During the week, I work as a nanny to several little girls. This year, my “Middle Little,” as I call her, painstakingly glued 100 beads to a piece of paper to commemorate 100 days of school.
In many ways, my kindergartener accomplished more that day than Drumpf has during his first 100 days in the highest office in our nation.
That’s not to say that Trump hasn’t been busy in between his costly golfing trips.
Believe it or not, 45 has already signed 30 executive orders. Deceptively worded so as to seem beneficial or at worst innocuous, many of these executive orders are actually aimed directly at disenfranchising the already vulnerable or dismantling much needed protections for the environment or the American people.
Analyzing the plan 45 wrote for his first 100 days in office, what he called his “contract with the American voter,” I kept seeing visions of a dystopian America swim before my eyes. A smoldering, crumbled version of our once mighty country, crippled by deregulation of industry and environmental ruin. Having lived through these first 100 days, I must say I am not pleased as punch, but I am also not in my local army surplus store buying iodine pills and gas masks.
(But I sure as hell know what aisle and shelf those items occupy in my local army surplus store.)
In order to examine what Trump has done, we have to examine his executive orders side by side with his initial document full of “promises.”
The only reason I’m not grabbing my bug-out-bag and heading for the deepest area of the Sierras is because so many of these executive orders have been shot dead or tied up in deliberations by federal judges. And also I’m pretty sure there are bears in the Sierras.
Many of these executive orders fall mainly into three disturbing categories: deregulation of industry and loss of protection for American workers, xenophobic anti-immigrant legislation, and the continued pillaging of our natural resources for the sake of “progress.”
Have a seat and get ready to say “La Hawla Wa La Quwita I’llah B’illah” habibis and habibtis. We’re going to deconstruct Trump’s first 100 days in office.
I’m not going to go into each executive order in great detail (y’anni there are THIRTY of them) but I will be reposting links to the full executive orders as well as analysis of some of the more dangerous/ridiculous executive orders signed by 45 in the last 100 days.
Deregulation of Industry:
Deregulation of industry removes regulations placed upon manufacturing and production which, in the eyes of capitalists, impede American progress and limit our ability to compete in the world market. In reality, these regulations include things like safety protections for American workers and environmental protections that guard American air, soil, and water as well as facets of our infrastructure.
- “Executive Order Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” Signed: Jan. 20, 2017
This executive order is meant to be Trump’s slap in the face to Obama’s Affordable Care Act. While the Affordable Care Act is not perfect, repealing it entirely without having a comparable replacement simply leaves many already health-insecure Americans in an extremely precarious state. This “Economic Burden” boils down to the idea that America should not be taking care of its sick by redistribution of wealth and regulation that protects the most vulnerable: those with pre-existing conditions, those living at or below the poverty line, pregnant women and children, people with disabilities and mental illnesses, people with chronic or recurring illnesses, and anyone who loses their job and their health coverage due to sudden illness or injury.
- “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” Signed: Jan. 30, 2017
It’s right there in the title: reducing regulation. This executive order claims it wants to reduce financial waste and the expenditure of taxpayer dollars, which has always been a pillar of republican ideology: fiscal conservatism. However, when American taxpayers are hemorrhaging money as the First Lady sits in luxury in New York and the President golfs at a resort, I feel the American taxpayers are simply not buying it.
- “Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System” Signed: Feb. 3, 2017
- “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda” Signed: Feb. 24, 2017
- Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch” Signed: March 13, 2017
- “Identifying and Reducing Tax Regulatory Burdens” Signed: April 21, 2017
- Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America” Signed: April 25, 2017
Here’s what I mean by “deceptively worded:” the words here bring to mind a bucolic and flourishing rural America, but really this executive order seeks to limit regulations that ensure that the agricultural industry remains safe and sustainable for rural America. Yes, this executive order could for a time boost agricultural production, but only by allowing practices that are overall dangerous to the American farmer and the surrounding environment.
- Enforcing Statutory Prohibitions on Federal Control of Education” Signed: April 26, 2017
This executive order is one of the scariest. As a former educator, I find Betsy DeVos’s utter lack of qualification to hold this position appalling and infuriating. The fact that DeVos seeks to turn our education system, a facet of government and public good, into a privatized and independent industry. Given four years, this strategy could bankrupt our already beleaguered public education system, further disenfranchising students who are at risk, living at or below the poverty line, or already suffering due to de facto segregation, gerrymandering, and the inequities the education system places on students of color.
- “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” Signed: Jan. 25, 2017
There are several of these, and if you were around and not living under a rock in January of this year, you may remember that these executive orders were colloquially called “the travel ban” or “the Muslim ban.” Although 45 and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer attempted to backpedal and say that this legislation was not racist or islamophobic, its intentions were very clear. Immigration from Muslim-majority countries (many of them the places of origin for millions of refugees) was put in a chokehold. Interestingly, Muslim-majority countries known to have produced terrorists were exempted from this ban if they were found to be U.S. trade partners or have business dealings with Trump directly.
- “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” Signed: Jan. 25, 2017
- “Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety” Signed: Feb. 9, 2017
Tip for the next four years: when you read the words “crime” and “public safety” written by an administration that is white-centric and xenophobic to the extreme, remember that people of color are often demonized and pathologized as criminals, and any crime statistics and legislation will impact people of color and other already disenfranchised or vulnerable populations much more than other groups.
- “Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement Officers” Signed: Feb. 9, 2017
While I do not condone violence against law enforcement officers, I find it interesting that after a year of the worst militarized police brutality in recent American history against Black and Native peoples this administration is more concerned with the safety of law enforcement than the general population.
- “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” Signed: Jan. 27, 2017
Again: this is just Muslim Ban 2.0, and one of the only reasons I am not more incensed about this blatant display of Islamphobia is that Federal judges across the nation are working tirelessly to ensure that this executive order and its siblings are entirely impotent.
- “Enforcing Federal Law With Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking” Signed: Feb. 9, 2016
- “White House Initiative to Promote Excellence and Innovation at Historically Black Colleges and Universities” Signed Feb. 28, 2017
This executive order was bookended by travel ban orders, and so received very little press coverage or scrutiny. Legit question: why in the hell is an administration run by and for white nationalists interested in the excellence and innovation at Black colleges and universities? Keep your eyes on this one, folks.
- “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the U.S.” Signed: March 6, 2017
- “The Revocation of Federal Contracting Executive Orders” Signed: March 27, 2017
- “Establishing the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis” Signed: March 29, 2017
Another “stay-woke” tip: whenever you hear “combating drug addiction” remember that the war on drugs was just a war on poor people and people of color.
- “Omnibus Report on Significant Trade Deficits” Signed: March 31, 2017
- “Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Justice” Signed: March 31, 2017
This order again seems innocuous and deals simply with the order of succession for Attorney General. After Jeff Sessions, should anything cause him to leave his office, the new order would place the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, and the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas in line for succession. In order, these people are Dana J. Boente, John Stuart Bruce, and John R. Parker. Why is this executive order so shady and so important to scrutinize? Because Trump is playing a shell game with U.S. district Attorneys in order to minimize the scrutiny into his ties with Russia and possible collusion/corruption during his campaign.
- Establishing Enhanced Collection and Enforcement of Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties and Violations of Trade and Customs Law”Signed: March, 31, 2017
- Buy American, Hire American”Signed: April 18, 2017
Theoretically, this sounds great. Outsourcing jobs and manufacturing and importing goods rather than buying locally is not always great for our economy and it certainly isn’t good for the environment and the millions of workers who labor in sweatshops in other countries making the unregulated goods we buy.
But this legislation, when viewed through the lens of 45’s xenophobic rhetoric and coupled with his plans to scrap regulations in all forms of industry, paints a very different picture. Like one of those puzzles on the back of a cereal box: Stand back, squint, tilt your head, and see the image hiding in the swirling colors.
Trump thinks immigrants are taking American jobs, and blames immigrants for any perceived economic insecurity. This legislation is meant to further the white-centric “America first” rhetoric that places people of color in jeopardy.
- “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” Signed: March 28, 2017
- “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Rule” Signed Feb. 28, 2017
- “Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High-Priority Infrastructure Projects” Signed: Jan. 24, 2017
- “Review of Designations Under the Antiquities Act”Signed: April 26, 2017
- “Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy” Signed: April 28, 2017
All of these executive orders have different wording and different specific goals, but their broad goals are the same: destroy the environment and dredge up mineral wealth, ruining fragile ecosystems in the name of “progress” during a time when global warming is placing us on the edge of the point of no return.
While the destruction of the arctic, the coastline, and even national parks and monuments are on the agenda, you may notice that none of these executive orders deal with fixing the infrastructure of cities like Flint, Michigan, which still does not have clean water. Also missing are any lasting improvements to American infrastructure that deal with clean and easily attainable energy from solar, wind, or hydroelectric that would actually create more jobs and allow us to move into the 21st century and into the growing Green industry.
And there you have it. The first 100 days. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to plant a victory garden and visit Yosemite before it gets deforested or some shit.