BY: RAHUL MEPANI, SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR
If you asked Donald Trump while he was on the campaign trail about his vision for the United States of America, he would probably ramble on and on about his immigration plan to curb crime rates, his economic programs that would stimulate our economy, and his fool proof foreign policy initiatives that would do what no country or government could: end the crisis in the Middle East. Yet five months into the job, President Trump’s actions have made one thing clear – he is not focused on creating his own initiatives for the American people, but instead finding ways to roll back Obama era ones to claim a political victory in the face of his opponents.
Let’s start off with a bill that’s thrown Capitol Hill into the spotlight these past few weeks. It is common knowledge that Republicans have been obsessed with finding a way to destroy the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” for the past decade. The result? Republican lawmakers have been drafting a bill in secret from the rest of the world, and only recently unveiled it a week before the vote, so policy makers and the Congressional Budget Office can’t calculate the quantitative impact this legislation will have. But one thing remains certain as this legislation is rushed through the House and Senate; the healthcare bills presented by Mitch McConnell and the Republican party would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it. Furthermore, the CBO, in the short time allotted, was able to conclude that the new Senate bill would leave 23 million Americans uninsured, negating Campaign-Trail-Trump’s greatest healthcare promise to the American people.
Next, let’s travel outside the United States to see how President Trump’s affinity with repealing Obama initiatives has shaped the global landscape. After removing the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership alliance, China has begun to fill the vacuum of influence left by the United States in the region. Over the past few months, Beijing has warmed up to one of our greatest regional allies in the Philippines, threatened the sovereignty of our friends in Japan, and begun building islands in the waters of Brunei and Malaysia. President Trump never seems to fail to remind us about his background at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, yet he can’t seem to negotiate a better deal than the one he removed the United States from.
But perhaps the most detrimental decisions President Trump made through his grudge with Obama era policies was to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. The world’s environmental scientists have confirmed our fears that the Earth is not only heating up, but that rate at which it is heating up is increasing as well. So when the leader of the free world abandons one of the initiatives set up to help combat this global threat, not only does it increase the burden of our allies, but makes us look careless, stubborn, and unfortunately, stupid.
President Trump can insult immigrants, he can criticize world leaders, and he can play golf in Mar A’ Largo as much as he wants. But no longer can Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and Sean Spicer justify his actions over the past five months. They clearly indicate not only a more isolationist America, but an America at war with itself.
Instead of focusing on destroying former President Obama’s policies, he should be more focused on creating his own solutions to domestic and international problems, just like he said he would. Instead of trying to start a twitter war with hosts from Saturday Night Live, he should be looking for ways to end the war on drugs. Instead of constantly embarrassing US allies by giving top secret information to Russian diplomats, he should go covfefe himself.
Photo Credits: By Michael Vadon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons