Trump's Presidency: A Brief Overview
At the end of this month, Americans will have lived under the Trump presidency for 250 days. At this time last year, many Americans could only imagine what a Trump presidency would look like, but now we’re realizing that the truth is stranger than any fiction we could have created. Since his inauguration on January 20, 2017, President Trump has flip-flopped on campaign promises, publically defended white supremacist, attempted to ban muslim immigrants from entering the country, all of the while displaying a never before seen level of disregard for the office of the President. It would take too much time (and too much paper) to discuss every misstep of the President’s tenure. Instead, we’ve decided to break down some of his major decisions and the implications it has on us.
January 27, 2017 - Muslim Ban
Within the first ten days of his presidency, Trump signed an executive order that severely restricted entrance of citizens from seven Muslim majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Notably, the ban did not include Muslim majority countries with which the Trump Organization conducts business like Saudi Arabia and Egypt. After national, bipartisan backlash, courts across the country petitioned it’s legality and a nationwide temporary restraining order was placed.
June 1, 2017 - Trump Vows to Withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement
Our president has shown and continues to show a disregard for science. His decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, a multinational agreement through the United Nations to mitigate climate change, is his latest attempt to turn back the clock on our country’s scientific advances. In the wake of this decision, numerous governors, mayors, and private citizens vowed to follow the tenets of the Paris Agreement regardless of whether the United States is formally involved. Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged to donate $15 million to the United Nations to make up for lost funding if the U.S. withdraws from the agreement. While President Trump later remarked that “something” could happen with the Paris Agreement, signaling a potential reversal of his vow to withdraw, his reluctance to work to mitigate climate change is concerning.
July 25, 2017 - Repeal and Replace Obamacare
One of President Trump’s biggest campaign promises was to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as Obamacare. Since getting in office, he’s charged House and Senate Republicans with repealing the act and creating a new health care plan. The republicans proposed multiple plans, but according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (C.B.O.), each iteration would end health care coverage for more than 20 million Americans who are currently insured under the ACA. More so, the Republicans have consistently failed in their attempts to repeal the ACA, replace the ACA, or a combination of the two, which is odd given that the Republicans have a majority in both the House and the Senate. The inability to pass legislations speaks to the major division within the Republican party.
July 27, 2017 - Transgender Ban
Soon after the Senate Republicans failed to repeal and replace Obamacare, Trump tweeted, “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Thank you.” The tweets are a serious affront to the LGBTQ/GNC (Gender Non-Conforming) community and come after Trump’s reversal of Obama administration protections for transgender youth to use bathrooms of their preference earlier this year. A month after the tweets, the White House sent guidelines to the Pentagon to detail how the military should handle transgender servicemembers.
August 13, 2017 - Response to Charlottesville's Unite the Right Rally
President Trump drew the ire of millions around the country after blaming “many sides” for the violence and death that occurred at the Unite the Right rally and counter protest. By drawing a false equivalency between the white supremacist and counter protesters and by calling the former “fine people”, the president made it even more clear that he will not hide his sympathy for bigots, racists, and Neo Nazis.
These events barely scratch the surface of the reality of the Trump presidency and don’t even mention his connections with Russia and the rapid personnel turnover in the White House. However, though many of the president’s actions have been utterly horrifying, we find solace in the fact that so many citizens are standing up against hate and bigotry. After the Unite the Right announced an additional rally in Boston on August 19th, more than 20,000 people showed up to protest the message of white supremacy. These moments of resistance matter and remind us of our collective humanity. There are still good people doing good things in this country and we will continue to show up and fight for what is right, even if our president won’t.