Forget the character. Forget the lies. Forget the allegations of obstruction of justice.
Forget the tweets. Forget the insults. Forget the craziness.
Let’s focus on policy.
The Trump administration is swiftly enacting policies that many Americans – dare I say the majority of Americans? – oppose.
Most of these policies are intended to thank a particular segment of his political ‘base’… And, that is understandable. That is how traditional politics plays out.
Most of these policies seem to be about ‘shock and awe’: Intentional ‘disruption’ to the way things were going so as to leave no doubt that he intends to take the country in a different direction.
The general thrust of that direction seems clear:
- An America that is more nationalistic than global;
- An America that cares more about the immediate future than the far away future;
- An America that emphasizes the needs of the traditional white ethnic majority and focuses less on the needs of the minorities – be them ethnic, sexual orientation, faith, or limited physical or mental ability. (Unless, of course, you are a minority group that supported him; i.e.: the decreasing number of old school Cubans in Miami.)
Regardless of whether you agree with these policy directions or not, they are – except the ones that are illegal – legitimate policy options for America. Some of us may think they are bad policies for America. But, they remain legitimate (except when they are illegal.)
Except when they are illegal, they are pragmatic, practical, and aim to capture the gut, if not the heart, of his core political base. These are the folks that feel that government has for too long focused on special needs populations. They feel government has relegated its responsibility and turned against the very people that founded this nation. These policies are aggressively defensive, and take a “circle the wagons” posture. These policies represent, in many ways, the last gasp of the shrinking demographic group that feels their country is being taken away from them… (Think White South Africa before the end of Apartheid…)
However. They are still in power. And they are playing for keeps. They will do what it takes to stay in power as long as they can… It is only natural… (Think the Chavistas in Venezuela…)
What are we who oppose this direction to do? #RESIST, or course!
One way to #resist is to throw the legal book at him. That’s our right. Fight him in the courts; investigate any allegations of wrong doing… All of that is fine… But, let’s be careful that while we are protesting, litigating, and investigating him, his team is not pulling fast ones by us, enacting new policies that advance his – and the Conservative Republicans – agenda… Let’s be careful lest we wake up one day and find that government sanctioned practices are in place which violate our core values and there’s little we can do about it but wait till the next election cycle…
There are 10 such bad policy shifts that come to mind… I know there are 100 others, but these are my top ten most dangerous policy shifts of the Trump Administration:
- Immigration Raids: Our Latino community is scared. ICE raids are increasing. (Good people are being deported.)
- The Wall: The Request for Proposal to build it is now let. An idea to fund it by placing solar panels on top of the wall is taking shape. Some version of this will happen. (The optics remain horrible.)
- Healthcare Intent and Process: Watch out! The Republican Senate may be in the verge of passing a sweeping law without as much as a single hearing. (And millions of poor Americans will be left without insurance.)
- Military Build Up in the Dark: Remember the days when we knew how any troops were being deployed? No more. Secrecy is the new game. (We will have to wait until we are counting caskets as they arrive back home before we know where we are fighting.)
- Travel Ban: Religious discrimination. Luckily the courts are working on this one. (But, tourism to America has dipped over 10% just because of the confusion and threats.)
- Pulling Out of the Paris Accord: This is the poster child of shortsighted policy. (Just ask folks in Miami Beach, New Orleans, or the Great Lakes area if climate change is real or not.)
- Dodd Frank Reversal: Some may think this one is only for the policy wonks. It is not. Nothing short of a plot to help the rich. (When a new financial crisis erupts, we are going to wish this reversal had never happened.)
- Misguided Abortion Limits – The Mexico Gag Rule: No funding for any institution or government that funds abortion in any way. On the surface a good thing. (In reality: Abortion will skyrocket as the poor will have no access to constructive family planning or prenatal and early childhood health care.)
- Cuba Policy Reversal: This one is personal. Limiting people-to-people exchange is a counterproductive, old policy that will fail. (Trump is simply handing Cuba back to the Russians.)
- Budget List of Agencies to be Cut: Budget is policy. The list of what Trump proposes be cut is truly the most telling piece of work that clearly demonstrates his intentions. (See the list here.)
These ten policies – and I know there are 100 more like them – do NOT make for a Great America… These policies makes for a meaner, leaner, smaller, shrinking, paranoid America.