Editorial: Early in His Presidency, Trump Sets the Tone for the Next Four Years

TRUMP SIGNS ONE OF 13 EXECUTIVE ORDERS -- In the wake of Trumps first ten days, protests have broken out all over the nation.

TRUMP SIGNS ONE OF 13 EXECUTIVE ORDERS — In the wake of Trump’s first ten days, protests have broken out all over the nation.

Shelby Campbell, Copy Editor

It is striking to see the undefined, amorphous, and rebellious spirit that so much of this country has displayed go untouched by the Trump administration. During the election, political leaders did not voice their opinions, people were in shock, and everyone seemed to have this “every man for himself” attitude. Though, since Donald Trump was elected to the highest office of this nation, something has changed. The people of this nation have woken up.

In just the last few days, President Donald Trump has already set the tone for what is to come in the next four years under his administration. Early on in his presidency, President Trump has already signed the following executive orders:

  • Waiving the Affordable Care Act requirements, as much as he is legally able to do so
  • Regulation Freeze
    • All regulations have been frozen until President Trump approves them.
  • No federal funding for abortion services
  • Withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations
  • No more federal hiring
    • Agencies can not fill any empty or new positions
  • Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone Memorandum
  • Faster deadlines and approval for infrastructure projects
  • All pipelines must have American steel
  • A review of manufacturing regulations
  • Deportations
    • Directed agencies to increase deportation of those in the country illegally
  • Immediate construction of a wall on the United States Southern border
  • Temporary ban on United States entry from seven countries
    • Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, and Libya

Several of these executive orders, including defunding of abortion services and his immigration bans, have prompted protests all across the nation, from Washington D.C. to Anchorage, Alaska.  It is becoming abundantly clear that President Trump is not listening to the will of the people, unless he has simply been living under a rock, which seems improbably based on the frequency of his Twitter posts. Over three million men and women have taken to the streets since President Trump was nominated for the Presidency, and the protests are only growing with every new day.

Millions of Americans are gathering together in the big cities of L.A. and Washington D.C. to the villages in Alaska.

On Saturday, January 21, a Women’s March was held here in Chattanooga, where people from all over the Tennessee Valley and surrounding areas gathered together to stand up for not only women’s rights, but against several other Trump orders, from the Dakota Pipeline to his new immigration policies. Several students and faculty from Central High School have voiced their opinions on the election and the protests that have ensued since then, some opinions negative and others positive.

“I have seen the various women’s marches falsely portrayed by critics, who were not present for the events, characterizing the demonstrators as scantily clad, angry radicals. This was not my experience at all. Many of the people I encountered at the local march, some of them grandmothers and great-grandmothers, were demonstrating for the first time in their lives. Some came to let Trump know that they and their families still need the health care they were provided under the Affordable Care Act. Some came because they think it’s reckless to disavow the scientific evidence of climate change. Many came out of a fundamental belief in unity among all people, regardless of gender, race, culture, sexual orientation, or nationality. They came to send a message: to let the new administration know they are awake,” shared Central High English teacher Ms. Sally White, who attended the Chattanooga march.

Students like Central junior Thomas Goodpasture are numerous and tend to stay fairly neutral on the matter, keeping out of arguments and trying to keep the peace in such a divided time.

“Misogynists and radical feminists are in no way respectable, in my opinion. While people such as them may be a very minimal percentage, they shout the loudest, which gives these protests a bad representation… on either side, there are convincing arguments,” shared Central junior Thomas Goodpasture. “I can understand either side. I am not too concerned with it though.”

Teachers at Central High School, like Mrs.White and United States History teacher Mr. Shawn Seals, have stayed up-to-speed on the actions and orders that the new president has made. With political stances on the election and on the actions of citizens across the nation differing across the Central High School faculty, Seals and White were happy to voice their opinions on the matters.

“The thing that worries me the most is that the country will continue to become more and more divided. We are at our strongest when we stick together as one nation. However, the ability to have differing beliefs in our country is what makes us free,” admitted Seals, in response to President Trump’s new administration.

Our freedom of speech is something to celebrate, even when we may not agree with a person’s point of view.”

— Ms. Sally White

In a time of such distress and separation, there are so many things young people can do to stay informed and to influence political process, from simply keeping up with the news, or by preparing to run for a political office yourself!

“As disheartening as it may sometimes be to read the news, it is our responsibility to stay informed. With that said, it is imperative that we separate fact from fiction. Get your news only from the most reliable sources, and check your facts before recklessly propagating lies. Beyond simply being responsible consumers of information, we must communicate directly with our elected representatives when we want our concerns addressed. There is power in numbers!” encouraged Ms. White.

“Our leaders represent us around the world; if it’s believed they are not doing a good job then young people need to get involved and start supporting the person(s) they want to see shaping the world.  Better yet, young people can start preparing to run for public office, themselves,” explained Mr. Seals.

Our nation has woken up, and it is more important now than ever before to stay informed and stay involved with your community and the political processes around you. Stay optimistic and do not let yourself pick sides and become another cog in the divided machine that our nation has come. The time for unity is now, and it is up to the citizens of this nation to make that happen.