emceng wrote:Yablo, would you please describe exactly what Trump is doing that you support? You keep saying he's doing a good job, and following through on his promises. Which exactly do you support? This is what we are seeing from this administration:
The intentional undermining of nearly every cabinet department - destroying the EPA, interior department, encouraging businesses in rapacious land use, removing regulations that prevent companies from hurting the environment
Changing policy and/or direction isn’t exactly undermining. I’m a governmental accountant for the State of Alaska, and I handle federal grants for contaminated sites and spill prevention, so I deal pretty closely with the EPA. For several years now, I’ve felt the EPA has had far too much power and has been allowed to bully states. What Trump’s administration is doing there is reining in a lot of that power to check its abuse.
Regarding the Interior Department, I fully support the protection and preservation of parks and monuments, and I’m open to the argument that the administration may go too far in removing those protections. At the same time, there is a lot of land that could (and probably even should) be used for other purposes.
Encouraging discrimination against LGBT people
Active discrimination against people of color
These points would definitely be unacceptable, but I don’t see Trump actually doing this. Well, other than the selection of A Wet Rag Stuffed Into a Tailpipe as a running mate. I absolutely believe he could be more sensitive to LGBT and racial issues, but I don’t see that he’s actively discriminating. It seems to me more like a blustery stand-off with Basic Human Decency (which I also believe has gotten way out of hand).
A belief that only white Americans are real Americans
Again, I don’t see this. He started one of the biggest outreach movements by the Republican party toward the African-American community. I’ll admit he’s said some really unacceptable things about Hispanics in the past, and I don’t appreciate that sort of negative generalization against any group. But if he’s ever expressed the belief that only white Americans are real Americans, I’ve never heard it, and neither has Google.
Packing the justice system with judges based on political motives, not any sort of judicial skill
I’m not saying this is okay, but presidents have been doing this for a long time. If a president can find appointees for judgeships who both fit the president’s politics and have judicial skill, all the better. If it comes down to one or the other, unfortunately, most presidents are going to go with someone who agrees with them. Political appointments can’t completely be placed on Trump’s shoulders either, though. When he got into office, he had hundreds of nominations to make, and Congress had to confirm each one. In many cases, Democrats and Republicans alike stalled the process for political gains. To my knowledge, we still don’t have an ambassador to Germany despite Trump’s appointment months ago.
Damaging the relationships with our best allies
It could be argued Obama did the same thing. I personally consider countries like Israel and Guatemala to be among out best allies. Every action an administration takes is going to please some countries and upset others. What I see is that Trump ignores the opinions of the rest of the world in much of his decision-making as it affects the U.S. That’s not to say the opinions of the rest of the world don’t matter. In fact, I wish Trump would pay more attention to the rest of the world even if he ultimately does decide it’s in America’s best interests to go against them. Brushing off the concerns of our allies is bad. They may not like it if we go against them, but it would go over much better if Trump at least pretended to consider their concerns.
Cozying up to dictators
Like Obama did in Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Cuba … Or how Obama told Medvedev to let Putin know he’d have more flexibility to deal after the election? I don’t advocate cozying up to dictators, but it seems like it’s what presidents do. Bush, Jr. loved Saudi Arabia. Lyndon Johnson loved an oppressive Brazilian regime his CIA helped to install. Kennedy and Park Chung-Hee in South Korea … Hell, I love Ronald Reagan, but even he cozied up to Indonesia while their death squads slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people. At least Trump called Taiwan.
Attacking the press for reporting the truth
In an astounding number of cases, though, they aren’t reporting the truth. Or they’re twisting the truth or leaving out important details. I will admit to being so tired of hearing Trump mention “Fake News.” Whether what they report is true or not, the president should, in most cases, ignore it publicly. That’s why he has a press secretary.
Undermining confidence in the FBI for political gain
To be fair, the FBI did a lot of that undermining on its own.
Signing a tax bill that is based on the lie that the economy will grow at twice the rate of any reasonable projection, and that will cause huge economic burdens for years to come
He does exaggerate nearly everything, but he didn’t draft the bill, and he didn’t vote on the bill. I don’t believe the tax bill he signed will be nearly as great as he says it will, and there are some things I think it should have done differently, but I also don’t think it’ll be an economic burden at all. What he should have done is get involved with the tax bill at the foundation rather than just telling Congress to throw a little of this and some of that in there, and get it done by Christmas.
Trying to kill the ACA
Everything I’ve personally experienced with the ACA has been negative. Because I’m a state employee, I have a great healthcare system compared to a lot of private businesses and individuals, but even my premiums and copays have almost doubled. The free market system we had before the ACA may not have been perfect, but in my experience, it was far better.
Rather than increasing costs for everyone just to subsidize insurance for millions of people who may not even want it, and then penalizing the people who still don’t want it is just ridiculous. I totally agree everyone should have access to healthcare, and many people can’t afford even basic insurance, but I don’t believe it’s okay to force people into plans they don’t want or don’t need and then charge them more for it just to cover other people.
So, yes. I support killing the ACA, but not without a plan that’s at least as good as the free market system we had before.
Appointing anti-Net Neutrality people to the FCC
Net Neutrality is basically Internet-ACA, so much of my comments above apply here as well.
Violating the emoluments clause since day 1
So far, every lawsuit brought against him on those grounds has been dismissed, so until there’s a change in that regard, I honestly don’t think anything else needs to be said on the matter. If he ever is found to have knowingly violated the clause, he should be held accountable just as any other U.S. citizen would. He’s a businessman, so he would have no excuse.
Putting billionaires in his administration that potentially profit from what they are doing
Every member of every president’s cabinet can potentially profit from what they are doing. The only way the president can be accountable for that is if he appoints them knowing they’ll do that. It’s not only illegal for them to profit from their position, the profit they stand to gain probably isn’t close to the profit most of them would gain outside the cabinet.
I haven’t looked at his cabinet members’ net worth recently, but to my knowledge, most of them are only multi-millionaires. The net worth of his cabinet members is quite a bit more than Obama’s, I’ll give you that.
Provoking North Korea for no fucking reason
I’ll give you this, too. North Korea is doing a lot that isn’t in the best interests of America or much of the rest of the world, but ridiculing another world leader isn’t presidential. Telling them his nuclear button is bigger and actually works is pretty funny, but it’s not presidential. The whole world already knows how North Korea feels about America and they know how America feels about North Korea. There’s no need for either side to make it worse.
He should definitely not ignore North Korea, but he shouldn’t antagonize them. Assure the U.S., North Korea, and the rest of the world that we are prepared for any eventuality and we have measures in place to defend ourselves and our allies. Then assure the world that we are committed first and foremost to a diplomatic solution, but remind them we will match an act of war with a fast and decisive strike. Then leave it at that.
Responding to every threat North Korea makes with a threat or scoff of our own only makes us look bad and makes them relevant.
Completely ignoring any potential Russian interference in the 2016 or 2018 elections
Of course, Russia interfered. It’s what they do. We do the same to them. Governments all over the world do that to everyone else. There’s been no credible evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, and I don’t believe there ever will be, but I have no doubt Russia interfered. I think their goal was to cause and amplify the division and antagonism we’re experiencing, and I think they love watching the fallout. Fighting with ourselves over this is only helping their cause.
Still, the Trump administration should address it beyond simply dismissing accusations of collusion.
Trump is also blatantly lying constantly. Do you really think the president should 1) lie to the American people all the time, and 2) do it on trivial things, and 3) be really incompetent at it?
Most politicians lie blatantly and if not constantly, at least often. I think what he’s doing most of the time is exaggerating rather than lying, and that’s something politicians do, too. It’s also something people with a level of arrogance displayed by Trump, Obama, and both Clintons do.
I don’t believe the president should lie to the American people at all. There are things we need to know and have a right to know. But there are also things we don’t need to know, and with the culture of leaking we’ve developed, those things come out whether we need them or not, whether we have a right to them or not.
Lying about trivial things is a problem. I’ve known several people who do that. They volunteer lies about things I don’t even care about or never even thought about which will never affect me or even come up again. They lie to me. About things that just happened to us. And they tell me like I wasn’t there. And they’re telling it wrong. I don’t like lying in any form, and I’ve always believed that honesty is to be respected. It’s by far the biggest reason I opposed Clinton.
But I still don’t see most of what Trump says as lying so much as exaggerating. I don’t care for that either, but my tolerance for it is higher.
If a president is going to lie to the American public, he’d damned-well better be a master of it. If what I see as exaggeration on Trump’s part actually turns out to be just very poor lying, I’ll be embarrassed for our entire country.