By now, we’re all pretty familiar with Trump’s style: his blatant disregard for the truth, his countless unintelligible comments, his racist and/or misogynistic remarks. Trump has called women anything from “fat pigs” to “unattractive both inside and out” and bragged about sexual harassment on his Access Hollywood tape. He mocked a disabled reporter during a rally in 2015. He has consistently referred to the New York Times and CNN as “fake news,” and has referred to the media as “the opposition party,” saying he hoped to remove them from the White House. His administration flat-out lied about the size of the crowd at his inauguration by saying it was the largest in history, although pictures from the National Park Service show that President Obama’s was larger.
But putting the past aside, Trump has taken some extremely harmful actions this year as president. Here are ten of the worst.
1. Support of Roy Moore
Congratulations to Roy Moore on his Republican Primary win in Alabama. Luther Strange started way back & ran a good race. Roy, WIN in Dec!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2017
After Roy Moore was accused of sexually assaulting several children, Trump continued to support him in his Senate race against Doug Jones, implying that having a Democrat in the Senate would be worse than a pedophile.
Usually there is a line that we do not cross when supporting politicians, even within your own party. Apparently, child molestation doesn’t cross that line. Who knew?
2. His Response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico (or as Trump says, PWERTO RICOH)
If you didn’t already know, Puerto Rico is indeed a part of the United States. While not technically a state, Puerto Ricans should enjoy the same protections and aid that all Americans do.
After Hurricane Maria, San Juan’s mayor, Carmen Yulin Cruz, begged the White House several times for help, even saying on Sept. 20, “if anybody out there is listening, we are dying. And you are killing us with the inefficiency.” But in spite of criticism from Cruz and other Puerto Ricans who said they did not receive the help they needed, Trump rated the White House’s response a “10 out of 10.”
After the disaster, he described the storm, which according to the New York Times killed more than a thousand people, as not a “real catastrophe like Katrina,” and pretended to help relief efforts by throwing rolls of paper towels into the crowd.
If this wasn’t enough, he blamed Puerto Rico for the problems that the storm caused, said that Puerto Ricans “want everything to be done for them” and tried to defend his slow response to Hurricane Maria by defining the term “island.” (“This is an island, surrounded by water, big water, ocean water.”
3. Transgender Military Ban
While the ban was ultimately blocked by a federal judge, Trump tweeted that the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.” According to The New York Times, the costs related to allowing transgender soldiers to serve only raise spending from .04 to .13 percent. Trump had no reason to do this, apart from just plain transphobia.
4. Paris Climate Agreement Withdrawal
The Paris Climate Agreement aims to create a worldwide effort to fight climate change by setting goals to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of each country. The ultimate objective is to limit the global average temperature increase to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels.
While a 3.6 increase does not sound like a lot, according to NASA, a “one- to two-degree drop was all it took to plunge the Earth into the Little Ice Age. A five-degree drop was enough to bury a large part of North America under a towering mass of ice 20,000 years ago.”
A global temperature increase could lead to the devastation of island nations and the extinction of millions of marine organisms, including phytoplankton, which produce at least half of the world’s oxygen.
When Syria announced in November that it planned to sign the Paris climate agreement, that left only one country in the world that refused to sign. Yep, you guessed it: it’s the United States.
Seriously if Syria, which is in the middle of a civil war, can sign the agreement, there’s no excuse for the United States to oppose it. As a world power, America should be leading the fight against climate change because we have the money and resources that developing nations do not. You know you’re doing something wrong when, literally, the entire world disagrees with you. So let’s get our shit together and do our part to combat climate change.
5. Trump’s UN Speech
The purpose of the United Nations is to confront world challenges together, by recognizing that we are all part of the same species and must come together to solve our issues. It doesn’t really jive with the spirit of the organization when you insist on putting the needs of your country ahead of the needs of humanity. Additionally, threatening to “totally destroy North Korea” and making fun of them is generally a no-no. We get it, you think you’re hilarious by calling Kim Jong-Un “Little Rocket Man,” but you’re really making things a heck of a lot worse and pushing us towards the brink of nuclear war. Please stop.
6. Charlottesville Comments
After Heather Heyer was brutally murdered by a white supremacist in Charlottesville for protesting a rally, President Trump failed to condemn the white supremacists for their actions, instead claiming that “many sides” were at fault. Not only is this an insult to Heyer’s memory, but by not mentioning her murderer, James Alex Fields, or neo-Nazis at all, Trump failed to show the American people that Nazi ideology is unacceptable in the United States.
As the lovely Tina Fey said on Saturday Night Live, “Nazis are always bad.”
It’s really not that hard to say; write it on your hand if you can’t remember.
But seriously, it was fairly horrifying to watch Trump defend the actions of neo-Nazis, and while he received a lot of backlash for what he said, he still has the support of many senate Republicans.
Years from now, if this country is back on track and no longer ruled by a five-year-old, the same people who failed to distance themselves from our president will be falling over themselves trying to make excuses for why they didn’t stand up to him. And the rest of us will be laughing our asses off at the pathetic justifications they come up with (talking to you, Paul Ryan).
7. Trump’s Cabinet Appointments
From Scott Pruitt to Steve Bannon, Trump has appointed multiple cabinet members who have not lasted long enough to see the end of Trump’s first year in office. Important political figures have already been fired or resigned including (but not limited to), Tom Price, Steve Bannon, Anthony Scaramucci, Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus, James Comey and Michael Flynn. The lack of stability is more than slightly disturbing and has caused internet trolls to create “Trump Bingo” for who will leave the Trump administration next. The constant cycling in and out of White House staff shows that Trump cannot be trusted to appoint solid workers who will do their best to serve our country.
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a program for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children and have lived here ever since. It is intended to protect them from deportation and allow them to work and study in the United States. This program generally has bipartisan support, but was put into place by an executive order from President Obama, so he it not receive full support from Congress.
While many senators disagree with the way DACA was put into effect, the idea is supported by both Democrats and Republicans.
President Trump put the futures of nearly 800,000 people at stake by ending this program.
Knowing that the Democrats will work hard to protect these young people, President Trump will most likely throw DACA into future legislation such as the border wall, to try get enough votes.
These poor people’s futures are at stake because Trump wants to use them to advance his own goals.
9. Travel Bans
Trump’s numerous attempts at implementing travel bans on Muslim-majority countries have been met with protests across the United States, most notably the one at JFK. People were detained in airports for hours on end. Included among the countries Trump has banned are Venezuela and Syria, two extremely dangerous and oppressed nations. Refugees desperate to escape violence fled to the United States to build better lives, only to be turned away. These people will do anything to save their families, and there’s no doubt most Americans would do the same in their position. We get you’re “America First,” but show a little empathy.
10. Pardoning of Sheriff Arpaio
By pardoning Sheriff Arpaio, Trump basically condoned racial profiling. According to the Los Angeles Times, Arpaio is known as “the nation’s toughest sheriff,” and has “gained widespread publicity for such practices as housing prisoners in tents, dressing them in pink underwear and re-establishing chain gangs in old-fashioned striped uniforms. He also banned coffee, R-rated movies and magazines showing nudes.”
Arpaio humiliated prisoners for his own amusement, but also participated in more sinister activities, such as installing cameras in the women’s toilets. His lawyer’s best defense for his actions was saying “no juveniles would have been displayed unless they ‘look older and lie to us.’”
Frankly, this is unsurprising. Disgusting, but unsurprising. If the president himself can brag to Howard Stern about walking in on Miss America contestants while they change clothes, why should other men be held to higher standards? Trump is setting a horrible example for young boys, who see the most powerful man in the country degrading women and may follow his lead.