President Donald J. Trump stands interpreted by many individuals as the culprit responsible for the upsurge in recent racist and bigoted views and marches against minorities. His failure to properly demonize white supremacists, pardoning Joe Arpaio, and banning trans people certainly adds ammo to the machine gun. Whether through Trump's rowdy tweets or statements or controversial policies, the reality stands that a chord has been struck with the American people and even some abroad. Yes, it is true that during the 2016 election both candidates (Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump) in one way or the other overstepped political boundaries. Evidentially, no then candidate, or now president, has ever had such a negative impact on the American people in the manner that Donald Trump does.
Retrospectively, it is understandable that the progression of Trump has gone unnoticed. When Trump announced he would run for president, people took him for granted. Even after he became the republican presidential nominee, there was a consensus among most that Donald Trump would have quite a run, but not gain the position as commander in chief. Lo and behold on the night of November 8th and the next morning, the majority of the American people's expectations were let down. Trump had won the electoral vote, and beyond all doubt, became the president-elect. It can be said, that because so many Americans perceived Trump in a light-hearted manner; a political parody that would come and go, that he became president. Likewise, the opposing side would argue that because so many individuals casted doubt on Trump, that those who believed in Trump's message were propelled to support him even more. These other individuals that supported Trump, felt like they were left behind and even marginalized, by the American society and system. Unemployed or struggling, many of these individuals found restitution in Trump. Just like many Americans demonized Trump, these individuals also felt demonized and because of this, whenever Trump did make a statement that was unacceptable, these individuals wrote it off as overexaggerated and overblown. This also further developed any hate-sentiment towards the media.
True, America is founded upon its citizens belonging to any political party of their choice. Inevitably, there is however, a stark difference here. Although not all, many Trump supporters have manifested their underlined rage and hate towards different groups and fueled it into a political vehicle. While no error lies in voting for a preferred presidential candidate, people must be careful in allowing rage to win over reason. To draw parallels, Adolf Hitler also, in his beginning stages, was cast as a come and go political figure. He, too, struck a chord with the German community, and because of his ability to channel into their hate and blame towards Jews, he managed to start a war on the Jewish community little by little until he forcefully killed masses of them as a last resort. With the American constitution, it is assuring that groups of people cannot be targeted and killed. But in the same way, Donald Trump is treading on dangerous waters. During the campaign, he relished in the idea of building the wall and banning Muslims from being able to freely enter the U.S. In a sense, Trump is illustrating some of his supporters' fears of other groups by passing on rhetoric that vilifies Mexicans and Muslims. What's even worse, is that Trump sugarcoats these ideas by stressing that border security is a problem. With some terrorists' attacks and instances where Americans have been murdered by undocumented immigrants, some Americans, no matter the ethics, are okay with Trump's policies.
Sadly, now as President, Trump pushed forth multiple executive orders; two of which that had the objective to exclude individuals from entering the U.S. No matter the group, Mexican, Muslim, and even at one point, Irish, the anti-immigrant sentiment never changes. The majority of undocumented workers are not evil murderers, but simply human beings trying to better their family's future. Correlating, the U.S. harbors many Muslim communities, and while horrendous terrorist attacks occurred, many committed by homegrown terrorists, most Muslims are kind people who love America and are willing to abide by its laws. Similarly, Hitler persecuted Jews who were citizens in Germany. Now it seems that Donald Trump wishes to do the same to Muslims and undocumented workers. If not reversed, these two executive orders could have had disastrous effects. Firstly, Trump could have and still could be given a license to pursue and persecute any group he feels is a "threat". Just like Hitler targeted the Jews with the assumption that they were responsible for Germany's political pitfalls. As has been seen before in history, this kind of governing is cruel and leads to danger. Following, the temporary ban on Muslims could have had reverse effects and infuriated Muslims who are law-abiding citizens and did not understand why they were still being targeted. This very banning had the chance to render the border security unsafe and put more Americans at risk for harm.
President Donald Trump is a master manipulator. Pivoting in between lies, he manages to ditch them and then use them to his own advantage. Somehow an alternate, synthesized universe begets Trump to freely enunciate non-sense. Many of his criticisms of President Obama have been contradicted through his own past tweets or presidential actions. Trump's base is his ultimate judge. Whenever he makes a statement even if it has been proven to be untrue and in most cases ridiculous, they believe him. Trump said, he could stand in the middle of 5th avenue and shoot someone and not lose voters. That statement was not a lie. The statement could not be any closer to the truth. Ignorant to sum up all trump supporters as the same passionate, riled up, loud-mouthed occupants at his rallies; interestingly, those occupants at the rally and even others beyond resemble to be eager to nurture his egotistical bravado.
Due to Trump supporters' unwavering devotion, Trump is constantly encouraged to spew out his venomous poison through social media and the policies he espouses in the White House. Their support constantly reaffirms and fuels him on a daily basis, giving him the strength he needs to tear down others and hold himself in the highest esteem possible. Despite the reasonable criticism from the media or professional experts who Trump has deemed as Fake News, Trump is a thick-leathered alligator who cannot be pierced. Agitated quickly, but not pierced. Therefore, Trump is immune to any of the Media's corrective criticism of him. Certainly, Trump cannot be morally held accountable for his mishaps. Now his base solely believes that what he says goes and that everyone else is fake news. Trump has a talent of diverting attention from his own flaws and gas lighting reputable facts and people when he, himself lacks credibility.
North Korea is a startling situation that requires cautiousness and compromise. Rationally, brute force is a rare but important necessity. And yet, Donald Trump is taking the U.S. on a spiraling, perilous, hot-blooded path straight to the nuclear zone. Instead of finding a common ground with North Korea, Trump flirts with disaster. The president is blind-sided by his own pompous ambitions to outdo and show-tough with the North Korean regime. He wants to exhibit that America will not back down and cower in the face of danger, but push back harder and crush the enemy. Once again, a great point. Needless to say, the president is escalating tensions too fast and behaving imprudently. Part of the president's job is to comprehend foreign policy. To know when to push and pull and which battles to fight and not fight. To thoroughly assess the ramifications involved. Trump is boldly disregarding these guidelines and pushing the line over the edge. This behavior can spell danger. Especially when the opponent is just as hot-headed and prepared to dance in an ego-driven cat and mouse game.
Unbeknownst to Trump, there are millions of innocent, non-participating lives that are at stake here, that are not responsible for the president's actions but are subsequently being trailed along in the mud like debris. The U.S. ally South Korea is pit stuck right in the middle of North Korea and America. In a heartbeat, Kim Jung Un can go off on a crazy tangent and send missiles into South Korea. Thereby, desolating innocent civilians. A move made in an effort to warn or teach the U.S. a lesson. The president must halt this hawkish nature if he claims the desire to protect Americans and not harm them. Set aside the impulsive need to tweet out all of his political and personal frustrations. North Korea appears to be competing with the U.S. in a sort of nuclear race. Testing and shooting off missiles or going back and forth in an insult match. Without question, North Korea harbors feelings of hatred toward the U.S. and their nuclear power is unfortunately beginning to reflect that. Foolishly, Trump could subject the American and South Korean people to great harm. At best, Trump should find a way to deescalate any ill-will with North Korea.
Trump's administration embodies a low-key intolerance for the new America. Women's healthcare- people's healthcare for that matter could be used as valid center points. Civil rights are an automatic dead term by comparison. Minutely, the Trump era illustrates an eroding of civil rights that relate to all people not solely defined by race. The banning of transgender Americans from the military falls right under the republican party's guiding principle of "family values." Even still, some republicans were not in agreeance with this action. Senators John McCain and Susan Collins boldly expressed their opposition to the president when they co-sponsored a bill against the trans-military banning. The sitting president diluted the situation to a matter of fiscal cost and other petty matters. Uninformed that most Americans viewed this action as a blatant disregard for civil rights and a slap in the face to America. Hence, America is honored to have anyone join the military and selflessly risk their life to serve the country. Most Americans could not fathom why the president would want to strip that right from anyone. As leader of the free country, he out of all people is supposed to automatically champion the deed. Arguably, stemming from the president's own ignorance about transgender people was the decision made. Legalization of gay marriage is already underway. A clear milestone for the LGBT community. Helplessly, the thought almost begs the wonder that if gay marriage was not legalized, would Trump try with all his might to stop it. Better yet, what civil rights will he try and subdue in the future?
"Jews will not replace us! Jews will not replace us!" Streaming on the news and on social media was the viral and unnerving video showing a bunch of college white kids, carrying tiki torches marching in formation. As they masqueraded through the night, with their fires burning, some eyes bulging, their message was loud and clear: They were unwilling to celebrate an America that celebrated diversity of all kinds. In detail, the statue of Robert E. Lee stood as a symbol of the magic of white America. The hatred and dissent in their voices not only reflected the disapproval of inclusion as they chanted hateful and racist slogans, but the next day they would reign in full force. Proudly, on the day of the event, there were others waiting to intercede their march and protest their backwards beliefs. Counter-protesters and the unite the right marchers as they called themselves flocked the streets. Chaos erupted as counter-protestors exercised their right for the good and fended off the negative rhetoric and physical beatings from the right. Punches were thrown. Innocent people knocked down and beaten. Suddenly, everything changed when a young man entered his vehicle and mowed through a crowd of people. Virginians were severely injured and ultimately a young woman lost her life in a split second.
Any credence given to racist groups results in the strengthening of their courage and their movement. Thus, allowing the group to fester and grow. Twitter received an ambiguous tweet from number 45 when he conveniently condemned hate but left out the terms, "Neo-Nazis, KKK, and white supremacist." On the following Monday, something unique happened. The President of the United States, the same president who is opinionated about everything, well, quite frankly had nothing to say- at least not anything overtly negative about white supremacist that is. Instead, he infamously blamed "many sides". Trump himself appeared uninspired and insipid. He even disclosed that he was forced to give another statement aside from his tweet that past Saturday. Thoughtless banter emerged once more when the President on Tuesday expressed that some of the unite-the-right marchers were "some very fine people." Half of America categorized the president's failure to assertively condemn racism as a lack of ability. Others defined the President's statements as a clear salute to racism. Facts are Trump's father was arrested in 1927 for dwelling in a KKK march. Whether his father's beliefs mirror his own is arbitrary. Yet, Donald Trump as a grown man faced a civil rights law suit in 1973 for racial discrimination regarding his tenant policies towards African-Americans. Without jumping to conclusions, Trump's hesitancy in addressing the events in Charlottesville hinted where his beliefs stood and enlightened that maybe, just maybe the white nationalist marchers represented his America.
Colin Kaepernick literally went knee deep into the politics and social consciousness of racial injustice and police brutality when he decided to kneel for the national anthem. Against all odds and public outrage, Kaepernick ignited a fierce and stimulating conversation. Almost a year later, when the attention of Colin's act began to fade, the President called NFL players who kneel "SOB'S." Besides redirecting attention to Colin Kaepernick and other NFL stars kneeling to the anthem, Trump hindered the meaning of Kaepernick's original message in terms of police brutality in the black community, and racial equality and justice for all. Honestly, Kaepernick is not an American-hating man that knelt to show disrespect to the anthem or flag. Instead, motivated by the true promise of the country, Colin is fixated on upholding the U.S. to its fullest potential. Resulting, the golden state warriors and star player, Stephen Curry refused the president's invite to the white house. Watchful and obsessed about twitter, the president attacked Stephen Curry and rescinded an invitation that was never wanted. Ironically, instead of denouncing the KKK, Trump chose to attack the NFL and NBA. These choices underline Trump's stance in America and what kind of America he hopes to manufacture. To stand with the NFL players at least on the basis of the first amendment right appears to be standard. However, the president can disagree with the format that the NFL players choose to exhibit their peaceful protest and even propose another method. Simply put, demonizing the players and demanding their employment be snatched falls short of the integrity of the Oval Office and brinks on the cusp of fascism. Neither of which is helpful in preserving the general idea of a progressive America.
In an effort to deter women from having abortions, President Donald Trump expressed the need to extract funding from clinics such as Planned Parenthood. A clinic that in reality is not solely in place for delivering abortions, but handing out contraceptives, testing individuals for sexual diseases and cancers. Planned Parenthood performs many functions on a moral and health-friendly spectrum. Rather than encouraging young women to get pregnant or have abortions, the agency gives out services to prevent unplanned pregnancies to 80% of patients. Successfully, the program prevented about 560,000 non-wanted pregnancies in one year. That's a stark number. Further, the perception that Planned Parenthood is centrally female-oriented is wrong. Men visit the health clinic as well. Depending on their sexual identity or activeness, Planned Parenthood provides over 4.2 million tests and cures for STI'S; over 650,000 HIV tests included. Even young men that may be gay and not willing to disclose their sexual identity can certainly be helped. Teens or young adults, men and women, who may be sexually active, but embarrassed to tell their parents or buy tools at a local store not only seek refuge at the clinic, but are also given sexual education on the matter. In fact, planned parenthood is responsible for lending sexual and reproductive advice and services to almost 5 million men, women, and teens. Many women have turned to Planned Parenthood in an attempt to be seen and in some cases diagnosed with whatever illness is upon them. It is estimated that the clinic provides more than 295,000 ovarian screenings and more than 320,000 breast screenings in one year. For a fair amount of these individuals they would not be seen otherwise. Relegating Planned Parenthood to some sort of evil organization that is keen on killing fetuses is unfair. Trump himself once believed in pro-choice, and as with other causes, flipped back and forth to please the atmosphere of his political audience. Inadvertently or advertently, to defund Planned Parenthood is a clear wish to lay women's medical needs and reproductive rights at the hands of states and government discretion or disposal. Echoing the notion that women do not have the power or right to manage their own needs.
Healthcare in general is undertaking a strategic slash to the throat. The first proposal for Trumpcare was an economic disaster aimed at stripping millions of healthcare from Americans. The republicans desperately wanted to jam it through but to no avail. Perniciously, the GOP has proposed another bill (Graham-Cassidy) constructed in the initial manner and this time, they really tried to slide it pass the American people's nose. Establishing the bill on the basis that most Americans premiums will continue to skyrocket every two years, most Americans do not want an individual mandate and are simply tired of Obamacare. True, Americans' healthcare premiums will hike up under Obamacare. Blatantly, Obamacare, just like other healthcare bills is far from perfection. Overall, the affordable care act allowed young adults to remain on their parent's healthcare plan until the age of 26. According to CNN money stream and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the uninsured rate for folks under age 65 dropped to 10.3% during the initial nine months of 2016. Twenty-eight million individuals were uninsured in 2016 in relation to more than the forty-eight million uninsured in 2010. Based upon the census bureau data, Americans were advancing from uninsured to insured from 2013 to 2015; uninsured rate for Americans dropped to 9.1% from 13.3%. Reasonably speaking, to keep Obamacare and gut out its shortcomings rings favorable long-term. Nonetheless, the GOP's plan for a new healthcare bill hurts more people then helps.
Republicans said pre-existing conditions were covered in the recently proposed bill, but there's a catch. The Graham-Cassidy bill would not completely eradicate Obamacare. However, it would allow each individual state an option to remain under Obamacare or choose another avenue. For example, California and New York could keep Obamacare whereas other states such as Missouri, Alaska, or Arkansas would be free to pick another healthcare mandate. Basically, the GOP relies on a hands-off approach. Technically, they are not accountable for Americans not having healthcare; the decision rests with each individual state. The door is left open for insurance companies to enter and charge whatever ridiculous prices they please. While republicans perpetuated the false narrative people would have health coverage, Americans would slide out from under it and be forced to pay a lot of money just to be seen for any medical conditions. Trump's ego once again plays a monumental role. He is so determined to get a healthcare bill through, to have a victory, to have the privilege of delivering a promise to his voters to repeal and replace Obamacare, that he does not care about the state of the American people as long as he gets it done. This is a problem. American lives cannot sail away down the river in order for Trump's pride to remain intact. Priorities must be aligned and people must be placed over promises. Luckily, amidst the non-votes by Senators Rand Paul, Susan Collins, and John McCain, the Graham-Cassidy bill was killed. No time for ease, nevertheless, assuming a new bill will awake and might be worse or the same.
Essentially, the progression of American ideals is at stake due to Trump's policies. Regression seems to be a key component of Trump's messages. The fact is Muslims and even undocumented workers have come too far and worked too hard to simply be revoked from America. President Trump conveys the desire to reverse American values into a time of hostility, ignorance, and prejudice. Americans cannot stand by and observe as Donald Trump slowly but surely separates the country. Through excluding immigrants and refugees Donald Trump is not only isolating groups, but further endangering the safety of all Americans. Americans of all colors, creeds, sexual orientations, and genders must unite to resist such advancements. Even those who voted for Trump have an obligation. Fundamentally, Trump's policies regarding immigration illustrates backwards thinking. The Muslim banning, transgender banning, white supremacist appeasing, and healthcare gambling misrepresents America from being the land of the free to the land of the oppressed.
Contributing Editor: Bernard Mabinton
Bernard Mabinton is a 22-year old African-American writer having completed two years in college and is in the process of finishing his education. He hopes to one day be a filmmaker.