Trump First Week Delights and Worries
There are a lot of pleased voters in the US right now. Many commentators and anyone who has lived through an American Presidential term knows that politicians promise a lot while campaigning and then walk back those promises once in office. Those who voted for Donald Trump were promised he would not only get tough on immigration, but include a southern border wall and large-scale deportations. Those who were skeptical thought he would be more hesitant once in office, and focus on expanding background checks, increasing the size of the border patrol, and cracking down on illegal immigrants who commit crimes (other than being here). Well, it seems Trump is determined to do what he said he would.
He has already issued an order for a physical wall to be built and ordered “sanctuary cities” stripped of federal funding. He also insists he will make Mexico pay for the wall. This was an act of pandering idioticy during the election; now, I do not even know what to call it. No self-respecting nation would pay for a wall in another country to keep its own people out of that country. Mexico will never agree to do such a thing. No one would. I suspect we as citizens are supposed to accept this inflammatory declaration as part of Trump negotiating with Mexico???
I am not even certain what part of this makes me angrier. I am a conservative, and though I did not support Trump I was prepared to be surprised and pleased once he was in office. There are plenty of things Trump and I would agree on. Trump could be focusing on the US economy, cutting US corporate taxes from their far-too-high 35% to a much more sensible 15%. He could be endorsing legislation for a tax amnesty to bring US corporate profits back to invest in this country. He could be rewriting the tax code with sensible rules reducing loopholes, eliminating the “double-dipping” tax rules that see US corporation’s overseas profits taxed twice if brought into this country, or adjusting the simply foolish bracket system that means that workers can lose money by earning more money based on an arbitrary income level. He could be cutting red tape. He could be investing his energy into getting his cabinet confirmed. He could be creating a successor to the Affordable Care Act before some over-enthusiastic fool in Congress repeals it without anything to replace it for the 30 million Americans who use it. He could be figuring out how he is possibly going to grow the military, border protection, a $15-25 billion dollar wall, massive infrastructure spending, and a big tax cut, without leaving America’s future generations in debt up to their eyeballs. These are the big issues. These are what he needs to solve. So why oh why is he spending his time influencing Mexico without making friends and insisting that three to five million votes in the Presidential election were fraudulent?
There are some people who think the border issue is critical, and those people will be very happy he is making it a priority. I also imagine there are a few people who believe, in spite of every bit of evidence being to the contrary, that there is massive voter fraud taking place, and those people will also be very happy. The rest of the country is going to fall into the “worried” category. Even if one believes that Trump had the right of it on every issue, the question of “priorities” must spring to mind.
I also cannot help but notice that the federal scientific community is being muzzled. It seems that the man who brought “alternative facts” into the mainstream is taking action to keep opposition to his policies from being able to use government-funding science and facts against him. It seems likely that Trump’s actions are either preparatory to either muzzling inconvenient scientific evidence or to a massive cut in US non-defense spending, including the gutting or elimination of multiple US federal agencies.
Well, it is just the first week. For everyone who is worried, I encourage you to internalize your concerns. That is probably the opposite of what modern sensibilities would espouse, but we all need to remember that what is happening is our responsibility as a people. It is not okay to dismiss it, or just try to forget about it, or to move away for four years until the country is “comfortable” or a “safe space.” Responsibility for the direction of this country belongs to every citizen. The same goes for picking a chief executive who can lead effectively. I am not ready to give up on supporting Trump as a President after less than a week, but I will be watching very closely. There are so many things that need to be done, and he could be the man to do it if he has his head on straight.