The real State of our Union is in peril
This morning, the morning after President Donald John Trump gave the constitutionally-mandated State of the Union address, not since the Civil War has the state of our Union been in so much peril.
Trump has repeatedly ignored the fact that America is a nation of immigrants and has repeatedly supported anti-immigration policies, such as his travel ban executive orders, an expensive border wall that would be paid for by American taxpayer dollars, and deporting people who have never known living in a country other than the United States of America. Even worse, Trump has a disdain for human rights in general, including attempting to ban transgender Americans from proudly serving this great country in our Armed Forces.
The day before Trump gave his State of the Union address, Republicans attempted unsuccessfully to enact unconstitutional legislation that would have restricted the ability of women to decide whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. Never in the Roe v. Wade era of America has reproductive rights, and women’s rights in general, have been under so much threat. There is still no nationwide system for guaranteed and paid family leave, and female workers are still often paid less than their male counterparts.
In Puerto Rico, hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens remain without electricity. That’s because of the willful mismanagement of the federal government’s response to Hurricane Maria under Trump’s watch. Trump has had to be publicly pressured by people who care about this great country into doing anything to aid the Puerto Rican people every step of the way.
When it comes to health care, Trump has taken a big step backwards. Trump repealed the individual mandate that kept the Affordable Care Act sustainable, and the oversized health care industry in this country has an iron grip of influence over most American politicians in both major parties. America needs a true universal health care system of some kind that guarantees access to affordable health care for all Americans, preferably a “Medicare-for-All” single-payer health care system.
Trump has boasted about a growing economy under his watch, and has tried to take credit for what amounts to a continuation of the Obama-era economic recovery. However, calling the Obama “recovery” an recovery is somewhat misleading, since few people aside from the wealthiest 1% of Americans have actually benefited from the Obama recovery that has continued into the Trump era. In other words, Trump is boasting about Obama helping the rich get richer and trying to take credit for it himself. To prove that the economic recovery hasn’t been beneficial to middle-class Americans, companies like Carrier and Harley-Davidson have laid off blue-collar workers. The three biggest threats to the U.S. economy are the current president’s tax scam bill, free-trade deals, and automation. Trump’s signature achievement so far has been to cut taxes on corporations and redistribute wealth from the already-poor to the already-wealthy. Despite companies’ attempts at public relations stunts to claim that Trump’s tax scam bill is benefiting ordinary Americans, some of these same companies, most notably Walmart, are laying off workers. President Trump boasted about being opposed to free trade deals as a candidate, but his administration is renegotiating NAFTA instead of doing the right thing, which would be unilaterally pulling the United States out of the deal that has resulted in massive manufacturing job losses in America, and the Trump Administration supports TTIP, which is a proposed free trade deal between the U.S. and the European Union, which would result in more manufacturing job losses here in America. Perhaps the biggest threat to the American economy is something that is largely inevitable: automation. Companies are increasingly replacing human workers with machines and robots, brick-and-mortar stores and retail chains are facing stronger competition from online retailers like Amazon, and the prospect of self-driving cars replacing mail and package carriers, pizza deliverers, truck drivers, and other jobs that involve human operation of a motor vehicle would cause a severe economic recession that would be very difficult for America to fully recover from.
When it comes to foreign policy, Trump claims to put America first, but, like most of what else Trump says, it’s not true. Trump sold weapons to Saudi Arabia, his administration wants to negotiate with the Kim Jong-un regime in North Korea, Trump has refused to enact a complete embargo of Chinese imports to the U.S., and, while I support Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign country, Trump is a complete shill for the Netanyahu regime in Israel, just to name a few aspects of Trump’s foreign policy that doesn’t put America first.
From a personal standpoint, Trump is probably the worst individual to have held elected office in this country. Trump is a white supremacist and misogynist who, before and during his presidency, has shown complete disrespect towards, and has a deep-seated hatred for, people of color, women, and anyone who isn’t completely loyal to him.
Worst of all, Trump and his Republican allies have repeatedly tried to undermine the Robert Mueller investigation into Russian interference and collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, which Trump won despite receiving a minority of the national popular vote because the Electoral College officially decides who is elected president, and now Trump’s lawyers are saying that there is no need for Trump to be interviewed by Mueller and his team of investigators, even though such an interview appears necessary for Mueller to be able to do his job to the fullest and fairest extent. Long story short, if, and only if, Trump directly or indirectly fires Mueller, Democrats should run their 2018 midterm campaigns on impeaching Trump. Trump loyalist Paul Ryan has gone as far as to call for a “cleansing” of the FBI, presumably meaning removing civil servants from the FBI and replacing them with Trump loyalists who are motivated by loyalty to Trump rather than the rule of law. The FBI is not my favorite institution in the world, given their long history of politically-motivated investigations into progressive legends like Muhammad Ali and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., but if institutions like the FBI are turned into Trump’s personal palace guard, that would signify the end of the rule of law in America.
I have lived during some of the worst events in modern American history, such as the Oklahoma City bombing, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Afghan War stalemate, the unjustified Iraq War, the collapse of the U.S. financial industry, the attempted assassinations of Gabrielle Giffords and Steve Scalise, the murder of Heather Heyer, and the Las Vegas concert massacre. Never before in my lifetime has the state of our Union been in so much peril as it is now, and that is because of the recklessness and lust for unchecked political power of President Trump and his Republican loyalists.
If there’s one saving grace in this country, it’s the opposition movement. Call it the Resistance, the Revolution, or whatever you want, but ordinary Americans from all backgrounds are stepping up to oppose Trump, his disastrous policies, and his flagrant disrespect for the vast majority of Americans. The Me Too and Time’s Up movements are strongly opposing the disgusting culture of rampant sexual misconduct in American society. The highly-successful Women’s March has grown into a full-scale women’s rights movement in this country. Progressive movements supporting immigration and immigrants, the social safety net, criminal justice reform, and many other progressive ideals have sprung up in the Trump era to oppose Trump and fight for policies that benefit the American people. There are far too many Democratic candidates running for public office right now for me to name, but never has there been so much interest by Democrats to step up and run for public office in this great country.