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COLUMN: The top 10 worst acts of the Trump presidency so far



To commemorate a year passing since Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, here is a list of 10 dangerous, violent, culturally significant and shocking things he’s done in office: 

10. Statement on Iranian terror attack 

When the Islamic State launched its first attack against Iran killing 12 at its parliament building, Trump ditched typical international decorum and in his statement blamed Iran for the attack: “States that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.” Little has been said by Trump regarding the blow back caused by funding Islamic terror groups by the United States and Saudi Arabia

9. Financial Deregulation 

Though rhetorically Trump attacked Wall Street during the campaign, his cabinet and Republicans in Congress remain ideologically committed to returning the banking industry back to a pre-2008 free-for-all. The administration’s top Goldman Sachs men, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn, remain the driving force behind Trump’s executive orders on the financial industry and the GOP tax plan

8. Winks and Nods to Anti-Semitism 

During a scourge of bomb threats to Jewish community centers, the president remained largely silent. Though the suspect linked to a number of the threats was later found to be an Israeli-American, Trump questioned the legitimacy of the threats well before the arrest and refused to condemn them. A statement issued by the White House on Holocaust Remembrance Day also did not explicitly mention the Jewish people. 

7. Abandoning Puerto Rico

Even though almost two months have passed since Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico remains a humanitarian disaster due to inaction by the U.S. government.

A recent power outage courtesy of Whitefish, the shady company given a government contract to fix Puerto Rico’s power grid, has left 80 percent of the island still without power. Due to mass cremations of at least 900 people, we may never know the actual death toll from the storm and ensuing crisis. 

6. ISIS Bombing Campaign 

The amount of bombs dropped by the United States under Trump through July alone was 80 percent that of Obama’s final year in office. This includes the dropping of the largest non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan. Due to the loosening of the rules of engagement, civilian casualties have dramatically increased under Trump, numbering up to 4,500 lives in the anti-ISIS campaign.  

5. “Both Sides” Press Conference 

After an outright neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, left one person dead and several others injured, the president held a neurotic press conference in which he equated white supremacists with the “alt-left” activists protesting them. He also stressed the existence of “fine people” and Confederate statue enthusiasts on a side chanting “blood and soil” and “The Jew will not replace us.” 

4. ICE Raids and Deportation 

In what can only be called the “Gestapo-ization” of the immigration system, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has turned into a para-military and law enforcement wing of the Department of Homeland Security. Mass roundups of immigrants have ballooned under Trump, up 38 percent overall – up 156 percent specifically for those without criminal records. 

Disgusting tactics used by ICE included making arrests at courthouses, detaining a 10 year old with cerebral palsy just released from the hospital and abandoning women and children at a bus station as Hurricane Harvey approached. 

3. Empowerment of Saudi Arabia 

Despite pointing out Saudi Arabia’s possible role in 9/11 on the campaign, Trump’s embrace of the totalitarian, theocratic oil company as president, is revolting. 

From a $100 billion weapons deal, to escalation of a genocidal war against Yemen, the U.S.'s support for Saudi Arabia has become a horror show under Trump. Currently, the United States is backing the extensive government purge occurring in Saudi Arabia while tensions between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia hurdle closer to possible war. 

2. Appointments 

Not only do many of Trump’s appointees lack relative experience to run their respective government agencies, like Ben Carson or Rick Perry, many were appointed to consciously debilitate and sabotage the functionality of government programs. 

Environmental Protection Agency Director Scott Pruitt continues to ease environmental regulations despite an alarming report on climate change from within his own agency. Another appointee, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, also remains committed to driving the final stake through the heart of public schools. 

Furthermore, the placement of Justice Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court guarantees conservative control of the court for decades. 

Though without doubt, the most alarming development in Trump’s cabinet is the consolidation of power by the generals, namely Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster. No one currently has a coherent plan for breaking up the military’s control over the executive branch once Trump leaves office. 

1. Acceleration of Climate Change

A changing climate, the gravest threat to the continued existence of humanity, isn’t even recognized by Trump’s administration. From taking the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord, to opening up national parks and monuments to resource extraction, the long term consequences from these policies will be faced for decades. 

The destruction of the past hurricane season, and the government’s inadequate response to the mass flooding, will likely be pointed to in climate history as an omen of the future, a future no doubt exacerbated by Trump’s belligerent climate policies. 

luwrobin@indiana.edu

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