Tuesday, April 04, 2017

I Was Not Wrong

You might remember that I endorsed Hillary Clinton and warned about the dangers of electing Donald Trump.
I suggested he’d endanger people with pre-existing conditions, that there was no there there—his ideas were basically empty slogans, and that he had authoritarian tendencies.
Six months later, I think we can assess my worries about Trump. 
At this point I think I can safely say I was not wrong.

Pre-existing conditions
            The Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land, though there are plenty of ways Trump is undermining it, including pulling ads and use of executive orders. That said, he’d initially said Trumpcare would protect people with pre-existing conditions, until he got down to the final hour before the bill was going to go for a vote, and gladly cut up that part of the bill before the whole thing failed. There is now a new effort to repeal the ACA and cut people with pre-existing conditions off at the knees. So, yeah, I was not wrong.

Empty Slogans
            When Trump was trying to tackle healthcare he admitted, “Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated.” This after claiming he’d create a perfect plan that kept all the things people liked about the ACA, but it would be tons cheaper. “A terrific plan that would cover everyone.” Yes, he’s governing by slogan not idea.
            As further evidence, he’d promised, as you might remember, to get China to invade North Korea for us, now he’s planning on “solving” North Korea without China.
            He had a secret plan to defeat ISIS, it looks more like he’s just letting the Obama plan chug along, maybe with more civilian casualties and botched raids.
            He was going to build a wall and have Mexico pay for it. They won’t.
            He promised to ban Muslims, which has proved to be unconstitutional and judges have blocked said executive order twice.
            You get the picture, he says things, but they don’t seem to work as actual policy, so he backtracks. I was not wrong.

Authoritarianism
            I was a NATO kid and was on a NATO base when the Tiananmen Square Massacre took place. I was told in no uncertain terms that was what we were fighting against—America while deeply imperfect, stands for human rights, and when we fail that we are held to account for it, because that is who we are. Yeah, na├»ve right, but still, damn it, if I have a choice between someone who stands up to China and says, “Women’s rights are human rights!” or someone who thinks what happened at Tiananmen Square shows strength, I’m going with Human Rights every time.
            Off my soap box.
            So far, Trump and his people have proved to be very cozy with Vladimir Putin. In fact, he’s defended Putin killing journalists and employed a moral equivalency between America and Russia to defending Putin being a killer.
            Additionally, he’s given Egyptian Strongman Al-Sisi legitimacy and a boatload of cash, green lighting his human rights abuses. In general, Middle Eastern dictators are loving this.
            So far he’s ruling via executive orders, with 23 so far (vs 18 for Obama at this time). And when these orders don’t go as planned we’re told to not question his authority. Those who do their job and interpret the constitutionality of the orders are dismissed as “so called judges.” He is threatening fellow Republicans like he’s “The Godfather.” Also, he capriciously knocked a billion dollars off an American company’s stock via Twitter.
            As for the hate crimes, it’s so bad the Lutherans are doing active bystander training. And before you think we’re over-reacting, the night before the first training a young woman was spat upon for wearing a hijab and the day after I visited a local Islamic Center, it was targeted. On a more terrifying scale an Indian man was killed in Kansas because he looked Muslim. Then there is White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s obsession with “The Camp of the Saints” in which immigrants from the 2/3rds world and hippie leftists are eventually slaughtered to save the West.

            So, it seems Trump is emboldening human rights violators abroad and racists at home and governing in a heavy-handed manner. I was not wrong.