Adjusting to the New Normal
Despite being a liberal student unhappy with his actions, I think there are still some reasons to be optimistic about the new president.
By Mary Kiser, Trident Technical College
As Obama waved goodbye to the White House, the hearts of millions dropped.
With the fingers of a demagogue hovering over nuclear launch codes, the world reeked of fear. While optimists insisted that the president might be taking baby steps, pessimists were only listening to his nonsensical babble.
With a click of his pen, the first domino fell. Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, a decision that grabbed women by the balls. According to White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, the decision should not have taken anyone by surprise. “The President, it’s no secret, has made it very clear that he’s a pro-life president,” he said in a press conference.
The Obama administration revoked the policy because it banned safe and sterile abortions overseas. Obama’s decision saved lives; Trump’s saved face.
As his claws came out, the new president whipped off his toupee and buttoned up his suit. No more games. He showed that he was serious enough about economic reform to slash civilian jobs. His decision to institute a hiring freeze not only ineffectively trims the budget, but flies in the face of one of his major campaign promises—bringing jobs back to the country.
According to American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox Sr., “President Trump’s action will disrupt government programs and services that benefit everyone, and actually increase taxpayer costs by forcing agencies to hire more expensive contractors to do work…this hiring freeze will mean longer lines at Social Security offices, fewer workplace safety inspections, less oversight of environmental polluters, and greater risk to our nation’s food supply and clean water systems.”
Before the election, men and women demanded change. They were dissatisfied with the last eight years and felt neglected. When the businessman bragged about his commercial successes, people noticed him; when the billionaire peacocked his status, people commended him; when the celebrity shouted kitschy catchphrases, people voted for him.
But, they weren’t just voting for him: They were voting for his administration and his policies.
After President Trump announced his taxing reversal, his vision for the next four (or eight) years became clearer. He rescinded his predecessor’s economic-policy actions, including a mortgage-fee cut that was popular with first-time homebuyers and low-income borrowers. The decision cost prospective homebuyers across the country an extra $500.
Trump’s move also held negative ramifications beyond the working class, as even Republican politicians, like Ben Carson, discouraged the commander-in-chief’s cancellation. Why? Because they lost money, too.
Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer said, “It only took an hour after his positive words on the inaugural platform for his actions to ring hollow. One hour after talking about helping working people and ending the cabal in Washington that hurts people, he signs a regulation that makes it more expensive for new homeowners to buy mortgages.”
In regard to immigration reform, women’s rights and civil rights, President Trump’s plans were thorny at best. After his inauguration, he revealed the bulwark of his concerns. “People close to Trump’s team acknowledged that his first weekend in office had been overtaken by the president engaging in a fight over crowd sizes and media coverage he perceived as negative,” reported “CNN.”
At the end of the day, after being elected to the most important position in the world, vanity weighed on President Trump’s mind. Like a high school adolescent, he was more concerned about his appearance than his performance.
Like many students, President Trump’s candidacy stretched my toleration. Before he represented the Republican Party, I was a staunch Democrat. And I judged anybody who wasn’t one.
However, his radical campaign transformed the country. Over sixty million Americans voted for Trump, so were they wrong or was I? As I mulled it over, the obvious hit me: In the same way I cheered for Hillary Clinton, supporters cheered for President Trump. Nobody persuaded me otherwise, and nobody persuaded them otherwise, either.
In 2015, I cleaned buildings with my uncle. The two properties were huge, and we worked for at least seven hours each Saturday. During our lunch break, we talked about politics. Well, he talked about politics; I just listened. When he gabbed about Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and “Crooked Hillary,” I judged him. I thought, Why was he so, so ignorant?
In my opinion, he joined forces with the dark side, but instead of cookies, they offered him an inflated ego and security blanket. Radio hosts like Limbaugh and Savage spoke my uncle’s truth. I criticized him for his role models, yet the finger pointed back at me, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. What I preached wasn’t what I practiced. When I blamed my uncle for his “poor political preferences,” I mocked his intellect, his values and his freedom of speech.
As Obama said, “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America—there’s the United States of America. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
When news broke of a Republican-controlled Congress and President Trump’s victory, I cried. My eyes were puffy, my nose was red and my stomach was in a cramp. The next four, or eight years replayed inside my brain, and the thought sickened me. But here’s my revelation: Whether citizens and undocumented immigrants were elated or not, he is still the president of the United States.
Until the country crashes and burns, he deserves a chance. If he can defy the odds and win the election, then his potential is limitless.
He can make America great, even if it’s for the very first time.