History teachers offer perspective on Trump win


Brianna Staley and Zoe Vongtau

While there are a lot of questions about what a Donald Trump presidency will look like, Baldwin’s history teachers have been following the election closely and offered some perspectives.

History teacher Adam Foote noted that Trump’s business background could give a clue as to his leadership style.

“As CEO he put the interest of his company first,” Foote said. “As president, I think Trump will put America first.”

One key question is whether Trump will find a lot of support from Republicans in Congress for his ideas. History teacher Doug Graff points out that Trump had conflicts with House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Even with the bad blood, Graff said believes that Trump will go through the House and Senate to pass laws, rather than using executive orders to get things accomplished.

Foote said Trump’s running mate could help strengthen the relationship with Congress.

“I think Trump will get Republican support in Congress because of Mike Pence’s long, good relationship with them,” Foote said.

Foote said he does not believe Trump will seek a second term because of age. He also said some of Trump’s more extreme campaign promises might have a negative impact on his presidency if he doesn’t follow through on them.

“Trump has made a lot of promises. If he doesn’t come through on those promises, he opens himself up to a lot of challenges in four years,” Foote said.

Graff said it was unlikely that all the campaign promises Trump made would be upheld, like having a wall on the Mexican border paid for by Mexico.

Graff said Trump’s term in office will be interesting, since he won the electoral but not the popular vote.

“You will be trying to work with half a nation that doesn’t want you,” Graff said.

History teacher Rich Deemer pointed out how this was the second time in 16 years that a candidate has won the electoral vote but not the popular vote, which likely will cause more debate than the usual election results.

Deemer said Trump must bridge the divisions in his party and among the people of this country.

“Trump has to find a way to unify people he has pushed away,” he said.

History teacher Kate Deemer said that regardless of anyone’s personal feelings about the results, the election showed democracy in action.

“I’m confident that democracy works and that the people’s votes speak volumes,” she said.

Staff writers Thomas Becker, Nathaniel Breisinger, Mandi Bruni, Rebecca Case, Michaela Cavataio, Taylor Donahue, Sarah Fader, Maggie Hines, and Morgan Ott contributed to this report.