A very large majority of the people who voted for Trump did so because they felt, and justifiably so, that our political system was not working for them, that the politicians in power were in fact ignoring them. They are the hard-working people, the factory workers and the construction workers and mine workers, who have had to struggle more and more to feed, clothe, shelter and educate their families while the country worries about everyone else except them. They are the ones who really support this country with their taxes, and they felt they were getting far too little in return. They wanted change, and the only one who was offering that change was Trump.
Trump did promise change. He just didn’t say what those changes would be, or, when he did, he apparently didn’t mean it. So, since we clearly cannot believe anything he says, we are left to judge him by what he does. I list here some of the actions that will deeply affect the rights of those hard-working Americans who looked for Trump to improve their situation.
First, Trump has appointed nominees to his cabinet, people who will be in charge of the large departments of his government. For secretary of defense, he appointed a man who is universally acclaimed for his ability and his experience. For secretary of state, he has appointed a man who spent his career as an executive of Exxon oil, his last job being CEO of that company. He has business experience around the globe, but he has no government experience at all. The jury is still out on him.
Several appointments look like they are going to hurt the working class Trump voters. A secretary of labor who is anti-worker and who feels that the minimum wage should be lowered or eliminated. A secretary of Environmental Protection who opposes protecting the environment. Worst of all, a secretary of education who has little or no understanding of the job, but who has spent most of her life trying to take money out of public schools and put into religious or for-profit schools.
Next are the executive orders:
- A ban on entry to America by people from seven Muslim countries and a suspension on entry for refugees, but with priority given to Christians.
- An order allowing tax-free organizations like churches to use their facilities to endorse politicians and political issues.
- An order striking a law requiring investors to work in the best interests of their clients.
- An order to ignore the environmental impact of building oil pipelines through the states.
- An order banning all funding to any agency that gives aid to groups that allow or promote abortions.
- A hiring freeze on all governmental workers, including health workers for veteran.
- An order to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, with no indication as to what will replace it.
The hard question for those who supported Trump is whether these are the kinds of change they were looking for. It seems that such orders will weaken public education, lower wages, isolate America thus making products more expensive, and make medical treatment and medical insurance harder to get and more expensive. We don’t know this for sure. All we can do is wait and see. The point is that, whatever we do, it must be done in the interests of all, most of all the interests of these hard-working people who are the ones who pay the bills and the ones who will feel the impact of Trump’s actions most strongly. They asked for change, and they deserve change. It looks like Trump will give them change that they, and those they care for, neither asked for nor deserve.