Donald Trump has posted a video summarising his first year in office, which gives an insight into what the president sees as his biggest accomplishments as 2018 begins.
Beginning with martial drums and numerous shots of the Marine One helicopter, and US soldiers keeping watch over the president, the three-and-a-half-minute clip focuses first on Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the supreme court – one of his best decisions in the eyes of conservatives, but a move viewed much more nervously by liberals.
The video then skips to footage of Trump speaking to victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and holding up a Puerto Rican flag – glossing over his lengthy dispute with authorities in the US territory over the perceived weakness of the federal response to Hurricane Maria there compared to the aid given after disasters on the mainland.
A quick out-of-focus shot of Trump chatting to Theresa May at the G20 in Germany also airbrushes a tricky relationship – most recently when her criticism of his decision to retweet messages from a British far-right group led to Trump tetchily telling her she should focus on “Radical Islamic Terrorism” and not on him.
As the controversial speech he made in Poland in which he said “our civilisation will triumph” plays, Trump is shown at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, the city he recognised as Israel’s capital this month in the face of almost unanimous opposition from foreign allies, who view its status as a key part of future negotiations with the Palestinians.
Trump goes on to hail jobs figures (whose strength can be overstated), the rise in the stock market (which he has been accused of using as “a substitute metric for success given his anemic poll numbers”), and his recent tax cuts (which favour the rich and corporations), as well as his idiosyncratic campaign to politicise the phrase “Merry Christmas”, before ending with an excerpt from a speech he made to the US air force in which he told personnel, “For America, the sky is never the limit,” as the camera lingers ominously on a fighter jet.
Trump’s social media team has made a habit of releasing short videos to mark what the administration considers key events. This new year one is perhaps less avant-garde than the recap of Trump’s trip to Asia in November, which featured backwards footage of local cyclists and slo-mo clips of the president striding along red carpets, all soundtracked by a tune that recalled Hans Zimmer’s Rain Man soundtrack. And it is slightly less jingoistic than his iMovie-style slideshow of his trip to the G20, which included a song based around his campaign slogan “make America great again”.
But he returned to that theme with the message that accompanied his new year video, telling his 45.5 million followers: “What a year it’s been, and we’re just getting started. Together, we are MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! Happy New Year!!”
Whether the thought that Trump is just getting started will delight or terrify you in 2018 may depend somewhat on your political persuasion.
As midnight approached, the president followed up with a tweet that recalled last year’s infamous new year’s message focusing on his “many enemies”.
The enemies, and indeed haters, still got a mention, but there was room this year for friends too – and even the “Fake News Media”.