Hilary Hodge: Is this what Trump voters had in mind?
For the people who voted for our current Republican Administration, I ask you gently and sincerely, did you have these policies in mind when you voted?
Were you hoping for this administration to put forth these policies? Were you hoping for what has come from Washington these past few weeks? Is this what you wanted from the Republican Party?
On Jan. 28, Donald Trump elevated contentious strategist Steve Bannon to the National Security Council to be a permanent member of the Principals Committee. Bannon has no previous intelligence or national security experience, nor does he have any experience with serving in law enforcement for our country. He was elevated to one of the highest security positions in our nation and does not have the basic credentials to qualify to run for Sheriff in Nevada County, California.
On Jan. 30, the Republican Administration dismissed Attorney General Sally Yates for failing to defend President Trump’s extreme Immigration Ban, after determining that the Department of Justice was not “convinced that the Executive Order [was] lawful.” When Sally Yates was confirmed, she was approved by a bipartisan Senate vote of 84-12 because she was qualified to hold the office.
On Jan. 31, President Trump nominated federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court nominee, almost a year after the Republican Congress blocked any forward movement in Supreme Count nominations by the Obama Administration for qualified judge Merrick Garland. Obstructionist politics on the part of the Republican Administration have now compromised the legitimacy of Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
On Feb. 2, the National Prayer Breakfast was kicked off with a bizarre homage to the television show Survivor and then disgraced by a weird request from Donald Trump asking people to pray for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s television ratings. For devout religious people in our community, how can you accept the events at this prayer breakfast as respectful? Is this a message that feels congruent with you congregation’s needs?
On Feb. 3, Republicans stood by as Donald Trump issued an executive order targeting financial reforms put in place after 2008 and the Wall Street financial crisis. He rolled back rules that protect consumers from banking and financial fraud. Experts say that repealing these regulations could lead to another financial crisis like the one we had in 2008 when millions of Americans lost their homes. Do Republicans really want another episode in history where Wall Street bankers get to line their pockets with the hard-earned money of the American middle class?
On Feb. 7, the Vice President stepped in to be the tiebreaker vote in a Senate confirmation for a cabinet nomination for the first time in U.S. history. Vice President Mike Pence voted to confirm Betsy DeVos as Trump’s secretary of Education. Betsy DeVos is a former Republican Party chairwoman from Michigan. In a 1997 Atlantic op-ed, Devos admitted that her family was the “largest single contributor of soft money to the national Republican Party” and that her intention in donating was to buy influence. There is a lot of consternation about DeVos for education, particularly her advocacy for corporatizing our public school system. We know that when knowledge becomes monetized, it is inherently biased. We plainly see how monetized information plays out in our news media. Do Republicans really want someone to lead the Department of Education who wants to compromise public education in our country?
Many people have defended their vote for Donald Trump in spite of his overt racist remarks, his endorsement from the KKK, and his unacceptable commentary on women by arguing that Donald Trump is an outsider to the party and that he was going to shake things up in Washington. The first few weeks of this Republican regime has shown the American people that Donald Trump’s Republican Administration does not have the interests of the American people in mind. They are siding with corporations, elevating campaign donors, and placing policy that has historically hurt the American people.
In the first few weeks of this administration, the Republicans placed an under-qualified person in a position of power thanks to campaign contributions. They have removed regulations that protect the middle class. They have repealed policies that protect the environment. They have undermined women’s health care. They are working on repealing the Affordable Care Act, a program that has helped 20 million Americans afford health insurance. At every turn, this administration has shown that they do not have the American people and America values in mind.
So I ask, with sincerity, is this what people had in mind when they voted for Donald Trump and this Republican Administration?
Hilary Hodge lives in Grass Valley. Her column is published by The Union on Tuesdays. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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