Damnit Donald: One Year of Donald Trump

Raeesa Ashique - 3B Electrical
Posted on: January 21, 2018

On Saturday, January 20, the anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration, the government shut down and anti-Trump protests were held in cities throughout the country. This gong show of a day is reflective of how his term has progressed so far.

The bill to fund the government for the upcoming weeks did not receive the required sixty votes to pass by Friday night, so Americans woke up on Saturday to find that their government had shut down. This is the first shutdown when one party controlled all three branches of government. At the time of writing, it is uncertain how long this will last.

As expected, both sides are playing “who’s to blame?” Trump is blaming the Democrats for prioritizing immigrants or “other Americans,” as he puts it, also noting “that he will be blamed” for it according to a source close to the White House. Democrats are blaming the Republicans for rejecting a bipartisan compromise. This disagreement refers to the deal which would protect hundreds of thousands of young immigrants – referred to as Dreamers – against deportation.

Ironically, Trump tweeted back in May 2017 that the country needed a good shutdown of government. Happy anniversary, Mr. President. Your wish was granted.

One year ago, his inauguration was marked by the first Women’s March, which was one of the biggest protests in American history. Thousands turned out this Saturday to protest the president, again. Trump tweeted his support in response: “Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!” Typical.

Coordinated rallies were held across the country, in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and 250 other American counties. But this time had a different feel than last year. One protestor told CNN, “This feels like a protest, today. Last year it felt more like a funeral. We were all in mourning. We all got together. There was this quiet solidarity. This feels like anger and resistance.”

This year, female and male supporters are turning their frustration into something tangible. “I think we’ve moved from doing the important culture change work to now starting to think about institutional change and passing policies,” said Kelley Robinson, the national organizing director for Planned Parenthood.

2017 was a year focusing on women’s rights, especially with the #MeToo and #TimesUp social media campaigns, as sexual assault and misconduct allegations arose against powerful men in Hollywood and Washington. More women have been pushed into activism by many of Trump’s policies, such as rolling back on birth control. Women want a change, and Trump facilitated these rising voices.

“Power to the Polls” is an initiative kickstarted at an event in Las Vegas on Sunday. It aims to register voters in swing states, with a goal of one million new voters. They want victories in the midterm elections in November, to get strong advocates for women’s rights into office. Now is not the time to sit back and feel bad for oneself; it’s the time to act.

“Women’s March has created a powerful movement that has ignited thousands of activists and new leaders,” Tamika D. Mallory, the Women’s March co-president, said in a statement on the Power to the Polls website. “In 2018, we must turn our work into action ahead of the midterms.”

One year of Trump

One the whole, what can we say about Trump’s first year in office? Divisiveness, questionable opinions, rants, and fake news; racism, sexism, and scandal after scandal. Look no further than Trump’s Twitter account for all you need to know about the most powerful man in the world.

In a nutshell, Trump’s term has revolved around the following: the travel ban, the crackdown on immigration, trade deals, the tax reform which will not benefit the middle class, the attacks on reproductive rights, childcare, and maternity programs, and the deterioration of foreign policy. Trump is playing a childish game with North Korea, he has recently declared that the US recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he has refused to recertify that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), and he seems unable to keep track of who his allies are in the Middle East.

As Trump’s first year rolls to a close, all we can hope is that the upcoming year does not get worse. Although, to no one’s surprise, the Trump-ish behaviour continues. Damnit, Donald.

The scandals continue

Trump allegedly had an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels (born Stephanie Clifford) in 2006. According to the Wall Street Journal, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, set up a private company which paid her $130,000 in 2016 to keep the affair quiet. This payment took place just a couple weeks before Trump’s election victory.

Cohen has said that the president “vehemently denies any such occurrence, as has Ms. Daniels”. However, Daniels gave an extensive interview with In Touch Weekly magazine about the affair in 2011. The interview was just published in full on Friday.

The racism continues

On Thursday, Trump rejected the bipartisan immigration deal mentioned above, asking why the US would want to accept more immigrants from Haiti and “****hole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway.

Republicans and Democrats alike were shocked, condemning his comment and calling for an apology. It is no surprise that Trump has exhibited racist behaviour in the past, but a periodic wake-up calls seems to be necessary. Trump has called himself the “least racist person you’ve ever met.”

White House spokesperson Raj Shah issued a statement that Trump supports policies that invite “those who can contribute to our society”. He did not, however, deny this remark.

Ironically, as global disapproval of Trump hit a record high in 2017, the highest disapproval came from Norway at 83%.

A day in the life

If everyone worked as hard as Donald Trump, the world would not be in good shape.

Axios obtained a copy of Trump’s private schedule, and it makes me jealous. He typically spends 11 AM – 6 PM in the Oval Office, after which he returns to the residence. During this time, he has briefings, a meeting or two, and plenty of scheduled “executive time”. According to officials, executive time is spent watching television and Tweeting. He also makes phone calls, and watches the news. Let’s not give him too much credit: aside from the one-hour lunch break, the majority of the President’s day is spent as executive time.

Does Trump ever actually do anything? Although, it may be in the best interests of the world if he continues to lounge around.