Orange is the New Black: In With the New

On January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Leading up to the inauguration, many celebrities, politicians, and spectators backed out of attendance in protest. Trump’s inauguration had a crowd of 500,000 attendees, compared to Obama’s first inauguration in 2009 which attracted 1.8 million people, according to the New York Times.

Trump’s inauguration boasted performances from C-listers including 3 Doors Down, Toby Keith and the Mormon Tabernacle choir. More than 30 million Americans tuned into watch the ceremony, less than 50 percent of those who voted for him. The story of the day shifted to the American Revolution inspired outfit worn by Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway.

Following the inauguration, millions of women in all 50 states marched in honor of those women marching on Washington in protest of Trump. Trump has had a particularly tough time with women, most recently in the October leaks of Trump’s appearance with Billy Bush on Access Hollywood. Women are not the only group concerned about the Trump presidency.

Muslim and Hispanic Americans have been reeling since the Nov 8 election of Trump. Trump openly and loudly condemned anyone from nations with terrorism, singling out innocent Muslims escaping the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations. Hispanic Americans are especially afraid of Trump’s presidency because of the deportation implications. Many Hispanic American’s registered for Obama’s revamped D.R.E.A.M. act which Trump and other republicans have promised to dismantle. Young adults who registered for the dream act are now afraid the information provided will be used to track down and deport undocumented immigrants.

3.3 million Americans who were finally provided healthcare by the Affordable Care Act saw their benefits taken away even before Trump took office. These Americans are now left without insurance or a plan to replace the ACA, which was promised by the Republicans. Opponents of Obamacare claimed insurance premiums were hiked because of those covered. However, millions of uncovered Americans who get sick will now drive up premiums for being uncovered.

Trump’s cabinet has been a major concern for Democrats. His first pick, white supremacist media director at Breitbart, Steve Bannon saw extreme opposition. Trump’s appointments of oil tycoon Rex Tillerson to Secretary of State, former Texas governor Rick Perry to Energy secretary, and Scott Pruit to EPA another oil tycoon, are of major concern. These men have been at the forefront of denial of climate change. Trump education secretary Betsy DeVos saw herself grilled by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Warren asked DeVos if her contributions to the Republican Party were the sole reason for her appointment, to which she had no answer. Warren also grilled former presidential candidate, Trump surrogate, and Housing and Urban Development appointee Ben Carson on his qualifications and if money from HUD would go into Trump’s pocket, a question he dodged. Former presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders also joined Warren in drilling Trump’s appointments. Sanders’ main concerns have been the poor, healthcare, and keeping big business out of politics.

Trump’s first executive order was to scale back the ACA until it can be fully repealed. Trump has a busy first 100 days planned which include scaling back tax entitlements, lowering taxes on the wealthy and bringing jobs back to the US.

In his very last few days as Commander-in-Chief, Obama scrambled to commute the sentences of 330 prisoners for non-violent drug charges, bringing his clemency total to 1,715, more than any other president. Among them was Chelsea Manning, the former military private who leaked classified information. This pardon saw loud praise and opposition.

Barack Obama saw a successful, tumultuous and stressful presidency. Looking back on the Obama presidency decades from now, by most accounts it will be seen as a success. Obama had one of the least scandalous Presidencies in decades.

Success Obama saw included the passing of the ACA and insuring millions. Obama presided over the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. Obama also reopened relations with Cuba. In 2009 when Obama took office, the economy was in the worst shape since the great depression. Quickly, America was pulled out of recession. Republicans argued it was too slow and the economic growth was miniscule, but the economy grew every year of the Obama presidency. Obama, though highly criticized, reduced and capped the nuclear weapons possessed by Iran with the Iran deal. Obama additionally saw job numbers grow during his presidency, an unprecedented milestone. Obama moved the country towards energy independence within the next decade. Obama also conserved more land in the country than any other president. Finally, Obama gave the go ahead for the raid which killed Osama Bin Laden.

Obviously, not all was positive during Obama’s presidency. There were many mass shootings over the last 8 years, from Aurora, Colorado to Sandy hook to Orlando. Obama saw extreme resistance from house and senate republicans who would regain both legislative houses after the 2012 election. Obama also presided over the NSA during the Snowden discovery of surveillance on the American people. Obama also significantly raised the national debt. Perhaps the biggest failure of the Obama presidency, which could erase the good he did, was the revolt of Middle America which led to the Trump election and both houses of congress going to Republicans. Obama’s legacy hangs in the balance with the success or failure of the Trump administration.

Las Vegas bookies have 4-1 odds of a Trump impeachment within three months of taking office. However, a Pence presidency, hypothetically could be a lot worse. The American people have spoken and now it’s time to see if Trump keeps his promise to be a president for all. The nation needs to hold Trump accountable for lies and erratic behavior. Most of all, this nation needs healing and unity. If Trump intends to make America great, he needs to become the person we all need, and not just a man for the interests of mega wealthy white men.

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