For the last couple of years, with Trump’s executive orders and policy decisions, indifference and support exhibited by the GOP leaders in Congress has caused a fierce reaction. That isn’t to say that enough people will agree that GOP leadership has been bad for the country and vote them out of office come Nov. 6.
Various polls thus far show that while the U.S. House of Representatives will most likely switch from red to blue, Republicans will maintain control of the U.S. Senate. Trump, however, has marched us back years, decades, maybe even a century, with some of his policies and posturing. A few examples:
- Civil rights: If you are a not a U.S. citizen of U.S. citizen parents, the message is, you are not wanted here. Targets in particular are of Middle Eastern and South or Central American heritage, as demonstrated via the Muslim ban and the call to end protections through DACA and Dreamers Act.
- Climate change: The Paris Agreement and other efforts on a national scale to reduce carbon emissions is a moot subject. Job creation and/or preservation takes precedence, even if an industry is losing relevancy. Take, for instance, coal mining.
- Environmental conservation: If there is money to be made on federal lands and waters that had been preserved under federal protections, consider them protected no longer. That includes the Carrizo Plain that borders Ventura County in the Central Valley and the Santa Barbara Channel.
- Economy: While the economy has certainly grown since 2016, economists predict a slowdown for months to come. “We think U.S. growth may have just peaked,” said Michael Gapen, chief U.S. economist for Barclays Capital, in “Real Time Economics: Why U.S. Economic Growth Is Poised to Slow,” Wall Street Journal, Oct. 29.
- LGBTQ+ equality: Transgender people are being minimized when compared to cisgender individuals for entry into the military.
- Judiciary: Fast-tracked two conservative justices for a solid conservative majority on the Supreme Court; aiming to fill over 100 empty federal court seats with GOP picks.
- Equality for women: Equal pay for equal work will not be discussed. Plus, Trump was elected despite his candid conversation over grabbing a woman by the “pussy.” His rhetoric at rallies continues to minimize the value of women.
- World leader: Trump’s America First policy is putting the country at odds with allies while showing favor to Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un.
- States’ rights: Trump has stirred nationalism and populism despite conservative preference of states’ rights. Compromise with opposition party leaders is not an option.
- United we stand: Divided we fall. Trump promotes further polarization with callous remarks toward anyone or anything not pro-Trump.
It’s a sad state of affairs to be in such a volatile, even hostile, place for so many people in this country who want stability now and to see a future loaded with potential. Just last week, Trump said to expect a tax cut for the middle class before Election Day even with Congress in session after Americans learned that another tax break was only for the rich.
What we have learned, however, is that the happenings on a national level are mainly out of our control. What should be the focus: reasonable leaders on a local level who can help maintain balance for the future. In the end, it is all about strengthening bonds with friends and family in our communities that will help us endure any perceived negatives to come.