Hello readers! February has descended upon us here in the states with a flurry of executive orders, bans and political mishaps. As it’s shown from my absence of posts, these past weeks have been overwhelming and honestly there’s so much that can be discussed. The Trump administration and current political climate is extremely concerning, with the next four years cloaked in uncertainty for what’s to come. There are calls from some Americans to give him a chance, to “calm down” and ease up on the criticism of every move he makes. But here’s the thing, we can’t. Americans and people around the world voicing concerns are absolutely in the right; giving him a chance is not an option because look at what’s already happened in the past few weeks. There are many who can’t afford to give him a “break”, who can’t afford to sit back and plug their ears and cover their eyes.
A co-worker told me, the day after the election, when I came into work crying, that I needed to “chill” because I was white and so Trump wouldn’t affect me (My dad’s mom, my Abuela, is Cuban though and her family immigrated here.) As a young straight white woman who is yes, privileged, I of course can’t empathize with struggles from certain communities, but I can sympathize and stand in solidarity. Plus, Trump’s track record with women and his stance on women’s rights does affect me greatly. A guy who I had been texting recently and now has found himself without a potential date, brought up that he supports Trump and when pressed for why, gave an answer that included “he’s a business man and I think he’s doing/going to do a good job in the white house.” This is what makes me want to bang my head into a wall multiple times; the people who ask in response to criticism of trump ,” but what exactly has he done that’s so bad?” Well, let’s take a look at how the current administration is doing so far.
- His cabinet appointees. Take Betsy Devos, for example. Lacking in qualifications for being Secretary of Education and supports policies that would ultimately harm public education and teachers in the system. She has never worked in education or had experience with the public school system. Things like charter schools, vouchers, private education and school choice all have implications for the future of public education. A focus on the charter schools and vouchers for private will leave public schools to fend for themselves with little federal help or investment. Our system is already in dire need of fixing. Jeff Sessions as Attorney General is even more concerning, as he has a past of blatant racism and harmful policy choices. The future of communities such as the LGBTQ and issues such as police brutality can be negatively impacted by Sessions. Scott Pruitt has been an opponent of the EPA in the past, going so far as to say it should be abolished. Well, now he’s running it. This is bad news for an already damaged environment and as a huge environmental person, I’ll be watching his actions closely over time.
2.The Muslim ban. A recent executive order implemented by trump, barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries including Syria, Iran and Iraq, has left the country and the rest of the world in disarray. Immediately following its implementation, airports descended into chaos across the country as people, including even green card holders and university students, were stuck in limbo. Thousands of people gathered at airports to protest and lawyers were frantically working on the spot. And to show how chaotic the administration actually is, news came out that many of the top agencies were not even briefed by Trump and his closest aides. They actually didn’t know exactly what the executive order comprised of. Finally, the 9th circuit court in San Francisco, won the fight to put a hold on the ban, deeming it unconstitutional and a safety hazard to states. Of course Trump took to twitter and like the idiot he is, made a completely irrelevant remark. Currently, Trump is in the process of creating a new order.
3. Kellyanne Conway and “alternative facts.” Ah yes, the woman who is a master gymnast with words, defended Spicer’s remarks about Trump’s inauguration crowd turnout being bigger than it actually was, by explaining that he was using “alternative facts.” Which in real person talk, means “lies.” What’s dangerous about Conway, is the fact that she is normalizing this toxic relationship with free press and spewing so much nonsense out that an informative debate on the news is quite impossible. She made up a massacre (The Bowling Green Massacre) in order to back up a point, she plugged Ivanka’s clothing line while on tv, and those are just a few of the mishaps. She’s got a way with words for sure.
4. Still on the topic of press, the trump administration is proving to be a threat to free press. This war he and his admin are waging against journalists is unprecedented in american presidential history. From remarks that the press doesn’t report terrorist attacks to Spicer’s incompetence during press briefings to the term “fake news”, there is no doubt that this struggle is paving the way for more people to disregard hard facts and reporting if they don’t agree with them. Trump and his admin are pushing this idea on the public that the best news comes directly from the president, from the people in charge, and not from the journalists of well established and trusted news outlets. That is scary.
5. Other countries have been burned by Trump by now, including our most reliable and steady ally Australia; his administration is a bad representation of our county abroad. Plus, I’m not really comfortable with the fact that Russia is so buddy buddy with Trump, and his stance on North Korea is unclear, which leaves me feeling a bit uncertain about the future of their nuclear weapons program.
6. Trump fired attorney general Sally Yates after she refused to enforce the Muslim ban order. By judging the legality of the ban and its constitutionality, essentially doing her job, she was fired. And that backfired on the administration, only making them to look more authoritarian and unsympathetic.
The list could go on and on; those are just a few highlights.
Tip for the day- Please take the time to do some research on a topic/topics that are often misunderstood. Examples: Planned Parenthood, immigrants, global warming, and feminism. The more informed we are, the better we can understand each other.
links to a few overviews of the issues: