is a lot to put on one mans shoulders.

    • I mean, he does have different branches and congress to consult with on his decisions. (Wait, I haven’t checked twitter to see who he’s fired today, I might not be right)

  7. I think that America’s expectations are a little too big for the president to reach. In order for “us” to accept someone to become our president, the president must make promises that can/will not be kept. He tries his best, but the perfect world is different in everyone’s mind. President Obama is one who made many promises but couldn’t keep them all.

    • I agree that the perfect world is different for everyone and the president cannot possibly please everyone with his policies.

  8. I think a lot of this stems from the want for people to vote for them. By this i mean, people will promise anything by the time they win and when they do they loose their drive. This results in them doing a lot of clean up work and paperwork rather than instilling the factors and qualities of government/ ideals they expressed in their speeches. Trump talked about building a wall a million times over in his political campaign. There is no wall built and no funds generated to contribute to building this wall so one of his main promises has been left empty. I think that becoming a leader or the main leader of America comes with criticism. You can’t please everyone and it’s better to stand with your values then waiver.

    • I agree, many promises are made during campaigns that fall through when the candidate becomes president. With so many false promises, we begin to question if a genuine promise is really true at all.

    • I agree that promises will be made with the sole purpose of being attractive to a certain group of voters. With the amount of promises being made and little progress being seen for those promises to be fulfilled, I feel that some are beginning to question President Trump’s legitimacy.

    • I agree completely, because most of the impossible expectations are held by people who really trusted Trump during the election, because (to no fault of their own) he told people what they wanted to hear- that he would bring back coal jobs, and build the border wall- appealing specifically to the people who are most affected by those promises.

  9. I think America has created expectations that are too much to handle for one person. They also aren’t pateint enough to wait for things to happen. The promises have grown outrageous also because the president wants the votes and when the people’s promises aren’t met they become angry.

    • I definitely agree that it seems cyclical – as the public becomes frustrated, the President promises more to appease them, and more promises go unfulfilled, etc. Unfortunately this is something that doesn’t really have an end in sight because of how common it’s become.

  10. I feel like as a President, your sole job is to look after the country you are running and to take care of it while maintaining peace with other foreign countries. Personally, I think these goals are very realistic and attainable WITH the correct person in power. That being said, there are policies that Trump has proposed that I believe do not correspond with the greater good of the country, such as his promise to defund planned parenthood. I really don’t see the use in that. With that money he wants to take form a women’s healthcare system, is he planning on using it for foster housing, birth control methods, or maybe even a better women’s healthcare system? I haven’t seen that. I may be besides the point and I cannot speak for everyone but the President should be able to improve society in America and maintain good foreign relations (but that’s going down the drain with all these trade wars…).
    Has anyone looked into what other world leaders think of the POTUS? I am interested to see what they have to say.

    • I feel like it’s hard to have a “right” person in power because today’s opinions are extremely divisive. In terms of keeping promises, I think overpromising is now one of the chief ways to get elected to the presidency.

    • I agree with how many promises are made and the ones that they actually go through with are ones that don’t always make a better nation. I fell they go for the easy thing not the important.

    • I think, no matter what, there will always be some foreign relations that are sour, due to the political party of the president, and the affiliations/history of that party.

      • I agree but I also believe that no matter whos in power they should try and create maintain and improve the health of foreign relations so long as it isn’t damaging or threatening our country.

      • I also propose a nee idea. All world leaders should come together and listen to the beatles. They got the right idea man.

  11. I think that the expectations Americans have of what the president can achieve within a four year term have become unrealistic. This is mainly because of the access to social media allowing candidates to make promises during the campaign so quickly and easily. With a large amount of promises, they begin to lose sincerity and are often left behind once a candidate becomes president because a person can only do so much in that position with all of the formal laws and regulations that stall progress. Our society is so used to having everything at our fingertips without much of a delay, and we are now expecting the same from the president.

    • I can see how access to social media is a easy platform for candidates to make promises even if they do not have the intention to go through with it.

    • I agree that as politicians make promises, they lose most value and sincerity. Even if one wanted to go through with one of their proposed laws, congress must vote on it, and in the current administration, I highly doubt that congress would entertain it. Point being, their are many obstacles surrounding a president’s campaign plans.

  12. I believe that the promises made by the president are what attracts to the people to him as a candidate. They believe that as president, their promises would be kept due to the high expectation that society has set for this position. The president is a well-known figure of government that the people would often rely on to improve the nation. The list of promises that the president has made serves more as a guideline instead of a to-do list; but with the high expectations by the people, they want to see it all go through.

    • I think that the people now expect that the president will not keep all their promises because of all the presidents beforehand which have also not kept theirs.

    • I agree. I think people should have lower expectations for one person though and the presidents should back off on the amount of promises made.

  13. I feel that Americans have an idealized vision of what a president should be. In reality, not one person can make every single citizen happy while in office and this often leads to disappointment. Especially in a diverse polarized constituency, it is hard to find a “perfect” way to govern. I think that the president should not promise more than what he/she can realistically accomplish, as some feel that President Trump has done. Barack Obama was a young, energetic president with fresh ideals that really spoke to the public after they had suffered an economic housing crisis. I believe this helped to raise the presidential standard.

    • I agree on the idea that every single citizen cannot be satisfied. The society does get more and more divisive to the point that almost every issue has two sides, and people are firmly and passionately on one of the sides.

      • I agree with your statement Aubrey. People are so sensitive now that even being on different sides is offensive. The sensitivity and high expectations of society are taking a toll.

  14. I personally believe that it is impossible for a president of the United States to meet the needs of the majority because just about every citizen has his or her’s own idea of what the president should be. This leads to a lot of conflict and prominent disappointment because those who are not satisfied voice their displeasures. Presidents do promise too much when they try to get elected. I feel like that is a given, since candidates have to do just about whatever it takes to get elected, so unrealistic promises tend to rise. I do not believe President Obama raised expectations for his presidency because people had no clue what to expect from the nation’s first ever African American president. Also I feel like in wake of controversies with Presidents Nixon and Clinton, the people and the president’s relationship became strained. This meant that the majority of expectations were uneasy and curious.

  15. I believe that its not reasonable to expect the president to accomplish all of his/her plans as stated in their campaigns. Regardless of what party the president is aligned with, you cannot make everyone happy. Realistically, politicians say they are going to do something, but in reality are only saying it to get the vote of a certain majority. That being said, I feel it is wrong to completely falsify ones platform just for the sake of getting a vote. Regarding our expectations of the presidency, I do not believe Obama raised the bar in any way. To compare Trump to Obama is comparing apples to freight trains. The administration of the two have targeted very different planks during their time in the white house. While Obama did have many successful policies, he also had some failures, i.e Obama Care, so to say he raised the bar would be inaccurate. Conversely, I think Trump has lowered the bar for our next president SIGNIFICANTLY. In addition, I feel that American citizens will not hold the president to as high of accountability as previously.

  16. I do believe that the expectations have been certainly raised by Obama and currently are being lowered by Trump. I say this because during Obamas presidency he kept almost half the promises that he made, while Trump isn’t following the lead, by breaking and making illogical promises

  17. I think that the expectations society has of a president today are high. Every president has said that they would do things during their campaigns to appeal to people, but the reality is once they are in office, things are much harder to accomplish. There are few things that the president can do on his own without the approval of Congress and other people. I don’t think President Obama necessarily raised the expectations because he too made promises he couldn’t keep. Also, Obama and Trump have completely different approaches to the presidency.

    • I agree it’s impossible for us to blame and put all this pressure on the president, considering he has to get approval from one or more branches of government to really do anything

      • Exactly, expecting the agenda of congress and the President to align is highly unreasonable. This is why I do not feel like the bar has been raised for the presidency. Regardless of who is the current president, they can expect push back from congress when proposing bills.

    • It’s true that Obama and Trump have had entirely different presidencies. It seems unfair to compare them too closely, especially since Obama had two terms to push legislation through and Trump is still relatively early in his term.

    • I agree, people come up with random wants and needs and expect the president to fulfill them, no matter how outrageous. The president has a considerably complex job in dealing with millions of opinions.

  18. The fact of the matter is, the presidential campaign is a popularity contest. People make wild promises that they don’t fulfill during presidency all the time to get themselves elected. Presidents are also just as human as anyone else so when their lives are under constant scrutiny and observation because of social media, they are bound to do something stupid, and expecting them to come up with solutions that appeal to everyone is just impossible. I think we should keep this in mind when we consider our high expectations for presidents.

    • I agree! We put so much pressure on our president to solve everyone’s problems, but that would be almost impossible.

      • I agree that we hold high expectations and hold them to the highest of standards, but this is the leader of our country, yes it may seem cruel to have an opinion about everything he/she may do; this is someone who is the leader of millions of people, for them to do something out of character and in representation of their own people would be disgraceful.

    • I agree that the presidential campaign has turned into a popularity contest. They continue make empty promises to appeal to voters and voters still seemed shocked when there is no follow through. I think there is a flaw in the system because popularity had become more important than policy and that needs to change.

  19. I think that as our society has advanced we have created unrelatistic views about what our president, a role originally not meant to be as big as it is today, is able to accomplish. We believe that whoever is in the office of president can solve all of the country’s problems and more. The issues are also much more complex then the public believes. So it puts the person who is president in a very stressful and difficult position in an already stressful job.

    • I agree with your point on the fact that our expectations of what the president can do had substantially increased over the years as more and more outlets for people to express their ideals are created.

    • I agree with your statement that a lot of people think the president can solve all of our countries problems. There is a lack of common knowledge about what the president can and cannot do/accomplish by him or herself

  20. I believe that the expectations of our presidents these day are pretty high. We expect them to deliver everything they promise, but that is not always possible. In order to solve problems as a country, the president has to work with other members because he cannot accomplish everything on his own and that is why presidency is not just about the president, but all the members that help make decisions to shape a better society.

  21. I agree on the point that Americans’ expectations of the President have increased and they exceed most of the capabilities given to the president. I think that social media and new outlets played a large part in this increasingly complex society of ours, mixing up every problem and overexaggerating them. The president took advantage of the panic and confusion caused by these diversions and made promises according to what the citizens wanted. This certainly increased the amount of work placed on the president and one must agree that some of these promises are a bit high-ended.

    • I agree that social media is making the president’s job a lot harder than it used to be by adding stress from the over exaggerated news. It’s hard to please everyone, especially when basically everyone is being fed fake news.

    • I agree that with social media, it is difficult to figure out what is real news or what isn’t. It makes it easier for any politician to to take advantage of the confusion to forward their plans, not just for the president.

  22. I think that the president cannot fulfill all of the promises he makes. Given that he made so many and some of them requires other people’s permission and funding. I think there are a lot of Americans that think too highly of the president, but with that, by now I think there’s a recognition that given almost every president hasn’t fulfilled every promise they’ve made, that the president will not keep his word on everything.

    • That is a good point about how the president needs funding and permission from other branches government

    • I definitely agree that the extensive checks and balances systems in the US Federal Government limit what any one President can do. This often reflects poorly on the President despite the fact that they cannot control much of this process. Although I do feel like President’s and Presidential candidates need to realize this and reflect this in the promises they make so as not to perpetuate the increasingly high standards that the public expects them to meet while in office.

  23. I believe that in this day and age it is impossible for the president to meet all of promises he makes because of people’s rank on what promises need to come first and it won’t make everyone happy.

  24. I believe that as society continues to grow and develop new problems, the president’s job may become increasingly difficult. Adjusting to the new wants and needs of the people will constantly provide the president with more things to consider. The president can promise as many things as they want in order to gain popularity, but at the end of the day they are just people, and they can only do so much before they are spent. There are many things that Trump has promised to do that seem unrealistic because other ideas have taken the spotlight. As for Obama, in 8 years he didn’t promise much, but he finished through with things he promised.

  25. It seems to be a competition in who can promises the most to the public in order to sway voters. Pair that with the party politics in the House and nothing will ever get done. It seems that the pressure isn’t just on the president but the members of Congress and the House as well. With the internet, every word is accounted for, and it’s much more difficult to get away with unfulfilled promises. It doesn’t help that the government has expanded immensely since its birth.

  26. I think Americans’ expectations about the presidency have exceeded one person’s ability to govern our society. People overestimate the power of the president and expect them to fulfill every promise when in reality not everything is in their control. I think these unrealistic expectations are generated during the campaign process because candidates often make empty promises in order to gain votes. The voters then expect the president to follow through with every promise, but many of the issues are out of their hands. I think that Obama’s presidency may have contributed to the rise in expectation because people expected him to have done certain things he promised to do. I also think that social media and the internet have added pressure and unrealistic expectations to the presidency. Now people are more educated about current events and everything that the president does or does not do. They can access this information at the press of a button and openly display their opinion on the matter. Voters are becoming increasingly critical and therefore expecting more and more from the president.

  27. I feel like most people don’t have unrealistic expectations of the president. At this point, in this presidency, extremely reasonable expectations like “don’t assault women” and “don’t collude with foreign countries” aren’t being met. The problem then seems to lie not in America’s expectations, but the reputation Trump has established for himself. The problems are exacerbated because of the polarization of media that’s occurred. The strong critics (CNN) and supporters (Fox) constantly scramble for things to condemn or praise, respectively. A polarization of media inevitably leads to a polarization of the public, which makes it near impossible to reach high satisfaction ratings regardless of everything else. And, as long as the public is unhappy, promises will continue to be made and inevitably broken, further perpetuating the cycle. So, it’s not a problem with the expectations being too high; rather, it’s the culture around making outlandish promises that are near impossible to fulfill.

    • I agree with this to a certain point, but I also feel like Trump himself has created standards that are too high for the Presidency. He was elected under the premise that he was going to “build a wall,” among other extremely difficult political, economic, and social ideas. These are the standards that he set for himself and the American people. I do think that the scandals like his sexual assault and foreign collusion allegations are being used to redirect the public’s attention to a certain point. In conclusion, I feel like Trump’s presidency is tarnishing the honor and respect that has always been upheld in the White House.

  28. I do believe that America’s expectations of the Presidency have exceed the capabilities of any one man or woman (especially with the current Constitutional and term limitations). President’s make hundreds of promises, especially on the campaign trail. This is a smart tactic for gaining voter support; Trump even went so far as to say, “If I’m elected president, I’m accepting no salary.” This, along with promises to “build a wall and make Mexico pay for it!” are practically impossible, but obviously appealed to some voters enough to get him into office. I think each Presidency raises the expectations for the next President, but Obama’s success with Universal Healthcare (a.k.a. ObamaCare) and his stark differences in political views and opinions compared to Trump seems to have set a very high bar the Trump has failed to meet.

    • This is very true. Presidents do make many promises they don’t intend to keep just for votes. There are few promises that presidents keep.

  29. I think the needs of society are always going to be complex. Especially because we’re evovling year after after. I also believe Trump raised expectations on his own but making big promises that’s hes not going to me able to keeps.

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