Former US presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump were very different when executing their duties, and this was primarily attributed to their backgrounds. Despite being fed by political ideologies, politicians will also depend on their personal opinion since decisions do not come out of a vacuum but stem from their history, personal background, and worldview.
The presidential office only tied together Obama and Trump; otherwise, they represented a different setup when ruling America.
Every US president is blessed with a voice of executive order which entails “an ordinance issued on the authority of the head of the executive branch of government.” It can also be defined as an act of “issuing federal directives in the United States, used by the President of the United States, that manages operations of the federal government [Source]. In layman’s terms, an executive order is a rule or order given out by a president of the United States of America.
Obama vs. Trump Executive Orders
During his 8 years as American first black president reign, Obama issued 276 executive orders, and during the 4 years he was in the presidential office, Trump actioned 220 executive orders [Source].
Before he became President, Trump despised his predecessor Obama for using executive orders in a bid to grab power and described them as “power grabs” and a “basic disaster.” In 2012, he tweeted that “Why is Barack Obama constantly issuing executive orders that are major power grabs of authority?” [Source]. Trump also said, “The country wasn’t based on executive orders during his campaign. Right now, Obama goes around signing executive orders. He can’t even get along with the Democrats, and he goes around signing all these executive orders. It’s a basic disaster. You can’t do it”. But surprisingly enough, when he was elected as President, Trump surpassed Obama’s executive orders annually and had issued more of these orders than Obama during the same period.
It was argued that “Obama’s scrutinized early orders sought to ban the use of torture in enemy interrogations, shut down the Central Intelligence Agency’s overseas prisons, and close Guantanamo Bay within a year [Source]. Trump made early orders which raised eyebrows among other politicians and government officials. He signed “an order to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, put in place a temporary ban on all refugees and restrictions on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, inked an order that paves the way for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, green-lit two controversial oil pipelines, and signed an order that dramatically restructures the National Security Council.”
Such orders did come as a surprise because Trump was always against immigrants who were flooding his country and sought to lock them out of America. Trump’s earlier executive orders include ‘Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal,’ and this proves his problem with Obamacare [Source]. He also pursued ‘Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements’ to deter vast numbers of people who wanted to resettle in the US.
Obama focused on curbing violations of human rights in security forces detention camps and assisting refugees. He actioned the ‘Review and Disposition of Individuals Detained At The Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and Closure of Detention Facilities and Ensuring Lawful Interrogations. He was also interested in aiding vulnerable people across the globe through signing off these orders: ‘American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities; Power Africa Initiative, advancement of goals to expand access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa’ [Source].
From the executive orders actioned by these two former presidents, one can conclude that a president does make moves relying on their worldview, personal instincts, and aspirations.