If there were any doubts about whether Donald Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign would translate into policy, the first three working days of his term have quashed them all.
Trump’s signature policy, a wall on the Southern border, will begin its journey into reality today. Trump plans to sign an Executive Order funding the wall. In the same vein, he is expected to sign orders restricting immigration from Syria and other countries in the Mideast, in addition to temporarily banning refugee relocation.
We had the same president for the past eight years, and we became accustomed to a normal sequence of events -- bolstered by the thoughtful demeanor of President Obama.
Many may not realize how quickly the new Trump administration and Republican Congress are changing the spirit of our country.
Trump’s tweets now hold significantly more weight.
On Tuesday, he tweeted: “If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible "carnage" going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!”
Sending in the “Feds” can mean many things, but deciphering that turn of phrase suggests the ominous realization that Donald Trump intends to use the full force of the executive at whim.
Instead of calling for a convening of Illinois legislators and law enforcement officials, he goes straight to the nuclear option. It is not hard to imagine the outcome: curfews, tanks in the streets, riot police on every corner.
As an aside, the Trump administration has restricted the media access to certain federal agencies, in some cases imposing a total media blackout -- unprecedented in the modern age. All the while, his tweets are unending. (Per a Politico poll, 61% of voters overall say Trump uses Twitter too much.)
Adding to the rise in authoritarian moves by the Trump government, at least six journalists have been hit with felony charges after finding themselves in the mix of Inauguration Day protests. They could each face up to 10 years in prison.
The chill from the Trump administration is encroaching on American freedoms, given the incessant lies emanating from the White House. For instance, the idea that millions of illegal immigrants voted has long been debunked, despite the White House’s continued claims. (Trump cannot accept that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.)
In response, many Americans are determined to protect key American values. In the past 24 hours, a New York event organizing an “Emergency Rally for Muslim and Immigrant Rights” has appeared on Facebook.