Nearly five months into his first term, the actions of President Donald J. Trump have significantly impacted both the United States and the world. In less than 200 days, President Trump has shown the American people what his idea of change is. Though each of his actions create an impact, the following four events since January 20 have set a firm precedent for what the nation can expect for the duration of Trump’s time in office.
1. Executive Order Regarding Immigration
On January 27 of this year, only a week into his presidency, President Trump signed a “travel ban,” which restricted travelers and refugees from seven predominantly-Muslim nations from coming to the United States. Fixated on “making America safe again,” the Trump administration claimed the executive order was not a ban on Muslims, rather a precaution to reduce the threat of terrorism domestically. Consequently, the nation responded with worldwide protests at airports, on college campuses and on social media. Soon after, Twitter users who stood in opposition to the executive order took on the phrase “#NoMuslimBan,” standing in solidarity with those impacted by the President’s measure. Though in plain text the order did not appear to hold any bias, Trump’s rhetoric and radical stand against Islam paved the way for three federal courts placing blocks on the executive order’s implementation.
"When Trump's executive order on immigration was carried out, my dad was in Iran and was planning to come back to the US in a week. After we heard the news, we were worried that my father would not be able to come back to the US and that we could not return to Iran if we wanted to visit him. After a few weeks, things settled down and he came back to us." - Farhood Ensan, University of California, San Diego
2. Nomination of Cabinet Members
With a new President comes new appointed officials, and the education secretary Betsy Devos and the attorney general proved to be especially controversial. As an advocate of publicly funded charter schools and private school education, DeVos faced serious scrutiny during her nomination hearings. DeVos is also interested in reforming the student loan service, increasing concerns among college students. Attorney General Jeff Sessions faced similar scrutiny from the Senate due to his allegations of racial insensitivity. These appointments were so important because Trump's Cabinet appointments further ensure the tone intended for the remaining years of his administration.
3. Termination of Obama Era Officials
An especially unnerving occurrence during these first five months was the termination of three Obama-era officials, all leading investigations into various Trump-related issues. Preet Bharara, a federal attorney appointed by Obama, was investigating Trump’s head of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, when he was fired. Both acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former FBI Director James Comey were pursuing investigations regarding Trump-Russia ties when they were fired. The underlying suggestion of these dismissals presents a clear challenge to the preservation of democracy.
4. Withdrawal From the Paris Climate Accord
Most recently, President Trump acted in opposition to popular consensus among scientists from across the globe. The international, collective efforts to combat global climate change decided upon at a 2015 climate convention in Paris seeks to cooperatively mitigate the rising climate problem the world faces. On June 1, Trump announced the United States' intent to withdraw from this agreement, making a bold statement regarding the United States’ attitude toward the international climate crisis. This is especially worrying for college students — the next generation to suffer from the results of climate change.
Regardless of one’s political leaning, it is abundantly clear the amount of change the current president is willing and able to enact. These short five months have illustrated to the American people what course the country will take during Trump’s presidency — and whether such an example strikes you with optimism or pessimism, staying aware and involved is extremely important.
Lead Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons