Let’s address the orange elephant in the country.
Trump’s presidency— assuming he does not step down or get impeached early— is just over 25 percent over.
In that year, the business tycoon with absolutely no political experience has changed the dynamic of the country.
Policy or prejudice?
On policy, Trump’s first year has been run-of-the-mill. As any other Republican would have, he focused on rolling back the regulations of the previous, Democratic administration— including environment and energy rules— cut corporate taxes and enforced immigration laws.
Despite promising to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals more than the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Trump has been rolling back on their liberties this past year.
One of his most profound attacks on the LGBTQ+ community includes announcing a ban on transgender individuals in the military.
Additionally, his administration wrote a memo to the Justice Department saying that courts would no longer recognize Title VII, which protected transgender individuals against workplace discrimination, and expanded religious freedoms with the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in what appears to be a systematic effort to legitimize discrimination.
As promised, Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, thus shifting the U.S.’s role in the world economy.
While construction on the supposedly forthcoming wall has not begun, Trump addressed immigration throughout the year.
Furthermore, in September, Trump ordered an end to DACA, the program that protects young, undocumented immigrants from deportation. Just recently, the president proposed sweeping changes to the immigration system as he suggested a path to citizenship for 1.8 million people; however, the only consistent aspect of Trump’s stance on DACA is that it constantly changes and polarizes, so it is unclear if this path will actually be provided by Trump’s self-imposed deadline.
Trump has [unsuccessfully] tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act twice. Though he has been unable to bring an end to the health care plan that brought insurance to nearly 20 million Americans, his administration has managed to weaken it by ending subsidies to health insurance companies, allowing states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients and lessening enforcement of the individual mandate.
He does no wrong
Remember when former-President Barack Obama said, “North Korea best not make anymore threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury”?
Or when he supposedly referred to the homes of immigrants as “shithole countries”?
What about the time he paid-off a famous adult-film star to stay quiet about their affair?
Oh, you don’t remember that?
Well, of course not. That is because the idea of our president threatening another powerful president does more than constitute a war crime; it is nearly unfathomable. Our world leader scorning the homeland of fleeing immigrants is insulting. Had it been Obama or a Bush or Clinton silencing an adult-film star, it would have been a national scandal.
But with Trump, it is just another Thursday.
Trump has gradually normalized outrageous and un-presidential behavior as we slowly lowered our expectations.
This past year, he has popularized bigotry while we excuse it as racially-charged behavior, rather than admitting he is a racist.
Trump continues to attack the media for reporting on his actions.
His behavior is continually rationalized and excused when the public needs to address and acknowledge it for what it is.
One down, three to go
While his policies have been reasonably Republican, his behavior continues to mimic that of a prideful four-year-old with a Twitter account.
In the upcoming years, we can expect further attacks on immigration, universal health care, middle- and lower-class taxes and the LGBTQ+ community.
We have survived a year under the Trump presidency.
Are you prepared for the other 75 percent?