When Donald Trump campaigned in 2016, he stated that he planned to win on every single issue for Americans. And one year after taking office, Trump has won hands down on every single issue that seeks to divide rather than unite us as a country and lower our standing in the world.
Trump got off to a running start on January 27, 2017 by hastily implementing a Muslim travel ban on 7 Muslim countries. The ban barred citizens of the Muslim countries from entering the U.S. After a federal appeals court struck down the first ban, a second ban ensued. Later after litigation, a third ban was enacted. On December 4, 2017, the Supreme Court allowed a third version of the travel plan to go into effect banning individuals from eight Muslim countries. Citizens from the effected countries will not be able to immigrate, work, study or vacation in the U.S. while the ban is in effect. Litigation is still ongoing.
The propaganda of “America First” touted by Trump has resulted in a loss of travel business and jobs in the travel industry. An analysis shows that the travel ban could cost $18 billion dollars in U.S. tourism over two years. In just the first week after the travel ban, business travelers canceled $185 million in travel bookings.
By January, 2018, Trump continued his attacks on other non-white countries by calling Haiti and all countries in Africa “shithole countries” in decrying against immigration from these countries. The derogatory remarks further show the open bigotry advance by Trump.
On May 31, 2017, Trump declared that the U.S. would pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement. One hundred and ninety-five countries support the agreement. Only Syria and Nicaragua didn’t join—and now the U.S exited. The purpose of the Paris Climate Accord was to help prevent further global warming and to use clean energy. Most of Trump’s base and likely Trump, himself, do not believe in the science of global warming. The Trump administration’s policies on world issues have diminished the U.S. in the eyes of the world and its standing among most countries, except Russia.
On August 12, 2017, hundreds of white supremacists, Klu Klux Klan members and Nazi’s marched at a rally in Charlottesville, VA. The rally resulted in the death of one woman as a car plowed through peaceful anti-Nazi protestors and injured 35 other individuals. Trump instead of denouncing the bigotry, racism and divisiveness of the rally, defended the white supremacists. Trump stated there were “very fine people” on both sides.
White supremacists have existed throughout our country’s history. Trump has allowed a renewed platform for their bigotry and hatred. According to research by the Anti- Defamation League, white supremacy propaganda has increased by almost 300% at college campuses –up from 2016.
In the fall with the beginning of NFL season, Trump weighed in on the protests by NFL players on police brutality and mistreatment against African Americans. The protests began in 2016 by Colin Kaepernick. By 2017, some NFL players began kneeling during the national anthem in silent protest. Trump referred to Kaepernick and others as “sons of bitches” in defiance of players’ first amendment rights. During his State of the Union address, Trump again stressed the importance of standing during the national anthem. He never addressed the underlying reasons for the protests—police brutality against Blacks and Black mistreatment in the criminal justice system.
Just in time for Christmas, Trump gave the best winning Christmas gift to the rich— an overhaul of the tax code resulting in increased wealth for the wealthy. On the tax increase, Congressman Paul Ryan boastfully stated on Twitter on February 3, 2018 that the tax increase resulted in one high school secretary to receive an additional $1.50 per week—as if that was something to be boastful about.
Previously Trump and the GOP—tried to repeal and “replace” Obamacare on at least two occasions. With the tax law, Trump ended up settling for repealing the individual mandate requirement to purchase health insurance—all but insuring that insurance premiums will soar in 2019.
Some other wins for Trump are appointments to lead federal agencies whose ideology are in direct conflict with the agencies they lead, nominating federal judges for a lifetime appointment who have little or no trial experience, casting doubt on our system of checks and balances otherwise known as the rule of law and his relentless attack on the media and journalists except Fox News —referring to the media as “fake news”.
Assuming if Trump is impeached, indicted or otherwise put out of office before 2020, he will still be winning in 2020 and thereafter. The dismantling of our norms, distrust of our media, loss of world standing and divisiveness caused by Trump’s first year in office will likely last for decades—long after 2020. Trump’s wins are our losses as a society.
Washington, DC based Debbie Hines is a trial lawyer, legal/political commentator and former prosecutor.