Many imagine the president’s day to be brimming with important duties from early in the morning until late in the evening, but President Trump seems to be an interesting exception. Recently, the president’s schedule was leaked by a member of the White House. Axios media released this information in an article detailing common elements of the president’s daily routine. The report described Trump’s reduced activity since midterms and heavy emphasis on the so-called “executive time.” Trump generally allocates five hours in the morning to this designated time, with more interspersed throughout the rest of the day. Former Chief of Staff John Kelly coined the phrase “executive time,” but for President Trump, it consists mostly of phone calls, tweeting, and a lot of television watching. For someone who constantly boasts on Twitter about how hardworking he is, Trump seems content with doing very little.
Criticizing Trump for not utilizing his time properly and not behaving as a president should feels almost superfluous. This much should be astonishingly clear to everyone, and we shouldn’t have to pressure the president to do his own job. While most liberals will react with outrage just as they have when past Trump absurdities have come to light in the past, conservatives should take a moment to really consider the implications of this new information. Rather than jumping to Trump’s defense as a means to continue pushing the conservative agenda, they should ask themselves whether the ends justify the means. Is using Trump to pass conservative legislation even worth it anymore?
Even though Trump has floundered in his role as the most important representative of the United States, Republicans have been fairly happy with his administration, or at least feign contentment. While he has averaged an overall approval rating of forty-three percent, among Republicans he currently holds a ninety percent approval rating, according to the most recent Gallup poll. Despite all the apparent scandals that have plagued Trump's presidency, such as this new “executive time” revelation, conservatives stand by the man they voted for. When looking at what Trump has accomplished so far, it’s not hard to understand why they overlook these flaws.
Many of the issues that Trump built his campaign around have been addressed in the past two years. First off, the economy is doing well. It’s hard to hate a president whose policies have seemingly boosted a thriving economy. Since February 2017, the country has seen 4.91 million new jobs. Republicans passed a tax bill that cut taxes across nearly all income brackets. He’s slashed regulations and withdrawn from the Paris climate agreement. He’s also successfully nominated two conservative judges. All of these accomplishments appear favorable to the Trump support base.
But with the new insight into how Trump prefers to spend his working days, it becomes uncertain whether these accomplishments are really thanks to the president. Considering his first two years were aided by the immense power of the House and the Senate, it could be argued that all of these accomplishments are happening in spite of Trump’s incompetence. It’s not necessarily Trump himself who is causing all of this change; rather, the changes can be attributed to the massive advantage of having a Republican legislative and executive branch cooperate to achieve their goals. While Republicans may be happy with the current status of the conservative agenda, they should take a moment to imagine how much better off they might be with a conservative in office who didn’t spend the better part of his day watching television.
Not only would Republicans benefit from having a different conservative in office, but so would everyone else. While Democrats would likely lose ground with a more effective conservative president, at least they wouldn’t have to deal with the embarrassment of a leader with childlike tendencies. It is overwhelmingly clear that in the 2020 election, Trump will be the one facing off with another democratic candidate. With this in mind, it is important to realize that while many R