One thing has become exceptionally clear to me since election night. America is full of idiots. On both sides of the political spectrum. You guys need to just stop with all of the stupid. 2 things are clear. You don’t know how government works and you let yourselves be ruled by emotion rather than truth.
There are so many “Trump is gonna ______” statements being thrown around that I feel compelled to correct some of them. Bottom line is, Presidents are gods or kings or magicians, they have rules to follow.
Misconception #1: “When Trump is President, he’ll put a stop to all these riots!” I hate to break it to you guys, but this is not a Presidential power. When the people saying this that have half a brain are corrected they usually follow up with some remark about the National Guard and the Justice Department prosecuting the rioters. These are also not going to happen with a wave of a Presidential wand. Dealing with civil unrest is up to the local law enforcement. If the local law enforcement can’t handle it, the county can step in. If it gets out of control, the Governor of the state can call up the National Guard. The President can declare a National State of Emergency, but there are rules and laws that would make this a bit of an overreach of Federal power and resources. (This is also why he ins’t going to declare martial law) The Justice Department to put it plainly can’t do crap to stop the riots.
Misconception # 2: “Trump is gonna send Hillary to prison” We still have that pesky Constitutional Right to Due Process. No matter if you are a Republican or a Democrat, we all get the same Constitutional Rights. This means that a President of the United States can’t just throw you in jail because he says so. If you want a President with those powers, I might suggest North Korea is the place for you to be. So if you have this idea of getting a live feed on January 21, 2017 of Hillary Clinton in handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit, you’re going to be disappointed. At most, Trump can make it known to Comey and whoever he chooses for Attorney General that he would like indictment proceedings started. Which means that a Federal Grand Jury will be convened and they will hear the evidence against her. I feel like I should also point out that for all the ways I personally think that James Comey mishandled his public announcements when it comes to HRC, we have to assume that if he says there is no way to prove intent, she is probably not going to EVER go to jail on this.
Misconception #3: “Trump is gonna arrest Al Sharpton for tax evasion” The reasoning behind why this isn’t in his power is basically the same as #2 so just re-read that.
Misconception #4: “Trump is gonna force people on welfare to work” Welfare is a State issue. There is (supposed to be) a clear separation of Federal and State powers. Trump ran as a Republican and a YUGE part of the Republican philosophy is limiting government and returning powers to the state. This will get no traction in a Republican controlled Congress and it will face heavy opposition from the Democrats in the minority. This is a wholly unrealistic pipe dream that you all need to wake up from. (I suppose if you are on welfare and this is a nightmare to you, you can wake up from the nightmare as well).
Misconception #5: “Trump is gonna revive the oil fields” At best Trump can give an impression that the government is going to be friendlier to American oil production and he will support removing regulations that impede that. He can also work with Congress on trade deals that decrease the use of and dependence on foreign oil. Other than that, Trump is powerless to do a damn thing. He also can’t magically make the oil available for drilling nor force the companies to start drilling again. They’re still private companies. One thing he does have going for him is the Republican party’s wishes to limit our dependence on foreign oil.
Misconception #6: “Trump is gonna be our President for the next 8 years” Although it is pretty common for the incumbent to win a second term, it is not a guarantee. He won by a sliver and the people who hated him are not going to sit back in 4 years and let him win. Republicans by and large wanted someone else, and it was only because there were a shitton of disaffected citizens who actually showed up to vote in the primaries, combined with Democrats who miscalculated their parties ability to beat him in a general that he won the Republican nomination. Unless he does some amazing things that Republicans and Conservatives can really get behind we’re going to nominate someone else, and you KNOW that the Democrats are going to lick their wounds, do some serious soul searching, and come back guns blazing in 4 years.
Misconception #7: “Trump is gonna make deals. He’s a master negotiator!” Wait a second, I thought that the reason everyone liked Trump was because he wasn’t a politician and he wasn’t corrupted by Washington D.C. politics. Now you guys are bragging that he is going to be a corrupt DC politician? Which is it?
Misconception #8: “Trump is gonna make it illegal to burn the flag.” There was a Supreme Court ruling (Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989)) that made this a protected act under the First Amendment. Whether or not we agree with it, doesn’t change the fact that it is currently a legal thing we are Constitutionally allowed to do. There are 3 ways to LEGALLY overturn Supreme Court decisions. The decision can be overturned by a new Supreme Court case. It can be overturned by a new Constitutional Amendment. Or it can be overridden by new legislation passed by Congress. None of this is done by the President.
Misconception #9: “Trump is gonna get us in another World War!” News flash, Trump actually has more respect from a lot of our powerful frenemies that Obama did (China, Russia, Syria). He might ask Congress for a new declaration of was on terror, but frankly we kinda need that. We’re over there operating under a decade old declaration. The landscape has changed and it needs clarifying. As far as pulling out of there, we simply can’t do that at this point. (This is a point I will happily debate at another time.) Bottom line, it looks like there is a greater desire for world peace since the election.
Misconception #10: “Trump is gonna set women’s equality back decades” Two words for y’all. KellyAnne Conway. The first woman who was trusted with a Presidential campaign AND SHE WON. This means that out of everyone Trump had to choose from to replace the second shitty dude he had as a campaign manager, he trusted a woman to do the job better. That’s actually a pretty powerful statement on how he sees women in the workplace. Has he said some really stupid things about women in the past? Yes. Does he seem to have a pretty narrow and sexist personal view on women? Yeah. Does that mean that America is suddenly going to force us all to stay at home and make dinner and babies. Absolutely not. Women will still have all of the same rights they had before he was elected. We’ll still be allowed to get the same education as boys, and to apply for the same jobs as men, and wear pants and not be forced cover our faces and hair with a headscarf, and vote, and really live our lives in the same damn manner we have for the last 8 years.
Misconception #11: “Trump is gonna deport all the Mexicans!” There are already laws on the books that says we’re supposed to deport ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, and that is all he has ever called out for deportation. Trump is very inelegant with words, so a lot of the time he just sounds like a jackass. One of those times was when he made the remark about illegals being rapists and criminals. Regardless, the President doesn’t have the power (or the funding) to round up all the illegals much less “all the Mexicans”. Immigration reform is something that we must address very quickly in this country, but it is a complex and multi-faceted issue that has to be addressed by Congress and the States. Trump can, at most, ask Congress to address it.
Misconception #12: “Trump is gonna un-marry all the gays!” Remember that bit about undoing Supreme Court rulings? Yeah, same thing here. Bob and Jim can keep their His and His linens on order.
Misconception #13: “If Obama got to use Executive Orders, so can Trump.” While this is technically true, it’s also the height of hypocrisy. Just because “our guy” is doing the wrong thing, that doesn’t make it the right thing.
Finally, Trump released a “First 100 days in office” plan and while it is ambitious, it’s also unrealistic that HE can actually accomplish it. He split it up into three areas of focus.
On cleaning up corruption:
1. Propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on Congress – The President can’t actually propose Constitutional Amendments……
2. Place a hiring freeze on all federal employees – this is actually something he can probably accomplish, but if he wants to accomplish anything on border security and immigration law enforcement, he’s going to have to lift that freeze.
3. Require that for every new Federal regulation, two must go – Trump can promote and encourage an environment in Washington that aims at reducing and removing regulations, but I’m not sure that it is Constitutionally possible for the President to make this a hard rule.
4. Place a 5 year ban on public officials becoming lobbyists after they leave office – this would be a legislative issue that he would have a hard time getting through Congress because many of them know that lobbying jobs are just about the best thing they can get after they leave office. This also smacks of way too much government meddling in the lives of citizens and once those elected officials leave office, that’s really all they are.
5. Place a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying for a foreign government – see #4
6. Prevent foreign lobbyists from raising money for US elections – there are far too many working parts involved here for him to truly accomplish this on his own.
On protecting the American worker:
1. Renegotiate NAFTA – this is not something that can be accomplished in 100 days even if he spent every waking hour on it. NAFTA involves the economies of the US, Canada and Mexico and moving too swiftly on this would severely hurt MANY American companies and do major damage to the economy.
2. Withdraw from the TPP – This is actually probably doable.
3. Direct Secretary of Treasury to label China a currency manipulator – while this is something he can easily do, any effect that it might have on the American economy is probably negative. His time would be better spent working with Congress to remove regulations that stifle American economic growth.
4. This is a long-winded promise that basically says “Foreign governments are doing bad things that adversely affect the American worker” – this is a broad statement that he can technically do, but the effect (good or bad) and implement-ability is hard to gauge.
5. Lift the restrictions on production of American energy – He might be able to easily do some of this in the first 100 days, but as I said earlier about Misconception #5, he can’t single-handedly revive the oil boom.
6. Green light the Keystone pipeline – This is something he can, and in my opinion should, do easily and quickly. Like first 10 days.
7. Cancel “billions” in payments to the UN for climate change – we don’t pay them billions. His fact checkers missed the mark on this one.
And finally on security and rule of law:
1. Cancel all the unconstitutional actions by President Obama – technically he can do this. Some might argue that he needs to look at the consequences and potentially ask Congress to address these issues legislatively (as Obama should have done) instead.
2. Select a replacement for Justice Scalia – Trump can name a nominee to Congress for a Supreme Court Justice position. He can’t just stick someone in the job. There is a still process in place that has to be followed.
3. Cancel all funding to sanctuary cities – What funding is he going to cancel? There are many different types of federal funding. It would be almost impossible for him to cancel all of it. And it might be un-Constitutional for him to cancel some of it. This is one of thse vague promises he likes to make that sound “good” but there is no substance to back it up.
4. Begin removing “criminal illegal immigrants” and cancel visas from countries who won’t take them back – We already have a mechanism in place to deport criminal illegal immigrants, a more honest statement would be “encourage ICE to ensure that illegals who are convicted of crimes are deported”. As far as cancelling visas, he can do that, but he might want to think on those unintended consequences first.
5. Suspend immigration from terror-prone regions and institute extreme vetting – The first part of this he can probably accomplish. The extreme vetting part, that’s more abstract because often there is no centralized location to vet these people through in those regions. It is also important to point out that this will only apply to legal immigration and do nothing to stop the flow of illegal immigration from those countries.
Trump finished this plan with some things that he’s going to “work with Congress” on. Since the point of my post here is basically to point out that many things he says he will do are actually things he must get Congress to do I’m not going to waste time going into those things.
The moral of this whole post is this: The President is not an all-powerful being, he has rules he must follow. It is our job as Americans to hold him to those rules, (as we should with ALL elected officials) and call him out when he doesn’t act accordingly. The best way to enforce term limits and to remove corruption in Washington is by staying involved, and in communication with elected officials and expressing our displeasure at election time if they are not serving our interests.