By Grace Wenzel ’21
Just about a year has passed since Donald J. Trump of New York, self-proclaimed multimillionaire and lady’s man, became the President of the United States of America. As tradition dictates, the President addresses Congress and the American people by giving a State of the Union Address. While it is normal for the sitting President to showcase their victories over the year, it became apparent that this year, Trump didn’t have much to gloat about.
Most of his speech was dedicated to a tax plan that barely passed through the Senate and House. This tax plan is every Republican’s dream; the tax bracket percentages changed, the child tax credits increased and the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate was repealed. While conservatives celebrated like frat boys during spring break, the American people continue to suffer under this inconsistent, terrifying, and unpredictable regime that Donald Trump has created.
President Trump declares that the tax cuts will encourage job growth and strengthen the economy. Despite the fact this country is still recovering from this ‘trickle down economic’ policy of the Reagan and Bush administrations, conservatives still push the principle that this method will someday benefit the American people. Unfortunately for President Trump and much of the Republican establishment, history does not act kindly to their most basic economic principle, and I personally predict this tax plan will follow the same pattern. President Trump also took time to boast about how well the stock market and economy is fairing during his presidency.
As predicted, this is definitely not due to his involvement — it’s actually quite the opposite. Former President Obama’s budget was being implemented over the course of the year as each budget is decided upon a year before it is actually introduced. Therefore, Trump has little to do with this year’s economic triumphs; including the lowest African American unemployment rate ever recorded.
Also, any college student that has taken a math course involving taxes and stocks can iterate that the economy is highly unpredictable, hence why many stockholders withdrew their shares when President Trump was elected; the uncertainty of a capitalistic economy is a fact and no one can predict what will happen to stocks without inside information. Another important aspect to consider is that war is a fantastic way to boost the economy. That is what saved the American economy during World War II.
The stock market is commonly described as a bubble; it expands until it explodes and then it must be built again from scratch. However, the prevent a bubble from popping, you add more soap to the mix to allow for it to have more substance to expand; hence why the industrial push during the 1940s worked so well. However, the cause of this threat was heightened by extreme isolationist, racist, and nationalistic tactics imposed by President Hoover in the 1920s and early 1930s. See any parallels?
President Trump also took time to talk about ‘chain immigration’ — a term so outdated and racist, it was considered outdated when it was used in the 1920s. The Immigration Act of 1924 is famous for creating the quota system that restricts the amount of people allowed into the United States from certain countries, a system still in place today. During this time period a certain group of people were fleeing from Europe to escape the terrorism they were facing in their homeland. Can anyone guess which group this was? If you said the European Jewish population, then you’re correct! European Jews were being targeted by Anti-Semitic groups for thousands of years.
While pogroms such as this took place since before the 13th century, the twentieth century created a new kind of violence in Europe. This is when the United States decided to implement this immigration policy that very much had the purpose of keeping ‘undesirables’ out, like the Jews. Thanks to this legislation, millions of Jewish families were left to fight for themselves, until an unknown man by the name of Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany and decided to incite one of the world’s most infamous examples of genocide.
Many Jewish people tried to immigrate to the United States in search of a way out of certain death at the hands of the Nazi regime but unfortunately, those quotas wouldn’t allow for that. Apparently American politics has no time to be decent enough to save refugees from certain death. Pity. But that wouldn’t happen in 2018, would it?
During President Trump’s presidency, he has tried and somewhat successfully now, to declare travel bans from countries like Somalia, Yemen, Venezuela, Chad, Iran, Syria, and North Korea; all having different levels of restriction from entering the United States ranging from a complete ban to more scrutiny regarding their entry. Many of these countries are experiencing domestic threats from various extremist groups. Syria, as well known to the American public, has been battling against jihadist groups for many decades now. Many of those trying to seek refuge in the United States are actually Christian and not Muslim, very much in contrast to the president’s rhetoric.
Christian groups are trying to flee this region as jihadist groups are more likely to target non-Muslim groups than Muslim groups and Christianity is seen as a western and ‘American’ religion. Venezuela is currently in the depths of its worst economic crisis in its entire history. Hunger is universal, violence is common, and government corruption just continues to lengthen this problem. Most notably, the United States has stated that the Venezuelan government is currently being controlled by a drug cartel. For the Venezuelan people, there is little hope for a better future in their own country as many die young due to malnutrition. Denying people like this an opportunity to escape certain death is inhumane. Trump’s rhetoric of isolationism and nationalism only insights racism against these groups that need our help. Some will combat my statements and say that we need to focus on ‘America first’. My answer to this is that the last time we did that, Hitler managed to kill more innocent people because of racial bias on every side of the war. The United States refused to even go to war because it didn’t involve them.
In this day in age, globalization is a reality not an ideology and people need to begin to understand that. Technology has made it easier for every country to be connected and when one economy collapses, another is directly affected. Humanitarian issues are American issues and that’s why Democrats are so passionate about creating legislation for Dreamers. Since Americans are Dreamers, Trump said it himself (and that’s another story for later), he inadvertently stated that the Dreamers are citizens and should stay in the United States. Words can be fun to play with.
The divide between Americans has been a reality since before the civil war and will likely continue into the future. George Washington was afraid of this happening; a two-party system that causes division within the self-proclaimed United States of America. But that’s the evil with a representative democracy, not everyone will always agree. Even in the State of the Union address, Trump only created division within that chamber and even more across the nation. Alienating entire groups of people, degrading them, and causing more people to be drawn to the idea of segregation.
This man is dangerous and it’s not a joke. He has literally tried compared sizes of Nuclear buttons with Kim Jong Un, like really? Is his masculinity so fragile that we all must be subjected to watching him project it onto a little red button? And yes, I did say LITTLE red button. I could spend hours explaining how he objectifies women and how he’s a terrible person but that would take too long and unfortunately those are somehow deemed subjective and partisan opinions these days.
What I wanted to say was all fact based in history and the present. History is not stagnant, some say history repeats itself but I do not agree. I believe history evolves with the similar conflicts because human nature does not change. Human beings are the stagnant ones and Donald Trump is proof of this. Education can save us all and hopefully reunify an already divided nation without President Trump inciting a nuclear war or a civil war 2.0.