Trump’s first executive actions are questionable

By Coraline Pettine
February 8, 2017

Trump's short time in office has been compared to famous distopian novels. (Corey Pettine)
Trump's short time in office has been compared to famous distopian novels. (Corey Pettine)


George Orwell’s “1984” remains the number one best-selling book on Amazon a week after the inauguration.

George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” Alders Huxley‘s “Brave New World,” Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451.” What do these novels have in common? The answer is not that you read them in high school, though that may be true. Add the president’s book, “Trump: The Art of the Deal” to the list and the answer becomes more clear: they were all on Amazon’s best sellers book list after the inauguration.

A spokesperson for the publisher of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” reported that sales have increased more than 9,500 percent since the president was sworn into office.

From Trump insisting Americans ignore the media’s facts and only listen to those of his administration, to appointing Cabinet members who appear to know little about their role, some citizens feel Trump’s actions seem to have been pulled right our of the Orwell’s book.

While Cabrini students have not taken it upon themselves to compare Trump’s presidency to classic, dystopian novels about control, conformity and surveillance, those who did not decline to answer see flaws in his first actions.

The First Step in Repealing the Affordable Care Act

Throughout his campaign trail, Trump has expressed his opposition towards the Affordable Care Act. Mere hours after his inauguration, Trump signed his first executive order with the intent of repealing it.

The order instructed the federal government to be more lenient in enforcing the mandates of the Affordable Care Act and to interpret regulations as loosely as possible, as well as advising executive agencies to prepare for the repeal and freeze all new government regulations.

Anthony Wayne, sophomore exercise science major, is unsure about repealing the Affordable Care Act but is interested in seeing what would replace it.

“I’m kind of curious about what will come,” Wayne said. “Just because we’ve been used to Obamacare for so long.”

Approving the Oil Pipelines

On Tuesday, Jan. 24, Trump signed executive orders in favor of advancing the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines.

Trump resurrected the Keystone XL pipeline, which had previously been halted by the Obama Administration, in an attempt to combat climate change. He also expedited the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The former is intended to link oil producers in Canada and North Dakota with refiners on the Gulf Coast, creating jobs and stimulating the economy. The latter would transport crude oil from the Bakken formation in North Dakota to near Patoka, Illinois, potentially threatening the environmental and economic well-being of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The tribe has also expressed it would damage and destroy sites of historic, religious and cultural significance.

Both pipelines are subject to negotiating terms and condition.

Banning Refugees

The Friday after inauguration, Trump temporarily suspended the entire U.S. refugee admissions and suspended the Syrian refugee admission indefinitely. The 120-day-suspension banning citizens from seven Middle Eastern countries is the first executive order rolling out Trump’s “extreme vetting” plan, as a way of protecting against possible terrorism.

While he did not explicitly state that the bar was intended to prevent Muslims from entering the country, the seven selected countries— Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen— are of Muslim-majority.

The ban has also negatively affected American citizens, as those who were visiting family, studying abroad or on vacation could not reenter the country. Those who possess proper green cards and visas were also stopped from entering.

Cabrini University President, Dr. Donald B. Taylor, expressed opposition to the ban in an email statement to the university community.

Taylor wrote, “Cabrini University applauds the opposition of this executive order and stands in solidarity with those who are protesting the injustice…. Cabrini has always been a University that welcomes immigrants, refugees and undocumented students. We will continue to do so.”

Wayne recognizes Trump’s inspiration for the ban but said he expects the ban to cause more problems than it will fix.

“I understand where he’s coming from,” Wayne said. “He wants to protect our country, but in the process, it’s going to cause issues, especially with Muslim Americans.”

Junior religion major Eric Lodi stood with the university president, adding that there was no justification for it.

“We’re all immigrants. I don’t think that, as a country, we should be keeping anybody out,” Lodi said. “Terrorists, war, violence— it’s everywhere. You’re going to have war and you’re going to have people who hate other people, we can’t stop that. All we can do is pray for peace, and with he help of Mother Cabrini, we can either change his thoughts, change his views or get something else in office.”

What else?

Since his inauguration, Trump has also fired the attorney general who refused to defend an executive order, approved a counterterrorism operation that resulted in the death of an American Navy SEAL, reinstated the global gag rule, withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and directed the Department of Homeland Security to begin construction on a wall on the US-Mexico border.

Trump, as well, has promised to bring back jobsdefeat ISIS, prosecute Hillary Clinton, eliminate Common Core education, defund Planned Parenthood and reduce the national debt, among other things.

Coraline Pettine

Writing Managing Editor for Loquitur Media.

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