Well it’s been a crazy week. Not only has it been the week where I launched the website, but it is also the week where the United States inaugurated it’s 45th President. This has lead to a very busy week with tons of stuff going on in Washington and across the US in relation to the 45th President being sworn in and the start of his Presidency. This Weekly Synopsis was spurred by all the huge headlines in politics each day and I thought I’d pick some and highlight them in a political piece each week. Here’s some highlights of this week in no particular order:
45th President of the Untied States in inaugurated and continues to bash Washington DC and the political insiders in his inauguration address.
The Women’s March on Washington as well as around the world the day after the 45th President was inaugurated.
Education Nominee, Betsy DeVos cites “bears” as a reason why some schools need individuals to carry guns for protection within the schools and why “guns in schools” should be decided by states and localities.
Senior adviser for the 45th President talks about “alternative facts” when discussing Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, and the claim that Trump’s inauguration was the biggest and most viewed in US history
- Allowed states to waive fees for not signing up for healthcare which was penalized under the Affordable Care Act
- Froze regulations put in place during Obama’s time in office
- Federal dollars are not allowed to fund organizations around the world that fund abortions
- Withdraws the Untied States from the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) which was a trade deal with the US and several other Pacific countries
- Froze hiring for Federal positions with exceptions for the Military and Safety Positions
- Approval for the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone Oil Pipeline
- [See 6]
- Sped up environmental reviews of potential infrastructure deemed a high priority
- All pipelines built in the US should be made from US materials
- Review of regulations that affect manufacturing in the US
- Deportation of illegal immigrants that has committed a crime; increased hiring of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents; local law enforcement can act as immigration officers if the need arises; blocking federal grants for “sanctuary cities” that do not enforce federal immigration laws
- Building the border wall with Mexico; hiring additional border patrol agents
- “Extreme vetting” of refugees and visa receprients which restrict Syrian Refugees as well as others seeking to enter the US.
- Build up of the US Military
Badlands National Park “goes rogue” by Tweeting out scientific facts (including facts about Global Warming) even though the current administration has issued a “gag order” on Federal Agencies including the park systems. The EPA, USDA, National Weather Service, the CDC, and NASA have also followed suit by having “alternative Twitters” which Tweet out scientific facts.
The President calls for major investigation into potential voter fraud across the United States citing it as major reason while he lost the popular vote in November’s election.
Top Senior State Department Officials resign before ExxonMobil chief executive, Rex Tillerson, has a hearing in the Senate to be confirmed and become Secretary of State.
Vice President Mike Pence gives speech at March For Life in Washington DC
45th President meets with UK Prime Minister Theresa May and has a joint press conference following their meeting.
American Ambassador to the United Nations (and former South Carolina Governor) Nikki Haley gave a speech on her first day saying that the US was taking note of who is our ally and has our back. She added that, “For those who don’t have our back, we’re taking names; we will make points to respond to that accordingly.”
So there are just a few things that happened this week and I’m sure the list could get a lot larger. Basically there’s a lot going on in the first week under a new President and I’m sure it won’t slow down anytime soon. If things keep this busy I’ll continue doing these weekly synopsis on Saturday’s. But originally I had another topic planned out so for this week I’m fusing them into one super-topic. The big question after this week is “what do we do next?”
Well personally I think this gives us a good glimpse into what the next 4 (or 8…) years could look like under the current administration. Personally there are some things that worry me and some things that I can get on board with. When it comes to the Executive Orders, I think some are valid and actually deal with governing over the executive branch (which is what executive orders are supposed to do) while others seem like the President legislating from the oval office which was a huge critique of President Obama from Republicans. When it comes to potential nominees for Cabinet positions, I think some are concerning (i.e. Betsy DeVos) and some seem to know what they are doing (i.e. Nikki Haley) so it’s kind of a mixed bag. I find the use of “alternative facts” (aka Lies) to be really discouraging and I’m afraid that the lack of credibility among the major media outlets will leave the American people without a way to fact check the current administration. Finally, I think that both the Women’s March and The March for Life are good things and I’m glad people are using their First Amendment rights to protest/march for a cause.
Looking forward I think there’s a lot that we can do. The number one thing we can do is stay informed and hold our government officials accountable. If there’s one good thing both Republicans and Democrats can say about the 45th President, it is that his presence during the election and his presence in the White House and made people more engaged with the political system. Of course some of that is marches and phone calls calling for action against his policies and other is support for his policies; it’s kind of a mixed bag. Altogether we need to stay informed as much as we can and get information from all kinds of sources. Check out Breitbart, NBC, CBS, FOX, and even international sources like BBC and see how each media outlet is trying to spin the story. Realize that EVERYTHING has bias and we need to balance that with other biases.
Another thing we can do is what I talked about in my political piece yesterday, “Are we really as divided as they say we are?“, and work together for solutions. Demand bipartisanship from politicians no matter if you’re a Republican, Democrat, or Independent. No party has a monopoly on good ideas and we need both parties working together to create laws that benefit the country as a whole. Americans need to stop labeling themselves and others and putting people in boxes instead of seeing them as people with good ideas and their own unique experience. If we instead focus on the stuff that we have in common and build on that to find solutions to America’s issues, we can build bridges instead of using divisiveness as an excuse for inaction. We need to stop demonizing each other and start looking for results together!
Lastly, I think that we need give the President a chance. I know that’s probably the most controversial thing I’ve said so far on here, but I think you should hear me out. I’m sure that the idea of our 45th President can inflame a lot of people. I understand that he is a very divisive person. He’s said a lot of nasty things and has done a lot of terrible things. I am fully aware of that and I don’t condone that behavior. It’s despicable. But now he’s the President for 4 years which could turn into 8 if the environment doesn’t change. Republicans and Democrats need to hold him accountable and have high standards for the Presidency. I want America to do well and you should to. We shouldn’t hope that the plane crashes just because our pilot is a racist. We should make sure the plane lands safely and then make sure he doesn’t get to be our pilot for the next four years. When he does good things (and he will), we should be there to cheer him on. And when he does bad things (and he will), we should be there to voice our displeasure and see what we can do about it. Democrats need to realize that a Republican President can do good things and Republicans need to realize that a Republican President can do bad things. We shouldn’t let party label blind us and we shouldn’t be blindly loyal or disloyal. Again, I’m hoping good things happen, but I’m also pessimistic about our 45th President. We’ll see what happens.
I want to note that these three things are things that Americans should be doing no matter who is President, who controls Congress, who controls the Governorship, or who controls State Legislatures. This is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue. This is an American issue. So what are we going to do about it? Ultimately it’s up to us. I’m going to be right there with you staying up with what’s going on with the Presidency and with Congress. You live in the internet age so you have no excuse to not be informed as long as you balance your biases with alternative sources (not to be confused with alternative facts). Ok, I think I’m done with this article. I think it’s gone on long enough. I think I’m going to continue with these weekly synopses but I don’t know how long they are gong to be going forward. Please check out the other political pieces as well as the creative writing pieces if you’re into that kind of thing!
Reminder: Keep all discussion civil and on topic. I do not want to shut down free speech but I will if the speech is hateful and/or not-constructive. Thank you.