American Embarassment


Illustration by Stacey Rojas

Three years ago, America was in a dilemma. For some, voting for the president was a battle to find “the lesser of two evils.” Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?

Some chose to forego the dilemma altogether by voting third party or not voting at all.

Two years later and it seems that the greater evil of the two was the victor. In his time as president, the actions of Trump have proven this. From consistently working to undermine the LGBTQ+ community to spreading conspiracies and misinformation to the public, it’s hard to find anything he’s done right.

The amount of mental gymnastics his supporters put themselves through to justify any of his actions is beyond understanding. Trump himself isn’t even capable of this, as his actions almost always contradict statements he’s made.

After James Comey’s dismissal from the FBI, Trump told NBC that the decision was partly due to Comey’s inquiry over Russian interference in the election.

“And, in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said: ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won,’” said Trump.

Yet, earlier this May, Trump denies this ever influenced his decision to fire the former FBI director.

“Not that it matters but I never fired James Comey because of Russia! The Corrupt Mainstream Media loves to keep pushing that narrative, but they know it is not true!” tweeted the president.

Trump’s narratives and positions on things are constantly fluctuating. He’s impulsive and unpredictable, something many of his supporters praise him for, but it makes him incredibly untrustworthy. It’s talk like this that distracts his base from realizing that he has gained little to no ground in accomplishing any of his campaign promises.

One of the biggest things Trump pushed on the campaign trail was bringing back American jobs. He claimed that he would revive the dying coal, steel and manufacturing industries, especially in communities that were heavily dependent on these kinds of jobs for income.

While touring the Northeast, Trump made promises to help the struggling communities in Pennsylvania.

“When I’m president, guess what, steel is coming back to Pittsburgh,” said Trump.

But steel isn’t coming back. Trump’s various tariffs designed to revive that very industry have seen losses. CNBC reports that although steel companies have opened up new plants in the country, they’ve also announced workforce reductions. These tariffs come at a cost, countries such as China, Mexico, Canada and the European Union all placed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products.

The industries most affected by the tariffs? Agriculture, metals, and manufacturing. The very same industries Trump swore to protect. According to Brookings, rural and metro areas are more affected than the larger regional economy. While it’s expected for Trump to ignore requests from the other side of the aisle, he fails to accomplish anything for his own supporters.

Shortly before the 2016 election, Wikileaks posted thousands of emails gathered from the Democratic National Committee. It was quickly confirmed that the Russians were behind this hack; many speculated that Russia meddled in the election in favor of Trump. The question then became, did Trump know? Did he actively conspire with Russia?

Evidence points to yes. Many members of his team have ties to the foreign countries, including his own son. Although Trump calls Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference a witch hunt, the results show otherwise. Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor, plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts. Even his son admitted to conspiring with Russia. According to the New York Times, Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer in hopes of acquiring damaging information about Clinton.

Despite holding up an “LGBT for Trump” sign while on the campaign trail, he has actively worked towards undermining the rights and progress made in recent years, namely trans rights. Just last year he announced his efforts to ban transgender people from joining the military. The effort was quickly blocked by courts, but the president hasn’t given up so quickly. He’s urging the Supreme Court to bypass the legal process in order to take on the controversial ban.

His most recent anti-LGBTQ+ policy targets transgender people again. Title IX, a lawsuit that bans sex discrimination in federally funded schools, is at risk of being reinterpreted. These changes threaten to rollback on protections and recognition for transgender students. Gender would be defined solely by genitalia at birth.

These ideas are antiquated and discriminatory. The Obama Administration loosened the legal definition of gender in various federal programs. They recognized that gender as a separate concept that wasn’t always defined by sex at birth. Policies like Trump’s endanger the safety and health of transgender Americans. To make matters worse, it would also declare that sex discrimination would no longer apply to transgender people.

Trump’s exorbitant use of executive power isn’t limited to targeting transgender people, but also immigrants and their children. According to the 14th Amendment, citizenship is granted to every child born on U.S. soil, regardless of the citizenship status of their parents. To assume he would make this amendment to the Constitution legally is an over exaggeration of his knowledge of the legal system. He wants to amend the age-old document, with an executive order.

Time and time again, Trump has proven that he fails to do anything right. Tariffs resulting in backlash, a lack of legal understanding and complete and total disregard for LGBTQ+ rights. He is a giant step backwards for a country showing that it wants to go forward. He is not representative of this country, and it’s important that he doesn’t continue to be.