Many of you are worried about what a Donald Trump presidency will bring. We try to answer some of those questions.
As expected, out inbox has been flooded with questions regarding Donald Trump’s transition into the White House. So we figured it would be a good time to answer some of these overarching questions that we had received in our feature, Quick Hits. As always, if you have any political questions in general, send them to either our email address at contact[AT]thepostturtle[DOT]com or leave a comment in any of our posts.
So with Donald Trump now president and the GOP still controlling the House and Senate, that means Obamacare (aka the Affordable Care Act) is finally repealed, right?
Well potentially yes, but not in the way most people are thinking anyway.
While Republicans do control both the House and Senate, it would be hard – if not impossible – to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) entirely. Even with a Republican majority, many members in Congress have constituents that depend on the ACA to get their health insurance. Imagine if your health care coverage was canceled due to a publicized decision by Congress!
Whether you’re Republican or Democrat, actions like taking away health insurance is how politicians lose elections!
Instead, it’s more likely that Republicans in Congress will try and take out specific sections of the ACA, while keeping the majority of it intact. However, there are some major problems to this approach as well.
Healthcare experts have reported the ACA is less of a single overriding policy initiative and more of one that links multiple healthcare policies together. The fear with many health experts is if enough policies are taken out of the ACA then the whole thing could unravel. That’s why the ACA looks like it will stay, in one form or another.
But with that said…
Recently Trump said to the Wall Street Journal that he wants to keep the “core” of Obamacare. So that means he’s keeping the ACA, right?
Well… this 60 Minutes interview from Sunday says otherwise, so what happens next?
Is Donald Trump really “draining the swamp?”
During his campaign, Trump ran on the notion that he would be a “Washington outsider” if he were to be nominated. He even made a campaign slogan out of it claiming in stump speeches that he would “drain the swamp.”
Based on reports, it looks like he’s breaking his first campaign promise. As the New York Times reports, individuals like Jeffrey Eisenach (an individual who has close ties to the telecommunications industry as a consultant) and Michael Torrey (a lobbyist who has close ties to the American Beverage Association and Dean Foods) are charged with appointing staff for the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Agriculture respectively! This is the equivalent of letting foxes guard the hen house!
The people that Trump has put in charge of running the transition are the same people that anti-corruption reform laws and advocates try to fight from getting into the inner-workings of government. With his recent moves, Trump isn’t necessarily “draining the swamp”, as he is replacing it with even more rancid water!
What about Trump’s cabinet positions?
Worst. Fighting. Game. Ever. pic.twitter.com/mxGJRGySiW
— Sumantra Lahiri (@SumantraLahiri) November 13, 2016
While Trump’s cabinet positions are still being penciled in, it’s safe to say that the people who will take spots in his cabinet are those that have been closest to his campaign. Recently the short list of candidates for cabinet positions included; Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and his three eldest children.
Over the weekend Trump had announced he had filled two major positions in his cabinet.
The first was naming Reince Priebus as his Chief of Staff, which in many ways, makes a lot of sense for Donald Trump. From interviews and recent stories regarding Trump’s transition team, the inner working of Washington looks to be not his team’s strong suit. Since Priebus has been chair of the Republican National Committee and a familiar face among Washington circles, the Trump administration can use him to integrate their broader ideas into actual legislative action. In other words, for the Trump administration to be successful in creating legislation, someone like Priebus to act as the go-between is essential.
The other appointment of Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist and senior counselor, is concerning! For those that don’t know, Bannon was one of the chief architects and former editor of Breitbart News – a news site that is popular among the alt-right movement. Considering Bannon’s close ties to white nationalism and the alt-right, his position as chief strategist is frightening!
Steve Bannon ran a website that trafficked in anti-Semitism & misogyny. He is an unacceptable choice to advise a U.S. president.
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) November 14, 2016
During the campaign, Trump had introduced various ethno-nationalist policies from building a wall on the Mexican-US border in hopes of keeping out undocumented immigrants to a ban of all Muslims entering the US. In many cases, it’s said that these policies were pushed hard by Bannon during his campaign. Also regarding some of Trump’s shadier political maneuvers – like inviting women who had accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct to the second presidential debate – that was all Bannon as well.
So to be clear, Bannon IS NOT a normal GOP pick like Priebus is. No matter how you feel about Priebus, he’s shown not to be the type of politician that actively feeds Trump’s worst political impulses. Even conservatives tend to agree with that sentiment! Sadly, with Bannon as chief strategist in a Trump administration, the direction and tone of Trump’s presidency could be very similar to his campaign.
Is Donald Trump really going to depart 2-3 million illegal immigrants?
On Sunday, he was pretty clear in the 60 Minutes interview that he wanted to deport around 2-3 million undocumented immigrants that had a criminal background. The only problem, there aren’t 2-3 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records for Trump to deport! According to the Migration Policy Institute – a think tank that specializes in immigration policy – there are about 11 million immigrants living in the US illegally, but only an estimated 820,000 of them have criminal records! Granted, while the Migration Policy Institute does generally take a pro-immigration stance on issues, their numbers do lineup with government estimates.
So the question becomes, would Trump actually deport that many people?
While the act of deporting undocumented immigrants that committed crimes has been a practice that has been going on for a while now, the numbers that Trump is talking about in the 60 Minutes interview of deporting 2-3 million people is just not feasible in a logistics perspective. Even though Trump’s threat of deporting undocumented immigrants with a criminal background should be taken seriously, but the act of deporting millions of people is near impossible without doing a complete overhaul in current immigration enforcement and practices.
Are we “normalizing” the actions of a Trump presidency?
Barack Obama normalized Donald Trump on Monday: https://t.co/qV0pDTkKsg
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) November 15, 2016
Real talk, there’s a lot of early moves that concerns us about a Trump presidency. Whether it’s filling government positions with Washington lobbyists, having Stephen Bannon be a major player in the administration, or blurring the lines between your business interests and the office of the presidency; these early actions aren’t things people shouldn’t just brush off. They are major red flags for people who are concerned with a Trump administration. Yet how people have been reacting to these events have been a mixed bag.
Some Republicans have tried to normalize Trump’s early decisions by reinforcing the GOP mantra of “we should give him a chance”, however there are other hot takes that claim President Obama is normalizing a Trump presidency which we wouldn’t necessarily agree with.
For the record, the things that a US president says matter enormously. If President Obama were to disparage the Trump transition in the slightest while he is still in office, that could have grave effects in multiple instances (market instability, international confidence regarding US allies, ect).
However, as long as we all call out the Trump administration on questionable moves, the normalization of his presidency will then be countered. All of us will just have to stay vigilant, which sadly is easier said than done.
(Photo Credits: Donald Trump’s Instagram, Pixabay.com, Google Images)