The 19 Worst Things Donald Trump Did This Month (January 2017)
President Trump’s first few days in office have played out like something right out of a Hillary Clinton attack ad, which is weird because we were totally assured that he was to be taken “seriously, not literally” and that he “didn’t really mean this stuff.” Oops. Here are the 19 (!!) worst things Donald Trump has literally done since becoming the Bad-Hombre-in-Chief:
1. Proposing a weekly list of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants to be made public.
The vileness and evilness of this executive order is almost indescribable, and is without precedent in modern American history. He is requiring that government agencies assemble a weekly list of reasons to scapegoat an immigrant group, in a shameless and shameful attempt to drive hatred and resentment among his people. It is an act straight from the playbook of Joseph Goebbel, and one with all the hallmarks of his white nationalist advisor Steve Bannon. Trump’s horrific betrayal of human decency is also an early test for how the press and the public will handle his monstrosities.
2. Banning refugees.
As millions of Syrian civilians continue to face slaughter, with bombs raining down from Trump’s BFF Putin and (Tulsi Gabbard’s BFF????) Assad daily, Trump has reached for the most cruelest answer to the problem. Trump issued an executive order banning the admittance of refugees to the United States, and ultimately reduce the number of refugees allowed in significantly. He also plans to give priority to Christians, making every effort to ensure that even the most endangered Muslims not be allowed into the U.S. Oh, and he did this on Holocaust Memorial Day — a day typically reserved for considering the dangers of religious discrimination — just to make sure everyone knew where he stood.
3. Targeting the right to vote.
Trump claims that the only reason he lost the popular vote by such a historically large margin is the millions of fraudulent ballots cast for Clinton. There’s of course no evidence that this occurred — and Hillary’s popular vote margin came from New York and California, where she was sure to win and voter fraud would have been irrelevant to the outcome* — so Trump has instead pivoted to pretending that things such as being registered in two states or not being removed from the voter rolls immediately upon death constitute fraud. They do not. In fact, Trump’s own daughter and top advisors are registered multiple times each, which –again– is not a crime. Voting in two states, sure! Voting after you’ve died is actually pretty cool and I wish that most citizens were as civically invested as the ghosts of voters past, but is also fraud. You know it, I know it, even Donald J.** Trump knows it. But that’s not the point. Within a single sentence of lying about the existence and definition of voter fraud, Trump issued what can only be seen as a threat to Americans’ voting rights. He has since cited the unpublished, unverified and already refuted claims of a former state official in Mississippi to validate his allegations that three million people voted illegally. Because when you get crushed in the popular vote and enter office with the lowest approval ratings for a new president in modern history, ending the democratic process is pretty much the only way to go.
4. Beginning the process of repealing Obamacare, without a replacement in place.
Tens of millions of people rely on the Obamacare exchanges for their health care, and hundreds of millions more are benefited by provisions that: ensure coverage for those with preexisting conditions, make preventive care free, set affordability standards, require employers to offer coverage, and more. So if you’re going to come at this law with an axe, you better have something really good waiting in the wings. Something terrific. Something excellent. Trump has had two years to come up with an alternative plan. The GOP has had 8 years. They didn’t. And now with the ball rolling towards a full repeal without the promised replacement, a huge portion of this country will face health risks with no way to get treatment.
5. Banning immigration from majority Muslim countries.
In the latest variation on his unconstitutional ban on Muslims, Trump has instead chosen to ban all immigration from seven majority Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa, via executive order. Although none of the deadly domestic terror attacks committed in the past 40 years were carried out by immigrants from any of these countries, Trump’s desire to target and discriminate against Muslims continues unabated. As if that weren’t enough, he also just happened to leave out four large Middle Eastern countries with which he does business (including the original home of Osama bin Laden). In addition to being an absolutely horrible thing to do, Trump and his team crafted the executive order so poorly that it accidentally (?) included green card holders and legal residents who were currently out of the country, resulting in dystopian scenes of protesters and lawyers descending on our nation’s airports in an attempt to free detained individuals. Eventually, a federal court issued an emergency stay, but only for individuals already in transit. And now, there are reports that the Trump administration is defying the court order and refusing to adhere even when confronted by members of Congress
6. Instituting the Global Gag Rule.
In fairness, every Republican president does this. That doesn’t excuse the horrific effect that this rule — which prevents US funding from going to organizations abroad that offer abortion services — will have in developing countries, or the fact that he expanded it much further than other presidents. In addition to heartlessly cutting off lifesaving funding, studies has proven that the Global Gag Rule actually increases the prevalence of abortion in impacted areas, potentially by as much as 40%. And since this is well known, the only explanation is that Trump wanted to simultaneously hurt the needy and promote abortion.
7. Planning to re-authorize torture.
In one of the few moves to earn bipartisan condemnation, Trump’s team has drafted an executive order in his first days in office, allowing the CIA and other intelligence agencies to operate “black site” facilities and to torture prisoners through methods such as waterboarding. This comes despite clear evidence that torture doesn’t work, opposition to torture from his handpicked Defense chief and also human morality. Trump has defended his actions by saying that he’s only torturing to protect babies who are kidnapped by terrorists.
8. Preparing to end DACA.
President Obama’s program to protect DREAMers from deportation has helped hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the U.S. as children to remain here, rather than being shipped off to a different country they’ve never known. But as a reminder, most of these undocumented immigrants are Latino, so naturally Trump wants them gone. That’s why he’s drafted an executive order that would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, paving the way to deport hundreds of thousands of people who have lived in the U.S. since before they can remember.
9. Actually trying to build the wall.
Oh fuck, he’s actually gonna build the wall. This one’s not even really on him– he ran his whole campaign pledging to build a wall along the southern border. It’s on his supporters who assured us he didn’t really mean a physical wall, that he was talking in metaphors for stronger border security. Turns out, he really meant it. He meant all of it. Of course Mexico won’t agree to pay for this stupid idea, so he’ll probably try to start a trade war or a real war or just lie and say that they paid for it.
10. Allowing his staff to use private emails while he uses an unsecured phone.
As we mentioned last month, during the campaign, Trump made a minor issue of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email address and unsecured communications devices while she was Secretary of State. Now that Trump is president, however, he’s allowed his staff to continue using personal RNC email addresses to conduct state business, while he uses his unsecured Android device to tweet. Yes, this is the stupidest thing in the world. Yes, they all deserve to be impeached for this.
11. Ordering his surrogates to lie about inauguration attendance.
The crowd for Donald Trump’s inauguration was significantly smaller than the attendance at: either of President Obama’s inaugurations, the Women’s March on Washington, Comic Con, the Indy 500, Rock Fest ‘97, and a Justin Bieber concert in Mexico City. Photos, aerial surveillance and crowd estimate scientists all agree on this. But that’s not really a big deal. After all, DC voted for Hillary by an 88 percent margin, and Trump’s electoral strength came from the heartland, hundreds of miles away. That’s why it was so stunning when Trump sent Baghdad Bob and the People’s Republic of Kellyanne out to claim (repeatedly and sincerely) that Trump’s inauguration had the biggest, most glorious attendance in history. Over and over they lied through their teeth, clearly acting on Trump’s orders, about the most mundane of issues. New reports also indicate he personally called the head of the National Parks to demand inflated crowd numbers be produced, which would be hilarious if it weren’t terrifying.
12. Requiring supporters to cheer and audience members to stand throughout his CIA speech.
In keeping with the theme of Trump unnecessarily and falsely claiming his speeches were tremendously well received, Trump also bragged about the long standing ovation and warm reception he received at the CIA. This was significant because he had recently compared intelligence agencies to the Nazis***. It turns out, however, that Trump had brought his own staff and supporters to cheer and applaud him, in order to make it look like the CIA was hollering in support of him. He also declined to ask the audience sit, which resulted in CIA officers following protocol and remaining standing throughout the speech. That’s uh, not what a standing ovation is. It may not really matter because nothing matters anymore, but if Trump continues down his path to authoritarian fascism, this will be a useful marker of when he went full Kim Jong-Il.
13. Appointing an FCC head who opposes net neutrality.
Until the proliferation of fake news, harassment and cyber attacks that dominated the last election, there was a general consensus that a free and open internet was a good thing. Obviously, that’s a position that’s hard to defend any more but allowing internet corporations to throttle and cut off access to certain sites and (or charge more for access to others) still seems like a bad thing. That’s why it was a bad sign to see Trump appoint a prominent critic of net neutrality to head the FCC, the agency that recently came down in favor of net neutrality. Despite his claims that he loves “the cyber,” Trump’s actions may be a big step toward shutting down online dissent.
14. Threatening martial law in the nation’s third largest city.
Chicago is in the midst of a terrifying upswing in violence and homicides — I know, I live here. And the federal government historically can be a partner for local law enforcement and community leaders in ending surges of violence. But Trump’s language on this issue reads more like a threat to a city where 1/6th of the population just turned out for a rally against him. What’s more, the feds have already been to Chicago, and what they found was a pattern of systemic racism in the city’s policing practices. Of course, dismantling systems of oppression tends to take a bit more work than imposing martial law.
15. Putting Steve Bannon on the National Security Council.
Steve Bannon used to run a racist blog called “Paulblart” (someone check the spelling please) and then he ran a racist presidential campaign called “Trump” (or “Drumpf”! haha!) and also he’s allegedly a white nationalist who doesn’t like Jews. Anyway, Trump just put him on the National Security Council, meaning he’ll have a seat at the table for all important national security decisions. Trump also removed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence from the NSC, presumably because he doesn’t want anyone outside of his inner circle to know what he plans to do to us.
16. Using his third executive order to make it harder for poor people to own a home.
17. Moving forward with the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines.
Because this is 2017, and it kinda seems like we’ve already hurt the native populations and environment enough by now, the Obama administration rejected both the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines in his second term. In his first week in office, Trump kickstarted both projects once again through executive order, ensuring that the world will continue to get more polluted and more unjust in the future. And in case anyone thought he did this purely out of hate or stupidity, he (of course) has business ties to the company constructing the Dakota Access pipeline.
18. Censoring federal agencies and employees from talking to the public.
Immediately upon taking over, Trump ordered members of numerous federal agencies to cease all communication with the public and the press. Most interpreted this to mean these agencies could not give interviews, but it turns out it was even worse. Any social media accounts associated with federal agencies that posted anything less than full-throated praise for the president were suspended or silenced, leading to (allegedly) rogue protest accounts popping up. Because yes, in 2017 the #resistance is going to be led by Teen Vogue, Merriam-Webster and the goddamn Badlands National Park Twitter account. (But actually, censorship of federal agencies is deeply troubling and will surely have wide-ranging effects in the future.)
19. Tweeting bad tweets.
*Oh, and in congressional districts throughout California, Hillary won easily at the presidential level, but the Republican congressman won reelection. This suggests either: 1) George Soros hired voter fraud artists to cast ballots for Hillary, but forgot to tell them about the legislative branch of government, or 2) moderate Republicans voted for Hillary out of horror at Trump’s campaign pledges, while still supporting their representative. YOU DECIDE.
**The J stands for Jabroni and u can’t convince me otherwise.
*** Trump has so far declined to use that word to describe literal neonazis who gathered in DC after his election, yelled “Heil Trump” and offered up the literal actual fucking Nazi salute.