President Trump is governing by Tweeter—most of it with horrible orders and much of it untrue.
Examples of his felonious tweets:
1) “Mexican immigrants are criminals, drug dealers and rapists.”
2) “Reporters are enemies of the people.”
3) “The heavy Arab population in New Jersey cheered the crash bombing of the World Trade Center on 9/11. It was on television. I saw it.”
4) “I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”
5) “Hillary Clinton was associated with a child sex ring run out of a pizza shop in Washington.”
6) “Barack Obama was perhaps born in Kenya.”
Et cetera, et cetera et cetera.
Trump vowed in his budget plan to increase military spending by $54 billion. But the uncultured ignoramus wants to cut all federal money for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
This would be a terrible blow to museums, music programs, community theaters and art programs in rural areas.
Also targeted for cuts by President Trump: the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a valuable public service. And billions in cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, which President Obama had wisely bolstered.
To Trump, the Pentagon is terribly important, the arts and public broadcasting are a waste of money. (Obama, too, spent far too much money on senseless military operations.}
Trump promised to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights from workplace discrimination before the election but broke his promise after the election.
And: Trump is simply following Obama’s deportation plan. Obama deported 3 million illegal immigrants.
In his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Trump showed a softer side, honoring Carryn Owens, widow of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens. Owens was killed in a botched Yakla raid in Yemen ordered by Trump. A chief petty officer, Owens was the first combatant to die in the Trump administration.
The president said: “Ryan died as he lived—a warrior and a hero.” Naturally, Trump blamed his death on “the generals.”
In the speech, Trump denounced bigotry. He delivered a message “of unity and strength.” He declared that Social Security and Medicare will remain untouched. Nevertheless, his overall tone was harsh.
And his overall approach to policies is harsh. For instance, Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission head, announced that he is canceling Internet services for tens of thousands of low-income customers and students.
It is obvious that Trump is ignorant of how government works. When a federal judge ruled against the president’s travel ban, the hot-headed Trump tweeted: “I just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril.”
The federal judiciary is one of the three independent branches of government. The other two are Congress and the president. The correct procedure is to appeal, not to criticize judges. Decisions of federal judges are often reversed on appeal.
“We’ve defended other nation’s borders while leaving ours wide open—anybody can come in,” the president asserts. Not true. The U.S. apprehended 415,816 illegal immigrants in the last fiscal year. Nevertheless, Trump is still thinking of building a wall along the Mexican border.
Trump declared 20 million people lost health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. False. Twenty million Americans have gained coverage. The uninsured rate has dropped to a record low of 10.9 percent.
More ukases by Czar Trump:
1) Broadening deportation of illegal immigrants, even for minor offenses.
2) Rescinding Obama protections for bathroom use by transgenders. (The Boy Scouts of America welcome transgender Scouts.)
3) Reviving a ban on aid to groups that discuss abortion.
4) Advising drug makers that he will ease their regulations.
5) Vowing slashes in Wall Street regulations passed by Congress in the Obama era.
6) Pledging to let politics return to pulpits, a violation of a cherished American principle: separation of church and state.
Almost lost among the flurry of absurd edicts and proposals of President Trump are a few good plans, among them upending trade policies:
• Scrapping the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership pushed by Obama–a move heartening unions.
• Tweeting: “Venezuela should allow, Leopoldo Lopez, a political prisoner, out of jail immediately.” Dictator Nicolas Madura railroaded Lopez, leader of the opposition Popular Will party, into a 13-prison sentence.
• Pressuring Lockheed Martin to cut prices on F-35 fighters, which had been costing the government $100 million per jet.
• Retaining Obama policies of urging Israel to cut back its undemocratic construction of settlements in Gaza, demanding that Russia withdraw from the Crimea and threatening Iran with sanctions for ballistic tests.
Finally, there is a bright side to President Trump’s edicts: Congress often has the final say about what becomes law. And, Trump himself said he was made to realize by fierce public protests that some of his plans are folly.
Jake Highton is emeritus journalism professor from the University of Nevada, Reno. (firstname.lastname@example.org)