As a left-leaning citizen, I watch in horror as Donald Trump dismantles Obama’s legacy. As a British person, the reports of Trump’s signing of a multitude of executive orders, actions, and presidential memoranda leave me in shock. How can a nation have a system where a president can pass laws without any checks or balances?
“Surely this level of activity is unprecedented,” I think.
Wary that drawing a conclusion based on media reports alone is risky, I sought the data to compare Trump to previous presidents. I got the data from the excellentAmerican Presidency Project.
My data-driven, fact-based conclusion is disheartening: Trump is merely following the lead set by Obama 8 years ago. Barak Obama signed 9 executive orders in his first 10 days. He was the first president to get the pen out to dismantle the previous president’s legacy. Prior to Obama, George W signed two orders in the first ten days. Before him Clinton signed three.
8 years ago, I probably applauded those executive orders Obama signed. Little could I predict that he was setting a precedent that could be used by any future president.
I was honored to be invited to speak at Visualized:Political Data in Washington DC this week. It was a great event with some amazing speakers. I presented a summary of my UK Election Project (http://impartialityuk.tumblr.com/). Here are the slides – hopefully of some use even though they don’t have the script!
In just one hour I won’t possibly be able to pack in everything there is to know. Today I am launching a new tumblr, 100 Years Of Brinton. Over the next few months, I’ll be posting snippets from the book. My hope is these will inspire and entertain you. The ultimate goal? For everyone, not just dataviz nerds like me, to know about Willard C Brinton’s amazing book.
I hope you come along to the session. If not, follow the blog, and let me know what you think using the hashtag #100yrsOfBrinton.
The power of social networking has struck again. Next are seeking their next Top Model. Computer Science graduate Roland Bunce is the runaway favourite so far. I took the data of the top five entrants and created this viz to emphasize how big a lead he’s got. Go Roland! More details at the Guardian.