Donald Trump’s presidency is commonly portrayed as a political consequence of the 2016 election, but Democrats aren’t the only ones hurt by his policies. Though Trump has already committed eight impeachable offenses, those are not the only dangers he poses to our country and citizens. Here are three ways Trump is doing lasting damage:
With President Trump and the Republican Congress in power, it is virtually certain that gun violence will continue to be ignored — despite overwhelming public demand for change. After 17 students and staff members were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February, public officials once again faced pressure to take substantive action. And for a brief moment, Trump appeared willing to break from his NRA-backed Republican counterparts. He expressed interest in raising the age to purchase a firearm, improving background checks, and preventing domestic abusers from acquiring weapons.
Not one of those measures have been implemented.
Instead, Trump has demonstrated more of the same useless behavior. Any time a mass shooting occurs, the GOP returns to its familiar script of “access to mental health treatment” for potentially violent individuals. In reality, however, Republicans systematically work to advance policies that undermines that access to treatment. Trump’s 2019 budget seeks to cut Medicaid by $1.4 trillion, which would drastically reduce mental health resources for those who need it. The Administration’s embrace of short-term insurance plans allows more people to forgo mental health services, or healthcare altogether.
If Trump’s attitude toward gun violence and mental health does not change, it will cost all of us dearly. More mass shootings will inevitably occur, and our capacity to deal with disturbed individuals before they commit violence will be further diminished. Trump’s inaction on guns is not just ill-advised; it’s an outright betrayal of the American people.
Apart from appointing climate skeptic Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Trump has taken plenty of actions as an executive that signify his opposition to conservation and clean energy. He withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord, reducing the overall funding that will contribute to its internationally acclaimed efforts. Trump also rolled back dozens of Obama-era environmental rules including the Clean Power Plan, prohibitions on Arctic drilling, endangered species protections, and various hunting bans.
Trump’s ignorance to pressing environmental concerns is emblematic of the shortsightedness that plagues his entire platform. The President is casting aside the parks, animals, and lands that comprise North America’s natural heritage, and will create lasting damage to it in the process. Ignoring dwindling natural resources and biodiversity in the U.S. can only serve to create new challenges for future generations just trying to survive.
The world stage
Trump’s foreign policy has been ham-fisted and short-sighted since he took office, but he has the potential to the leave the U.S. with lasting damage to our goodwill and overall position abroad. As former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright wrote on April 6, Trump undermines faith in government and international cooperation with his words and actions. In her Op-Ed, Albright cautions the public about Trump’s fickle foreign policy, the hawkish history of new National Security Advisor John Bolton, and the general unraveling of America’s moral leadership. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel proclaimed that Europe must take its fate into its own hands after difficulties with Trump’s administration.
Beyond the public-facing failures to communicate with world leaders, the Trump’s State Department is in veritable disrepair as career foreign service officers leave in droves, political appointments remain unfilled, and the U.S remains without permanent ambassadors to Germany, Egypt, and South Korea. After a series of combative tariffs, a full-on trade war with China may occur. Meanwhile, the administration can’t seem to take decisive action on Russian election interference. Given more time in office, this administration could continue its pattern of inaction and impose further isolationist policies while a foreign government further undermines our democracy.
Trump is MIA in office
Consistently failing in his role as head of state — whether it’s ignoring victims of natural disasters and domestic terrorism, leaving key federal positions vacant, or disregarding national security threats — Donald Trump is an absent president, exposing us to danger.