I would have loved to have been wrong about Donald Trump.
I don’t know what crow tastes like, but I gladly would have eaten some.
I’m still hopeful our institutions are strong enough to survive the havoc Trump and his ilk are wreaking, but what astounds me is how much footing this country has lost in a mere six months since Agent Orange put his hand on the Bible and lied through the Oath of Office.
The first concern is Trump’s cavalier attitude toward the climate.
French president Emmanuel Macron and British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson claim Trump has regrets over withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Accords.
True or not, evidence belies that claim.
Trump did after all appoint Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Like Trump, Pruitt dismisses scientific proof of climate change and is aggressively eliminating or delaying scores of environmental rules that were on pace to help us combat the most existential threat the human race has ever confronted.
These include rolling back cars’ and trucks’ emissions standards, undermining the clean power plan, easing water pollution restrictions, reversing a proposed ban on a pesticide linked to children’s developmental disorders, and ceasing regulations prohibiting power plants from dumping toxins like mercury into our water.
Moreover, public lands are fair game for coal mining, the Arctic and Atlantic ocean for oil and gas drilling, and two dozen national monuments are “under review” (i.e., on the chopping block).
Then there’s Trump’s abysmal immigration policy.
Nothing reeks more than his disgusting stance on “bad hombres” and those drug-dealing rapist Mexicans he loves so much. Let’s not forget one of the pitiful qualities endearing Trump to his most stubborn supporters is his disdain for Muslims.
The travel ban Trump said was a travel ban before it wasn’t before it was targets refugees and visa applicants from Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and Libya.
The first executive order provoked chaos at airports, temporarily separated families, canceled visas, and launched the country toward a constitutional precipice. Fortunately, federal courts intervened.
Lower courts blocked the second attempt in March. Naturally, Trump resorted to threats to abolish the federal appeals court he identified–incorrectly–as responsible for the decision.
Immigration lawyers are reporting individuals who pose no risk, with minimal or no criminal records, being targeted for deportation, as Trump reneges on a campaign promise to “work something out” and leave Dreamers alone.
It’s ironic this is the one campaign promise he wasn’t lying about. We could have forgiven a little flip-flopping here.
A third area of concern is our relationship to allies.
Former president Barack Obama spent eight years rebuilding our reputation with the world after his predecessor, George W. Bush, ignored most countries’ warnings about the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Now Trump is poised to add this to the list of Obama’s accomplishments he is laser focused on destroying.
So far, Trump has downplayed democracy and human rights under the guise of defending America and “the West.” He continues to play footsie with authoritarian leaders like Philippine president Roderigo Duterte, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the royal family of Saudi Arabia, known to be state sponsors of terror. Our usual allies are practically ready to write us off. Trump attacks the press, criticizes his own intelligence community while on foreign soil, and seems to really want a war with someone. Just look at the games he’s been playing with China and North Korea.
Next, LGBT rights and women. Yup. He sucks on those too.
In February, the administration withdrew guidelines requiring schools to provide transgender students access to restrooms and locker rooms that conform to their gender identities. Education secretary Betsy DeVos wants to restrict the federal government’s authority to intervene on students’ behalf when reporting sexual assault on college and university campuses.
The president signed legislation encouraging states to withhold federal family planning money from Planned Parenthood, which risks shutting down clinics. Moreover, Trump is poised to green light states’ elimination of Planned Parenthood from Medicaid programs, like what has already happened in Texas.
When Congress passes a budget this fall, Trump’s White House has made it clear it intends to zero out funding for the Legal Services Corporation, the primary source of legal assistance for women trying to escape domestic violence.
Trump’s a pretty shitty businessman.
This shouldn’t be a problem being that Trump sold himself as a “businessman.”
The president ordered a review of Dodd-Frank, the regulations enacted to rein in US financial institutions after they created the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Two months into his presidency, Trump pledged to “remove every job-killing regulation we can find,” and sicced deregulation teams to slash and burn. A recent ProPublica and New York Times investigation found those deregulation teams were operating under cloak and dagger.
Last, but certainly not least, is criminal justice under the self-proclaimed “law and order” president.
In a slue of executive orders signed in February Trump, one commissioned a task farce–I mean force–to recommend how to combat “the menace of rising crime.” Someone must have forgotten to invite some police chiefs and criminologists, though. I guess they might ruin things by admitting crime rates have actually fallen over the past years.
Meanwhile, Attorney general Jeff Sessions is not wasting any time, instructing federal prosecutors to seek the highest possible penalty in every case, lauding initiatives for federal prosecutors to acquire harsher sentencing.
Sessions has made it clear his justice department will not use its authority to investigate or reform local police departments, even in cases of gross negligence and blatant civil rights violations.
Did I mention Russian collusion?
Maybe I should write a book.