President Donald Trump’s biggest campaign promise in 2016 was and continues to be heavily stressed: building a wall. This southern border wall between the U.S. and Mexico would cost the U.S. at least $20 billion. While Trump’s original promise was that “Mexico will pay for it”, it’s looking like it is going to come out of American tax dollars. The 35-day government shutdown occurred because of Trump’s failure to pass the allocation of funds for the wall.

Past presidents have done a pretty good job at keeping most of their campaign promises. One of Barack Obama’s main promises of his campaigns was health care reform, which we saw fulfilled under the Affordable Care Act. He also kept his promises on financial regulation reform and prison sentencing reform. 

One of George W. Bush’s main campaign promises was education reform, which he fulfilled with the No Child Left Behind Act; some though, he failed to fulfill. 

Campaign promises can be hit or miss, but constituents can expect their elected officials to hit on big ones — like Trump and the wall. 

Whether you support the wall or not, Trump has not fulfilled his biggest promise at all, even when he had Republican majorities in both the House and Senate. After elections are said and done, fulfillment of campaign promises can depend on what party is in power in the other branches of government at the time. No action has been taken in building the wall and funding it during these past two years of Trump’s presidency, even when the government seemed to be within conservative favor for the past two years. 

That’s why it’s so important for politicians to keep their word and to not make empty promises that they cannot reasonably fulfill. This is a lesson that we must learn from 2016. Gone should be the days in which we give our votes to politicians who make thoughtless statements that are made to essentially trick voters into casting their votes for them. 

If Trump is re-elected without fulfilling his biggest promise, then we have accepted his failures in keeping his promise to the American people —  and consequently, his failure in doing his job.

So, what do we do? A lot of the people who do not usually vote who came out of the woodwork last election to vote for Trump will probably not vote in 2020 if no action is taken with the wall. That’s the whole reason he is trying to call for a national emergency in the eleventh hour. If the building of the wall doesn’t start or, at the very least, substantial funding isn’t allocated, Trump has very slim chances of winning in 2020.

As voters, what we can do is try and take everything politicians say with a grain of salt. If a plan or statement seems too good to be true, it probably is. It probably isn’t the best idea to trust a presidential candidate who believes they’re going to fix every problem in America in four short years. 

Smaller, more reachable claims made by presidential candidates may be the better option to consider when voting. Small action is better than no action, and if we can just elect someone reasonable who truly want to take steps to help our country improve, then it will.

Mikayla Rochelle is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What do you think of Trumps chances in 2020? Tell Mikayla by tweeting her at @mikayla_roch.

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