America Responds to President Trump
Our American reporter reflects on some of President Trump’s most memorable moments in the White House.
This past weekend was the second White House Correspondents’ Dinner. It is a time when Hollywood stars, high-profile media names and politicians come together to reflect and tease the President and his cabinet on the work he has done as President of the United States of America. Since President Donald Trump was unable to attend the dinner for the second consecutive year in a row, I have reflected on some of the President’s most memorable moments as Commander-in-Chief and how citizens have responded.
Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement:
In June of 2017, President Trump decided to remove the United States from the Paris Agreement that former President Barack Obama had pledged that the US would take part in. President Trump believes that staying in the agreement would cost America trillions of dollars, kill jobs, and hinder the oil, gas, coal and manufacturing industries, as noted in the Washington Post. He has also made it known that he does not believe climate change is a threat to our world or even exists, according to NRDC. With America’s exit from the Paris Agreement, it stands alone, as the last three remaining countries have agreed to sign the document and the rest of the world remains dedicated to improving the climate, reported the Independent. Trump has made it clear that he has little concern for the environment.
According to the Guardian, after President Trump temporarily banned the social media accounts of the national parks, they went ‘rouge’. The US National Parks Service made a ‘rouge’ account on Twitter to ensure that information about global warming could still be viewed. On Earth Day, the March for Science attracted thousands of protesters to the streets of Washington D.C. and more than 600 other cities in support of science and evidence-based policy making reported by Reuters. The most direct response to the exit of the Paris Agreement was the gathering of 125 cities, nine states, 903 businesses and 183 colleges and universities, who pledged to meet the United States greenhouse gas emission targets under the Paris Climate Agreement according to Ethical Corporation.
President Trump signed an executive order halting refugees from seven countries from temporarily entering the United States, reported the New York Times. Those countries were Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and are predominately Muslim countries. Trump stated that the ban covers Middle Eastern and North African countries identified by Obama’s Administration as “sources of terror”. The Conversation noted that the President reiterated that ban was not a “Muslim ban”. However, the executive order evolved out of an earlier proposal to ban Muslims from the US after the San Bernardino terrorist attack in 2015.
The ban stranded many travellers at the airport. Thousands of lawyers worked pro bono to assist those travellers caught up in the executive order according to Voice of America. Federal courts started to get involved in the legality of the ban. CNN reported a federal judge temporarily blocked the ban nationwide on 3 February 2017. While legal battles were happening nationwide, protests took place around the country at major airports. Protest signs such as “Resist” “Refugees welcome” were starting to pop up, and protesters began chanting “Shame”, noted the Guardian.
Before President Trump entered the White House, he had a desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which is also known as Obamacare. However, the repeal would leave millions of Americans without health insurance. It is estimated that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act would have been a £112bn ($144bn ) tax cut for millionaires reported the New York Times. The Republicans proposed a healthcare replacement for Obamacare that would cause insurance premiums to temporarily spike and cause 14 million more Americans to become uninsured, according to the CBO.
The Guardian noted that many voters made their voices heard at town hall meetings, even states known for voting Republic. They urged their representative to oppose Trump’s healthcare bill. Protestors planned sit-ins at the offices of Republican senators in 21 states. The movement was called #SitInSaveLives and hundreds of people around the country showed their support for healthcare, reported CNN. All of the boisterous protesting had the desired affect because the healthcare bill did not pass.
Building the wall has to be one of President Trump’s favourite topics to rally his supporters. It has been mentioned at almost every campaign rally throughout the election and even after becoming President. His pledge to build a wall is one of the main factors that his supports like about his campaign. He stated, “I will build a great great wall on our southern border, and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall”, stated in
As many of us know, Mexico will not be paying for that wall. To counter Trump’s plan, Mexican officials have started proposing entry fees for American visitors, as noted in the Daily Beast. State lawmakers in both California and New York introduced bills that would blacklist any company involved in building the border wall from future state business. LA Times reported that neither bills passed into law but it may have deterred companies from taking bids on the project.
Despite claims to be an LGBTQ ally, President Trump has taken steps to hurt the community. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rolled back on a 2014 rule that assured same-sex spouses are treated equally when it came to visitation rights in long-term care facilities, noted Advocate. Trump quickly cancelled an Obama rule that allows transgender schoolchildren to use bathrooms they felt best matched their gender identity, according to the New York Times. Leaked documents of President Trump’s ‘Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom’ order would allow people and organisations a wholesale exemption and the ability to claim religious or moral objection to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and transgender identity reported the Nation.
In a two-hour-long “Kiss-In” protest, dozens of LGBTQ supporters gathered outside Trump Towers to show their disdain for President Trump’s new orders and rollbacks, reported Gothamist. North Carolina was one state that was pushing the controversial ‘bathroom bill’ which restricted public restrooms that transgender people can access. Due to economic pressure and the potential of £2.8bn ($3.6bn ) loss in business over 12 years, the legislature in North Caroline reversed the ‘bathroom bill’, according to the LA Times.
President Trump pledged to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, many without a criminal record. He has expanded the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. According to CNBC, creating a deportation force of this size could cost the US economy £3.8tn ($5tn ) over a 10-year period. President Trump would also like to strip the federal funding of sanctuary cities that do not give up undocumented residents over to the federal authorities, as reported by Capital Public Radio. Trump’s deportation pledge has started to effect Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA). This programme allows immigrant children that were brought to the country a chance to become citizens after a certain period and completing requirements. However, Trump will be ending this programme which will affect 800,000 immigrants, stated National Public Radio.
CNN reported that thousands took part in a nationwide protest called “A Day Without an Immigrant”. On 16 February 2017, businesses closed for the day, children were kept home from school, and others with migrant roots did not spend any money during the day. A federal judge has also permanently blocked President Trump’s efforts to keep federal funds from sanctuary cities when they do not cooperate with immigration enforcement officers, according to the Huffington Post.
President Trump made his feelings towards women clear after the country heard his Access Hollywood interview with Billy Bush, in which Trump made several lewd comments about women. At least 22 women have come forward and accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct between the 1980s to 2007, according to the Huffington Post. His most recent accuser, Stormy Daniels, claims she was threatened to stay quiet over their affair and is now suing the President. However, Trump continues to deny all allegations brought up against him.
The day after President Trump’s Inauguration the first Women’s March took place around the globe. According to the Guardian, it was recorded that protest happened in 20 countries around the world and 3.5 million people marched in the U.S. It was the largest human-rights protest in history, and it remained peaceful. One year after that first historic march, it happened again in multiple cities across the globe. Hundreds of thousands of people took part in the second Women’s March with parallel rallies in Europe, Asia, and Africa, reported the Independent.
Many people have started to donate to the healthcare provider Planned Parenthood that Vice President Mike Pence was calling to cut federal funding from. However, pro-choice advocates have decided to donate in Pence’s name so he would receive the certificate of donation that is mailed to each person who donates to Planned Parenthood, according to the Guardian.
The United States’ political future may be uncertain, and we can be sure that there will be more outrageous headlines to come from the White House before President Trump ends his term. President Trump is set to visit the United Kingdom this July, and with UK citizens already furious of his visit, there are discussions of planned protest for this summer. With this unclear time in politics, what is certain is that there are citizens taking action to right wrongs that they see happening in the United States.