Photo by Jamelle Bouie CC 2.0 / modified by Cluster Staff
In the days since he was inaugurated, Trump has signed a string of executive orders meant to expedite the process of fulfilling most of his campaign promises.
The order has been given to start planning construction of a border wall between Mexico and the United States, he has declared that the construction of the North Dakota Access Pipeline will be continued, and he has reinstated an executive order from the Reagan administration that will cut all federal funds to organizations, domestic and foreign, that offer abortion services.
In other words, Trump is acting exactly how it was expected for him to act when he took office; like a businessman.
These executive orders are authoritative, but more importantly, they are expedient. As a businessman, Trump is accustomed to making executive decisions that can deliver results quickly, so we may see the executive order become Trump’s primary means of acting effectively as president.
Congressional Republicans like Paul Ryan have described Trump as a “man of action,” and so the president taking full advantage of his executive powers in order to get things done should be no surprise.
With Republicans having full control of the executive, legislative, and soon to be, the judicial branch, it is not likely that Trump will be met with powerful resistance to his executive decisions.
However, some of these controversial signings have already begun to bring backlash from domestic and foreign parties.
Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto has cancelled his meeting with Trump after facing political backlash in his own country to take a stronger stance against Trump and his border wall.
Mexico and the United States have had a friendly relationship for the past couple of decades concerning trade and other international policies, but this dynamic may shift in upcoming years as Trump takes a more aggressive stance on immigration and antagonizes Mexican leadership.
Another executive order the president has made targets immigrants coming from Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria — all Muslim-majority countries. Although Trump denies it, his critics identify this action as his “muslim ban” that he first mentioned during the campaign.
His critics in Washington, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D), and the media have cited Trump’s statement on prioritizing aid to Christian refugees as proof that Trump means to target Muslims specifically with this refugee ban.
To highlight the authoritarian nature of Trump’s unilateral actions, Trump’s own director of homeland security, John Kelly, was on a conference call discussing Trump’s immigration plan while the president was signing the order that would finalize the decision.
Trump is bringing his campaign promises to fruition, and there is little opposition to his plans coming from Washington. Republican senators who rode into office on Trump’s coattails are simply not bold enough to stand against him.
Whatever direction Trump decides to take the country in, most likely that will be its destiny.
However, as demonstrated by the vast number of protests that have broken out during the past couple of weeks, it is self-evident that Trump’s plans still remain unpopular with a vast number of the American people.
The most recent has been the protests that have occurred at airports across the country due to Trump’s ban on Muslim refugees and previously the women’s marches that took place nationwide.
However, in the long run, this dynamic will most likely change as Trump alienates Republicans with what could be considered fiscally irresponsible policies, especially concerning the border wall.
Most estimates for his border wall put the cost of the wall at $20 billion, and that does not include the cost of labor. At this point, the burden of providing the funds that will go toward this wall will fall on American taxpayers.
Trump has suggested that one way he could shift the weight of the cost from taxpayers to Mexico is to impose a 20% tariff on all Mexican imports.
But when goods are imported with a tariff on them, the tariff increases the price for consumers of that good. If Donald Trump increases tariffs on Mexican goods that are going to be sold in the United States, then consumers in the United States are going to be the ones paying the extra tax, not Mexico.
Tariffs are usually implemented to protect domestic goods from cheaper foreign competition.
It’s difficult to cover all that’s been happening because the White House has been a flurry of activity, and it’s difficult to predict what will come next, but it’s urgent for citizens to remain informed about what their representatives are doing.