Op-Ed staff writer attacks destructive action taken by new president Donald Trump

By Nick Riebel || Staff Writer

Well, I warned you. Trump’s only been in office one week, and it’s been horrible in pretty much every conceivable way, except that he hasn’t started a nuclear war over a Twitter feud.

Yet.

Donald Trump is the president now. While we can argue whether or not Bernie Sanders would have defeated him (he absolutely would have, and part of why I supported him is that he did better against Trump than Hillary Clinton did), what’s done is done. The Clintons are likely done in elected politics, and may or may not be going to jail. Vice President Mike Pence now essentially controls the White House’s social agenda, which is ultra-conservative.

I did not attend the Women’s March over the weekend. It may sound like an excuse (and it is) but massive rallies really aren’t my thing. I’m not always comfortable around tons of people I don’t know. But I am glad that many of my friends went, and although I won’t name names, they know who they are. I am happy that far more protesters turned out for this than for our newly empowered, aspiring dictator’s coronation, but unfortunately he and the Republicans won’t be phased that they and their agenda are actually deeply unpopular in this country. If the Republicans didn’t need to win the popular vote to take power, they certainly don’t need to listen to popular opinion.

As I feared, Trump is moving very quickly as president. The right of women to control their bodies came under immediate assault. As a male, I can say that I do not personally like the idea of abortion (I don’t think anyone of sound mind and decent morality does), but I think that it may at least be sometimes necessary. With Pence and other socially-conservative extremists at the helm, though, and with that appointment to the Supreme Court pending, I think Roe v. Wade is going to be replaced relatively soon with a Supreme Court judgment that outlaws abortion in most or all circumstances.

Climate change will simply not be addressed. Trump does, after all, believe that it’s a hoax invented by the Chinese. The Earth is warming, this is a scientific fact. The only ones who don’t believe this to be the case are the fossil fuel industries and their puppets. I only hope that our inaction does not allow this impending catastrophe to become irreversible.

Surprisingly, it looks like we’re also building a Great Wall on our southern border. And we know Mexico’s not paying for it. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell have suddenly decided to abandon their deeply-held fiscally conservative beliefs, to force American taxpayers to pay for Trump’s idiotic project: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/mcconnell-ryan-congress-pay-trumps-12b-border-wall/story?id=45063195 . I think it’s fascinating that we’re going to have one, partly because it won’t actually do much to prevent illegal immigration (tunnels under the wall won’t be affected, and people can come in by air and sea), and partly because it further exposes that the Republicans in Congress are in my opinion, utter hypocrites on their own ideology. We can cut spending for education and health care, but we can find room in the budget for a wall on the Southern border that will do little more than insult Hispanics and enrage Latin America.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead. That one’s interesting. My view on it is that it would likely have been damaging to us economically, but that strategically, it was probably a good idea. With us out of the way of East Asian and Pacific trade, China can come in, and convince powerful Asian countries to pursue favorable trade deals with them, rather than us. And, after that, will security cooperation between China and nations such as the Philippines and Indonesia be far behind? Losing our allies in the Pacific would be a foreign policy disaster that Trump appears to be very comfortable with.

Truly, I don’t have enough words to write more about how awful this man is, and how horrible his administration has been, but I must use the space allotted to me to say one more thing. (I’m sure that in the future I will have more to say about all of this, in more detail).

One may ask: what’s the worst thing Trump’s doing as president? His destruction of our foreign policy? His embrace of torture? His corruption? His incompetent officials? His fiscal irresponsibility? His temperament? His illegitimacy as president? His comments and attitude towards women and minorities? The fact that it seems increasingly clear that he is mentally ill? No. What disturbs me the most about Trump is his treatment of the refugees.

His bullying and, yes, his oppression of the utterly helpless refugees, fleeing war and death is what horrifies me most about this man. He is signing executive orders to prevent them from fleeing destruction and violence, because in his bigotry and ignorance he thinks that they might be terrorists, even the children. Now, our president is a nasty, sad old man who doesn’t understand how the world works, and I can understand someone like that. But what I can’t understand is how he could be so cruel to victims of a war which we aren’t even doing anything to stop. Can anything be more cowardly, than to deny them shelter? It’s not right, and it certainly isn’t Christian.

I hope that if Americans are never unfortunate enough to become refugees someday, that we do not have tyrannical leaders like Donald Trump, who would condemn us to misery and death.

Senior Nick Riebel is a staff writer. His email is nriebel@fandm.edu.

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