This letter reflects the opinions of Sebastian Hamirani, an economics senior and president of Cal Poly Democrats. Letters to the editor do not reflect the opinion or editorial coverage of Mustang News.
When President Trump took office a year ago, some argued he would reform government as an outsider. Now, it’s clear he governs in the dangerous style his campaign foreshadowed. The decisions his administration makes — when not preoccupied with its own chaos — drag America backwards and fail to address the challenges we face.
The president’s defenders might tout the recent tax law as an accomplishment. It offers hefty tax breaks to corporations on the claim they will then make investments that raise employment and wages. While some firms have offered one-time worker bonuses, more than $80 billion in share buybacks have been attributed to the law as companies reward Wall Street and push stock prices higher. This, alongside actions like scrapping a requirement that managers can’t seize servers’ tips, demonstrates that the president doesn’t worry about opportunities for workers. Instead of ensuring the favorable economy he inherited benefits all, Trump diverts wealth to those who exploit the system.
On social matters, no contemporary president has incited division in the open fashion Trump does. When armed white supremacists marched and murdered in Charlottesville, the president, after several days to reflect on the incident, shared his belief some of them were “very fine people.” Earlier last summer, he granted his first pardon to former Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio. Trump tweeted that Arpaio, found guilty of contempt of court for refusing to end racially discriminatory practices, was an American patriot. In both instances, President Trump chose political appeals to hatred over the country’s morality.
An especially dangerous feature of this administration is the president’s reckless assaults on our institutions. When the press fact checks his statements, he rants about fake news; when courts rule against him, he assails the judiciary; when independent officials like the FBI Director refuse to serve his political agenda, he fires them and claims Barack Obama controls vast parts of the government. Trump’s gutted the State Department and placed sycophants in powerful posts. In short, he aims to sweep away the norms and expectations that make democracy work and instead advance an authoritarian vision of America.
Through all of this, Republican leadership has done little to check the president, opting for complicity in a bid to push their policy agenda. Of those who have criticized the president, many are leaving public life. Both Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, for example, announced retirements after determining that Republican voters would not renominate them for further terms in the Senate.
Fortunately, Americans are cognizant of the dangers of an unrestrained Trump presidency. Polls currently show Democrats have a historic lead in the race for Congress, so much so that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is rumored to soon retire rather than lead Republicans to disaster. When the Democrats win Congressional majorities in November, we’ll offer a better deal for everyone. That means curbing the power of monopolies, passing the DREAM Act, and further expanding access to healthcare. It will be a people-first agenda and a sharp contrast to this past year.