What has a year of Trump brought our nation?

Kate Ramsey


ST. Augustine

Looking back after one year of the Trump administration’s rise to power, where are we exactly? How are we faring under the rollbacks of regulations, investigations of foreign meddling in our election process, overhauling of our tax codes, pulling back from traditional allies and broken promises on immigration, health care and infrastructure?

Obvious winners so far are corporations who see their tax rates and regulations drop significantly at the expense of middle and lower class individuals, manufacturing companies (corporations), particularly those who create large amounts of waste who can begin again to dump that waste into our rivers, companies who “pass through” their income through individual owners (pass through corporations) who will now use those drastically reduced top earner rates to tax their corporate profits, and hunters out West who can again hunt on National Park lands, recently reduced in size over the objections of Native Americans who claim burial rights on those grounds.

Gun owners can now carry state to state, ranchers and hunters can use National Park lands, oil companies will be able to drill offshore in more areas than ever before, Alaska has been opened to more drilling than in the past and regulations have been eased regarding pollution, alternative energy and climate control. The personal mandate portion of the ACA has been repealed.

I guess this means that folks will now be able to fish to their hearts content in dirtier rivers while overlooking oil rigs, with their pistols visibly displayed. If they should accidentally shoot themselves, it is OK if they have no insurance … they can go to the emergency room and taxpayers will pick up the bill.

In the meantime, we have insulted international allies, abandoned our commitments to international trade agreements, played chicken with one of the least stable leaders in the world, understaffed diplomatic offices, broken promises made to the children of immigrants, filled the Cabinet with private sector millionaires (billionaires) and CEOs who answer to the almighty dollar rather than the will of the majority of the people.

Our nation’s infrastructure remains in critical need of updating and repair. Dreamers remain in a state of limbo, wondering if they will be forced to move to a country most do not even remember. Our president requires personal loyalty to him, rather than our Constitution, is easily swayed by pomp and extravagance and tweets inane comments like a drunk teenager.

Perhaps this is what the 30-odd percent currently approving of the president’s performance want. But what about the rest of us? We are experiencing what happens when we don’t participate enough in our democracy. If nothing else, the current political situation is proof of our duty and responsibility as citizens to help elect legislators and others at the local, state, and national levels who more closely represent all of the people (or at least most of the people).