[UPDATE: I will be delving into my motivation for building this viz, and how I did it, in a #MyRecentViz webinar on Feb 7th]
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 excellent American 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.