April 25, 2017
By Joseline Cano
The United States of America is, ironically, not united. As we approach President Trump’s first 100 days in office on April 29, Dominican students share their insights on the notorious President’s work ethic since being sworn in on January 20.
“The first 100 days have already felt like a lifetime,” sophomore Itzayana Zepeda said. “How many protests have we already had for his policies and actions?”
The mogul multi-billionaire realtor gone Commander in Chief is notoriously known for his campaign rhetoric. Many view him as the hope to “Make America Great Again” by bringing back jobs that had left overseas and solving, what they consider, the issue of undocumented immigrants and those whom follow the Islam faith. While others see him as a hate-spreading and cruel individual that wants to rid the country of its diversity.
Trump launched his campaign on Tuesday, June 17, 2015 by stating, “Sadly, the American dream is dead, but if I get elected President, I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before.”
Dominican sure doesn’t think so.
Junior Lindsey Trophy said, “Trump’s first 100 days have been shocking to say the least. I don’t think anyone expected for his presidency to take such a gravely impactful start. I would rate them a 2.5 because he has taken serious action.”
Professor Joseph Heininger from the English department shares his opinion as well, “He has shown himself to be disorganized without a coherent plan of governing, and generally incompetent.”
“I would give him a 2 (out of 10),” said Dr. Jennifer Dunn of the communications department. “The only reason my rating is that high is that he has actually followed through with some of his promises. However, many of his actions have either been contrary to his promises or against the interest of the American people. For example, he promised to ‘drain the swamp’ in Washington D.C. and instead has appointed almost exclusively Washington and business insiders.”
One of President Trump’s most controversial picks for a cabinet seat was that of charter school advocate, Betsy DeVos, who was appointed to Secretary of Education. We know her for her famous line: “I would imagine that there’s probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies”. But Dominican sees her as a real threat to the future of education in the country.
Zepeda, who’s studying to be a teacher, said, “She holds my career in her hands and she has no experience. She’s already managed to make student loans even more detrimental.”
Dr. Dunn adds, “Betsy DeVos owns a company that benefits from private student loans and she is currently trying to stop student loan forgiveness programs. She also benefits from charter school programs and want to supposedly promote school choice through charters. But such programs have been shown not to help student learning.”
Freshman student, Alexis Simon, disagrees with Torphy and Dr. Dunn by stating that Trump has not done much work his first 100 days. “There are reports saying he has spent many weekends on golf courses,” he said.
Despite the President’s visits to his infamous ‘Winter Whitehouse’, Mar-A-Largo, he has managed to put in place multiple policies, laws, and actions that have a grand impact on the future of this nation. Just last week he dropped The Mother of all Bombs in Afghanistan, following the week before 50 missile raid on Syrian bases. The American public has seen two attempts on a travel ban from seven countries in the Middle East region, both times were shut down by courts. He’s also approved the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline that was the center of controversy last year when Natives of that land protested for months on end to their right to have clean water. Trump has increased the number of undocumented immigrants being deported to 24,000 in just three months and is in the process of defunding the EPA to roll back on Obama’s Climate Change protection.
“I believe that each of these of these demonstrate selfishness, power, and authority all fueled by money,” Torphy said. “There is so much to say on each topic but at the foundation of them all is the silencing of voices and lives that are being treated as if they are nothing.”
Simon said, “I strongly disagree with his policies on immigration and terrorism. His method to keep America safe involves the abandonment of millions of refugees and immigrants, which breaks up millions of families.”
“His promise to bring coal jobs back to ‘coal country’ is a hollow one, as is his inaugural address promise to ‘care for every American,’” Heininger said. “He obviously thinks the rich matter more than the middle class and the poor so his attempts at policy (tax reform, health care reform) amount only your giant tax breaks for the wealthy.”
Is there anything Dominican students and faculty like about the Trump reign?
The answer is no.
Heininger said, “Really, I can’t think of any. Look at his efforts to gut and render useless the EPA, the Justice Department, and make Homeland Security the Office of Deporting Unwanted and Hunted-Down Persons,” he was able to tie in the situations in America to a novel he’s teaching his British Literature class, “George Orwell (author of 1984) would recognize this as the punitive state watching and stripping its citizens of their rights to read and think, to make change, and to protest injustice.”
When asked what sticks out the most about Trump the most. Dr. Dunn said, “The conflicts of interest he has. The head of the EPA wants to literally ban the EPA. The head of the State department does not want to travel to other countries to promote diplomacy. Those who are not out to destroy the agencies they are now in charge of are trying to create policies that will benefit their own business interests and not those of the American people.”
“He doesn’t believe in the truth, or conducting himself with integrity, or even basic honesty,” Heininger said. “Because he is hollow and uniformed, and he doesn’t read to learn new information to dislodge his prejudices, he believes in rumor and many conspiratorial lies.”
Does Dominican have any good expectations for President Trump’s next 100 days?
“I don’t know what to expect anymore,” Torphy said.
In Simon’s words, “I expect Trump to be in serious heat for even more outrageous and dangerous decisions.”
Heininger questions, “What strength of character can there be in a man who lies so constantly and does obvious flipflops on policy decisions because he has little or no coherent thoughts and no philosophy of governing?”
The United States may not be as united as we’d wish it was, but Dominican’s views on Trump’s first 100 days certainly is.