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1 May 2017

One Rough Hundred Days

By the time this article hits stands on May 1st, we will have just passed the 100-day mark of the 45th President’s term in office. It has been a period fraught with drama and division as the new administration seeks to make its mark on our nation by systematically chipping away at freedom and equality. The truth is, in such a short time, our new leader has disrupted and adversely affected countless lives, not just in America, but around the world. 

The President has twice tried to ban Muslim people from immigrating into this country. These are people whose only perceived crime is being of Muslim faith and coming from the Middle East or Africa. Men, women, and children, some have gone through months—as many as 24 months—of vetting before being granted a visa to come to America. Many hope to enter the US to escape war, tyranny, and likely death in their homelands. Several have been friends of the United States, often risking their lives to aid our soldiers and diplomats abroad. Like our forefathers, others simply want the chance to build a better life for themselves and their children.

Then there is the issue of undocumented immigrants. During his campaign, the Republican candidate promised he would not break up families. Yet, that is exactly what he’s been having Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) do since taking office. Though he claimed he wouldn’t deport any Dreamers—young adults brought as children to this country by their parents without proper entry documentation—one of the first people arrested by ICE was a Dreamer. The commander-in-chief has also admonished sanctuary cities and our state, threatening to withhold federal monies if we don’t help ICE in their search for people who are here undocumented. This president’s policies strike many as cruel, and his demeanor has been compared to that of a schoolyard bully. This is especially troublesome given the volatile climate in North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. 

Of course, there are also the issues around healthcare. The President continues to swear his health plan is going to be the greatest, much better than Obamacare (i.e. The Affordable Care Act). Unfortunately, it seems he has no plan for healthcare, but then neither do congressional Republicans, even though they had over seven years to come up with one. Our fearless leader also promised no Americans would lose their health insurance, yet when the Congressional Budget Office reviewed  Congress’s makeshift plan, it was estimated within ten years more than 24 million Americans would lose their health insurance coverage. Given the number of Americans lacking coverage today, that would raise the total uninsured to 40 million by 2027. 

Republicans could not agree on a repeal and replace plan, but instead of reaching across the aisle to both moderate Republicans and Democrats to repair Obamacare, the President is trying to bankrupt the Affordable Care Act. This man is supposed to be looking out for the welfare of all Americans, yet his rushed “plan” could cost hundreds of thousands of Americans their lives. Obamacare, by comparison has, since its inception, saved an estimated 1.8 million American lives, by providing affordable health insurance, giving wider access to care.

With another broken promise—his pledge to “drain the swamp”—this President has earned his reputation as a serial liar. Given his lack of credibility, transparency, and his choice to fill his administration with billionaires and Wall Street CEOs, the swamp has only gotten deeper. For example, as Ivanka Trump and Jarod Kushner dined with the Chinese Premier at Mar-a-Lago, the Chinese government announced it was issuing the First Daughter’s jewelry company three trademarks to do business in China. Oh yes, the swamp waters are rising.

Of course, we mustn’t forget the President’s tax returns, which he still hasn’t made public. When he claimed this is because he’s still under audit by the IRS, the press countered by asking for release of the IRS audit letters sent to any taxpayer to notify them of an audit. The President refuses to release even these innocuous documents, begging the question of what he’s hiding. 

Speaking of what he’s hiding leads to a discussion of the Russians meddling in our election process. The President continues to insist his campaign staff did nothing wrong in meeting with known Russian intelligence agents. Yet he and his staff have tried multiple smoke and mirror tricks to hinder ongoing investigations. The American public deserves an answer. What does this President know about Russian involvement in the 2016 election, and when did he know it? Back in 2016, the FBI even obtained a FISA warrant to surveil and bug one of his staffers who was known to have passed information to Russian intelligence. What that information was has not been released to the public because the FBI investigation continues.

These issues are just the beginning. Scratch beneath the surface of this rookie President, and there’s so much more: evidence of sexual impropriety; erratic behavior; executive orders that are audacious attacks on human rights; an administration filled with self-serving amateurs, building backward-leaning agendas. It’s been an exhausting 100 days. Who knows what the next 100 will bring?

Author:Richard Bosco
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