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Thoughts on President Trump’s agenda

Where does the country go from here?

(Metropolico.org/Flickr)

(Metropolico.org/Flickr)

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With the signing of President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders during his first few days as President of the United States, he evoked rage and resentment from various parts of the country over the implementation of his agenda. From restricting the government’s immigration policy to renewing its support for the Keystone Pipeline, Americans have taken their resistance to his policies from Facebook to the streets.

Multiple reports have indicated that there has been and will continue to be widespread protests due to the overwhelming logistical and legal chaos that has erupted in our nation’s airports, universities and businesses.

Trump and his cadre of self-serving proto-fascist posse are using these poorly-crafted but well-timed executive orders to keep promises, create chaos and distract the opposition.

To start, Trump used the fear of Muslim and Mexican immigrants as a key component in his campaign. There is no need to rehash the obscene nature of his rhetoric, but it does serve a point.

This incendiary rhetoric, when met with equally incendiary executive orders, allows him to keep his promises to his base, while simultaneously creating chaos for the opposition.

Liberals, please hold your facts, logic, reason, and the Constitution, to yourself. They are worthless in this conversation.

The same people, who were willing to overlook Trump’s blatant authoritarianism, sexism, racism, et cetera, are willing to overlook the unconstitutionality of his recent executive actions. Why would this legal, logistical, and moral chaos surrounding his immigration restrictions suddenly change his base’s minds?

In fact, this type of chaos is exactly what his base and his posse were looking towards. By his base, I don’t mean the average Joe who voted for the “outsider” or “change candidate.” I mean the people who have been culturally, politically, and economically disenfranchised over the past 30 years. They do not seek a redress of their grievances, but a destruction of the very institutions that they see as keeping them marginalized in an increasingly secular, progressive and highly technological culture. I am not going to litigate whether their feelings are justified, but they are certainly present in at least some parts of his base, if not a majority. Of course, this claim borders on a generalization, but the possibility of this claim being true should raise red flags on the left.

These are the people that, progressives, in their segregated liberal bubbles should be terrified of.

Why?

Because his base gained a newfound sense of agency after the election. No longer was his presidency a pipe dream, it became reality. Furthermore, these executive orders, regardless of their legal, political, and moral merit, serve as manipulative media tactics that further the interests of Trump and his — in my opinion — spineless team (read Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner and House Speaker Paul Ryan.) Their collective interests are focused on eroding the credibility, competence, and the ability of almost every institution to function, with exception of the military.

By appealing to the ideals of Trump’s true base, he and the GOP programmed and produced a reality TV show of mindless destruction for the next four years, while they reap the benefits of power. I mean, I can’t blame them. What do they have to lose? For the party that was so concerned with the Constitution under Obama, it must be so liberating to no longer preach about sanctity of the Founder’s intentions, when there is important work to do, like making it harder for people of color to exist in this country and around the world.

So where does the country go from here? Where does the resistance go from here? Should the press cover every poorly-worded tweet by the President for an entire news cycle? Does social protest make much of a difference? These are just some of the questions that anybody with any sort of moral compass that is focused on resisting Trump’s agenda should be asking. The press, especially cable news networks, play into Trump’s tiny hands, when he sends out an inflammatory tweet at 3:30 a.m. that is covered incessantly for the entirety of the next day. The press needs to start asking itself fundamental questions. Is this institution a news organization or entertainment television?

In terms of social protest, everyone needs an enemy. Many people across the globe consider Trump an enemy of all things good in this world, so there is certainly plenty to protest, but what is the point of protest if it does not follow the acquisition of power?

The Democratic Party and other “liberal” organizations will surely take advantage of the recent surge in donations, but will they be able to hold themselves and the current people in power accountable? They have no choice but to hold Trump and the GOP’s feet to the fire at all costs if they expect to be rewarded at the ballot box in 2018 and 2020.

Email Jack [email protected]

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The digital-first, student-run magazine of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Journalism Department
Thoughts on President Trump’s agenda