OPINION: Finding fault in Trump’s executive orders

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President Donald Trump is sworn in on Jan. 20, 2017 at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. (Public Domain Photo)

We are nearing the second week of President Donald Trump’s administration and I find myself becoming more cynical about the future of our political system with each passing day.

I’m not a rare exception either. From the moment Trump became the Republican nominee, many of my liberal friends and colleagues have also felt a deep sense of fear not knowing what the future holds.

Yet, when I discuss these fears with my conservative friends and family, they throw it off as me being too paranoid; or they simply say that I have to live with President Trump just as they had to live with President Obama.

It is here that I want to address my many conservative friends. For many, Donald Trump is not just another President, largely because he has no clear ideology.

President Trump has the lowest approval rating of any president in modern history — the Guardian estimates that every three out of four U.S. adults did not vote for Trump — and it is mostly because people do not trust him with the responsibilities of the presidency.

He has denied climate change, while NASA’s website says, “Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree.”

In a recent Pew poll, 65 percent of the U.S. population agrees that we should be investing more into alternative energy, such as wind and solar. However, the president seems to not take heed to this concern.

On Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order to revive the Dakota Access Pipeline. Democracy Now! says, “the $3.8 billion pipeline would carry about 500,000 barrels of crude per day from North Dakota’s Bakken oilfield to Illinois.”

Since 2010, there have been over 3,300 crude oil and natural gas leaks in the U.S., and many opponents of DAPL fear that it too will rupture, poisoning the Missouri River.

Looking past the environmental and health impact of this pipeline, an investigative report by The Guardian reveals that President Trump has serious ties to Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the pipeline.

Trump has invested between $500,000 and $1 million in the company, as well as receiving $100,000 in campaign contributions from the CEO of ETP, Kelcy Warren. This executive order illustrates a severe conflict of interest and should be highly scrutinized by the public and the media.

Another executive order that concerns me is the reinstatement of the “Mexico City” policy. This is a policy that bars federal money from going to international groups that “provide information” on abortions, according to the BBC. It was first put in place by Reagan, repealed by Clinton, reinstated by Bush and then repealed by Obama.

One of my colleagues in Topeka, who asked to remain anonymous, said that not funding abortions does not stop abortion, it only makes it harder and more harmful for women.

If the goal is to decrease abortions, President Trump should be following his predecessor’s policies of expanding contraceptive coverage to more women. The expansion of reproductive care for women is a large reason why Obama’s administration saw the lowest rate of abortions between 2008 and 2011 since Roe v. Wade was enacted.

The only bright side to these executive orders has been stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership. However, this resolution was technically dead almost a year ago after Congress refused to ratify the resolution. President Trump signing it was essentially symbolic.

After the protests held on Saturday throughout the nation, it is clear that many Americans are fearful of what a Trump presidency will bring for progressive policies that the majority of our country favor. All we ask is that you listen with open ears to why we are fearful.

Kyler Jackson is a sophomore in political science.

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