What’s Left: Misinterpreted Measures

J.J. Citron

    Donald Trump has been the president of the United States for roughly three weeks now. For those who oppose Trump, the world did not end after he was sworn in. Rather, millions were inspired to speak out against the new president through demonstrations such as the Women’s March. Now, more than ever, populations from all backgrounds have united in opposition of Trump’s recent policies. Which leads me to the question: how exactly is his transition to the White House going? I will examine three of Trump’s major campaign promises, and whether or not he has followed through on them thus far.

    His Repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Within hours of his inauguration, Trump signed an executive order that aimed to “ease the burdens” of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. In short, the order exempts the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, or any other agency with authority under the law, from regulations that inflict a financial burden on a state, company or individual. The breadth of the order is extremely problematic; according to NPR, “health policy analysts have warned that repealing the unpopular parts of the law such as the taxes or individual mandate could lead to the collapse of the individual health insurance market.”

    Building of the wall. Trump has repeatedly stated he would make Mexico pay for the wall, and stated that the U.S. will be “reimbursed at a later date” by Mexico for the costs of building said wall. In response, Congressional Republicans vowed to find a means to fund the wall. However, the specifics of such funds are unknown. In response, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto canceled a planned visit to Washington. On January 26, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that the Trump administration is also considering a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports. This means that Americans would, in fact, be paying for the wall.  

    Reducing terrorism. Trump’s attempt to reduce terrorism takes the form of a discriminatory executive order signed on January 27. The order has banned U.S. entry from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that some “legal permanent residents” who pose no “serious threat” to the U.S. would be allowed in on a case-by-case basis. The order allows the Department of Homeland Security to ban more countries at any time. As a result of this order, airports all over the world erupted in chaos. Refugees, valid visa holders, non-U.S. dual citizens and U.S. legal residents were detained, barred from planes or ordered out of the U.S. According to The Guardian, “nearly 500,000 people from the seven nations have received green cards in the past decade, meaning hundreds of thousands of people are at risk of being barred from the US or separated from their families.” The public and private sector have fought back; companies including Amazon, Ford and Microsoft have denounced the order, and federal courts in the states of New York, Washington, Virginia and Massachusetts have legally challenged it.

    Trump’s term thus far appears to be a repeat of his campaign: bold promises with neither numerical nor statistical backing. Trump’s executive order that passed January 20 effectively gutted Obamacare, with no replacement system behind it. He promised to build the wall, yet there is no form of funding for such a structure. Lastly, his attempt to reduce terrorism is a euphemism for religious discrimination. These are just three highlights from the first three weeks of his term, which leads me to ask: what will the next four years look like? Stay tuned. Signing off from dystopia.