Trump’s first week marked by executive orders, protests
Since becoming president, Donald Trump has issued 17 executive orders. It’s interesting that he’s so inclined to do so, considering he attacked former president Barack Obama for “constantly issuing executive orders that are major power grabs of authority” on Twitter in 2012.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2012
These, along with controversial cabinet picks, have sparked outrage from millions of protesters, ranging from the Women’s March to the more recent JFK airport protests. I’ve covered cabinet picks in a previous article, and now we’ll examine Trump’s executive orders, their possible motivations and purposes and what the reaction to these have entailed.
Three of Trump’s orders have been a large movement toward deregulation, environmental regulations being a prominent target. This, coupled with a recent censoring on the National Park Service and other government agencies (including the Environmental Protection Agency), marks a serious move toward allowing businesses free reign to commit environmental damage without so much as a warning from government programs designed to prevent such disasters.
Another vital factor is Trump’s pick to head the EPA, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who has sued the agency 13 times over enforcing pollution restrictions. He also presided over Oklahoma’s record-breaking earthquake destruction which has been directly connected to fracking, which he fully supported.
Trump has bragged of receiving environmental awards and being “a very big person” when it comes to the environment, but there is no evidence of either of these. Trump has won no awards in the last 10 years and has received backlash over his environmental protection violations as a means to expand his golf courses. The motive of deregulation is clear: Making room for businesses to do as they please without responsibility.
Let us not turn to the Democrats to oppose Trump, for they have proven their support for him in spite of their rhetoric.
More worrisome orders are the securing of both the Dakota Access and the Keystone Pipelines, both of which have the potential of being incredibly harmful to the environment. In spite of the pleas of thousands of DAPL protesters (most of whom are Native American and fighting for the protection of their homes), Trump gave a green light to continue its construction. Blatantly obvious motives are protection of the wealthy, and, more specifically, Trump’s personal stock in the company constructing the pipeline.
These, along with a “global gag rule” to drastically reduce funding of humanitarian aid abroad (which happens to include family planning), a green light on the construction of The Wall™, the positioning of white-supremacist Steven Bannon on the National Security Council (while dropping joint chiefs of staff), and the plans to expand the military have lit the flames of resistance across the United States. The most heinous order, however, has without a doubt been the immigration ban.
The ban targeted seven Muslim-majority countries from entry to the U.S.; this includes those with green cards and dual-citizenship. However, no citizens from the selected countries have killed a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil in recent history. Four countries not included (but have Muslim-majority citizenship) have a unique feature: Trump does business with them.
The question is, who can those against Trump turn to?
The Democrats? Not likely. Though xenophobia is an easy culprit to pin on Trump, the selected countries weren’t picked by Trump, but by Obama and other Democrats. The reason Trump does business with these countries not selected for the ban is because they’re protected from American imperialism. All but one of the chosen countries (Iran) has been bombed by the U.S. in recent history. Also, Democrats have overwhelmingly voted “yes” to Trump’s cabinet members. It is perfectly clear that the Democratic Party will be of no help in providing resistance to Trump. Who, then, will turn the tide? The ones who always have: the people.
Following the ban, thousands of protesters gathered at JFK airport to cease operations and demand the release of those innocent persons detained by customs due to the ban. Protests have also taken place across the country, garnering massive waves of support. A New York City taxi union chose to shut down services in protest. Countless ACLU lawyers volunteered without pay to demand the stopping of the ban, and they succeeded in temporarily stopping the unjust act.
The point here is that if we wish to oppose the system which Donald Trump is using to commit injustice, we cannot work within that system. Direct action is being taken by swarms of people, and as we’ve seen for thousands of years, the masses make history. Let us not turn to the Democrats to oppose Trump, for they have proven their support for him in spite of their rhetoric.
If we wish to resist Trump, we must do it ourselves.