By BORA ZALOSHNJA ’20
On Wednesday, Nov. 9, protests erupted around the nation. Donald Trump had just been elected president, and many people were not happy about it. Social media feeds were full of #NotMyPresident, and with people talking about moving to Canada. It was easy to get swept up in the feeling of dread that coursed through the internet and real life following Election Day, but is this dread warranted or simply an overreaction?
The Founding Fathers implemented a system of checks and balances to prevnet government officials from having as much power as the British monarch, who they saw as a tyrant. They made sure each branch of government can check the other two. This means that Donald Trump will not be able to accomplish anything too detrimental and that people are just overreacting, right? Wrong.
All three branches are currently Republican controlled, and while establishment Republicans do not love Trump, they have proven they will not stand in the way of his bad decisions.
“No, I don’t have concerns. I have never met the guy. I don’t know Steve Bannon, so I have no concerns. I trust Donald’s judgment,” said Paul Ryan on Trump’s appointment of racist and anti-semitic “alt-right” leader Steve Bannon. Ryan proves he will look the other way when Trump makes terrible decisions.
Trump has promised he will ban Muslims from our country, build a wall on our border with Mexico, challenge Roe v. Wade, reduce people’s access to affordable healthcare, ignore climate change, challenge the gay marriage ruling, and cut taxes while improving infrastructure.
A lot of these promises require the appropriation of funds by Congress or rulings by the Supreme Court, but since the other branches will work with him, many of these things are within grasp for President-Elect Trump. There is still speculation on whether or not he will follow through on these promises, but if he does, it could be disastrous for this country. Along with the fact that the other branches will not actively check Trump, he can do a lot of things one executive branch that do not require judicial or legislative approval.
His power to appoint government officials, such as Supreme Court Justices, is particularly troubling. Trump may appoint up to four Justices within his presidency. He will definitely appoint Scalia’s replacement, as the Republicans have failed to pass judgment on President Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland. There are also three other justices nearing retirement. Since Justices serve for life, these appointments would affect policy and law in our country for decades to come.
He also chooses members of his cabinet and other high-ranking positions. These officials have a great deal of power not only because they have the President’s ear but also because they are in charge of large sectors of our government
Steve Bannon‘s appointment to a senior White House post is especially concerning. Previously, Bannon ran Breitbart News, an inflammatory “alt-right” news source that has published articles linking migrants to the spread of disease, implying that feminism is worse than cancer, and trying to tie Huma Abedin to Islamic militants. These are just a few examples off the laundry list of unreliable news Breitbart has published.
Some would argue that since these are Breitbart pieces, not Bannon’s own words, he can not be blamed, but Mr. Bannon has made his share of questionable comments. He has made more anti-semitic, sexist, racist, and homophobic comments than I can count. He was also accused of spousal abuse.
This appointment is so troubling that few Republicans came to its defense. One of the only vocal supporters of Bannon’s appointment was former leader of the KKK, David Duke, who called it “excellent”.
Trump has appointed Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, who supports defunding public schools, allowing child labor, and removing mandatory public schooling. Trump is expected to tap Ben Carson, who has no government experience, for Housing and Urban Development Secretary. Many of his picks are people such as DeVos, who helped fund and support his campaign.
This man has an extreme amount of power, and he has already proven he will not use it wisely. While there may have been some overreaction directly following the election, as the dust settles it is not at all illogical to be worried about Trump being in charge of our nation. It is up to concerned Americans to do what they can and use their political voices to try to push back against Trump and his administration these next four years.