How Trump Changed America In 2017 Without Congress

Trump

Through all the turmoil, scandals, #winning, and investigations involving the Trump administration, many of us have missed the concrete actions Trump took in 2017 that fundamentally changed America. We found a great list done by New York Magazine that listed 66 things that Trump changed. So two of our writers Joe and I (John G) decided we would have some fun and give our two cents about 10 of these changes. As always this is Red Blue Divide so feel free to disagree and give your opinion, there is no wrong answer. All we ask is please don’t troll and respect each other’s opinions.

***Underlined words or phrases are sourced links.***

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Check out the following list to see what we believe to be the 10 most noteworthy actions Trump took in the past year:

  1. Trump’s Travel Ban Blocks Refugees From 11 Countries From Coming To the United States
    • Trump’s “travel ban” executive order, signed in January, bans refugees from coming to the United States. Trump has successfully banned refugees from ten majority-Muslim countries, as well as North Korea. It has lead to a 40% drop in refugees entering the country and a 94% drop in Muslim refugees.
    • Joe: While Trump has managed to generalize an entire culture as terrorists, we have positioned the overwhelming majority of Muslims in this country for years of marginalization. According to the Huffington Post, only 2% of Muslims are actually terrorists. What about the other 98%?
    • John: I’m pretty sure I heard the same arguments in the UK and Europe before a rash of terror attacks. It’s bad enough we’ve had lone wolf attacks as a result of chain migration. A temporary ban to get a handle on things is fine and it would have ended months ago except the ‘resistance’ decided to drag it out.
  2. The DOJ Cut Funds To Reform Police Department
    • The Department of Justice sued the police in Ferguson, Missouri, and ordered them to reform their approach to race relations. The DOJ then created a program where other police departments could seek similar guidance on a voluntary and cooperative basis.
    • Jeff Sessions ended the program and used those funds to form groups like police unions.
    • Joe: While Obama took measures to improve race relations between minorities and the police department, it seems as if Trump is comfortable the way it is. After the events in Charlottesville last summer, we’ve got real issues that need to be taken attended to.
    • John G: Baltimore Police were ordered by a federal judge to continue with this Obama policy despite Sessions decision. Now, community leaders are demanding more police. Who knows maybe if the Police in Charlottesville could have bought military equipment that Obama banned them from purchasing they could have controlled the crowd more efficiently. It sure helped San Bernardino Police during a terror attack.

  3. Department Of Education Ends Program To Stop Lenders From Collecting Debt
    • The Department of Education during the Obama-era had a plan to stop colleges from collecting on loans if their students didn’t land jobs that paid enough. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has since ended that program.
    • Joe: Students get the bad end of the deal! It continues to get harder and harder for undergraduates, let alone graduate students to get ahead after graduation. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
    • John G: You mean you actually have to pay back your obligation and have some responsibility? Students could always take advantage of what some of us have done (myself included) to lower college debt; join the military or the National Guard. Then you could have experience and a college degree.
  4. The United States Withdrew From The Paris Climate Accord
    • In August, The U.S. withdrew from the Paris climate accord. The U.S. will no longer fulfill its promise to provide aid to poorer countries for climate measures.
    • Many believe it will cause diplomatic and economic blowback around the world.
    • Joe: This one has left many of us clueless. With the accelerated melting of glaciers in the arctic circle, which is supplemented by research, how long will it be until we are under water?
    • John G: Ok, so, are we melting due to global warming or is it climate change? When I was in elementary school we were going to freeze to death, by the time I graduated high school deforestation and global warming was going to fry us. So what is it? Not only that, it’s hard to believe scientists when they manipulate data (and no we aren’t using the story from last year we are going all the back to 2015). Nevertheless, I’m all for good stewardship and we should take care of our environment, I just don’t think a world body should tell us how to do it. If we are going to spend money to “save the earth” let’s spend it in the USA and not to a UN slush fund.
  5. The Trump Administration Ends Measures That Fight Pay Discrimination
    • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under Obama ordered companies to start submitting detailed data on employee pay, categorized by race, gender, and type of work.
    • In September 2017, Trump’s administration ended the measure.
    • Joe: Why is it so hard to report employee pay by race, gender, and type of work? If pay discrimination is such a false reality, what do businesses across America have to hide.
    • John G: The federal government doesn’t have the right to tell or force a private company to report how much they pay their employees. However, if you are discriminated against please sue your employer,  and report them to the EEO, discrimination is immoral and wrong. Now, if Congress wants to pass a law similar to Iceland’s submit it to the floor of the capital and let the debate begin. I think Hoda Kotb has a pretty good case against NBC.
  6. Federal Prosecutors Are Now Seeking Maximum Penalties
    • In May, the Trump administration ordered prosecutors to pursue stiff sentences for drug-dealing, gun crimes, gang violence, and every other type of crime.
    • Joe: We should absolutely act on crime, but prosecutors approaching crime with the intent to put people behind bars for as long as possible just doesn’t seem fair to me.
    • John G: You do the crime and are convicted of you do the time. You do the crime again and spend 20 years behind bars I don’t feel bad for you. If one does not want to go to jail then I suggest they better start making smarter life choices. You might think twice about dealing dope if you know it’s going to get you 10 years in the pokey. Incarceration is the MOST effective way to reduce recidivism because they aren’t on the street.
  7. The EPA Has Decided Not To Allow A Potentially Harmful Pesticide From Farms
    • Chlorpyrifos, which farmers use to kill pests on fruits and vegetables, has been known to cause headaches and nausea at high doses and to harm fetal development. The pesticide has been banned from household and garden use since 2000, and the U.K. has banned it on almost all crops.
    • Joe: Why would we take a chance on something that is potentially harmful? We should invest money into research of what pesticides are safe and what are not safe.
    • John G: I am not a fan of pesticides and because I have the ability and enjoy growing my own vegetables. Plus, I think all the WIFI I’m exposed to is harmful enough…lol. However, I’m going to drop this Snopes article right here debunking Chlorpyrifos.
  8. The FCC Takes Away Internet Privacy
    • Under Obama’s FCC, internet providers such as AT&T and Verizon were required to obtain customers’ permission before using their geolocation and information on their health, finances, children, and web-browsing history for advertising and marketing.
    • Both the House and Senate voted to repeal these rules.
    • Joe: It’s understandable that companies such as AT&T and Verizon need some customer data to continue improving their services. I can understand geolocation and MAYBE web-browsing history, but I don’t really feel like they need to know information about my health, family, and whatever else is going on in my personal life. They also don’t need to know my salary either… unless I’m getting a discount!
    • John G: I think the FCC needs to revisit this and protect the consumer, I understand that isn’t very “right” of me but it’s just how I feel. I understand we are using their service but, I’m paying to use their service and deserve some protection. I should have a right to opt out. Also, if a service wants to enter the market promising to protect my personal information, then let the freedom and power of the free market take effect; I’m switching to that company.
  9. Federal Agencies Are Being Less Generous With Public Information.
    • The FBI’s first major crime report this year had 70 percent fewer data tables than the version from last year, making it harder to assess trends in violent crime.
    • Data on workplace deaths has been removed from OSHA’s homepage and relegated to the website’s interior.
    • EPA scientists have been restricted from speaking in public about climate change.
    • The White House no longer keeps logs of its visitors, which would reveal who has had direct access to the president.
    • Joe: Why all the secrets? There are constant conversations behind closed doors that Trump seemingly does not want us to know about.
    • John G: Joe and I agree here the more transparent the government is the better.
  10. Congress Voted To Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Several state legislatures have worked since 2015 to defund health clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, that provide abortions.
    • A rule from the Obama administration blocked their efforts for a few months early this year, but Congress quickly voted to undo it in April.
    • Joe: Congress, once again, is enforcing their religious beliefs onto the people in a religiously free nation. Fair? Not really. If a woman decides to get an abortion, that is something they have to live with for the rest of their lives. But with that said, is it fair to bring a life into the world that you know you will not be able to support? Sure, there are other options like adoption, but I can’t imagine what it would be like for a woman to go through an entire pregnancy, grow attached to their baby, and then go through the pain of giving it up for adoption.
    • John G: Ok, so like it or not abortion is legal in the US (I don’t like it). The problem I have is I don’t feel like my tax dollars should fund someone’s choice. I would have liked someone to have paid for my daughter that I adopted, if we are going to do that then maybe I could get over my tax dollars paying for abortions. Now, if philanthropists want to give their money to PP it’s their money and legal.

What are your thoughts?

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Credit: NY Mag