Editorial: Your move, America


For every executive action, there is an equal and opposite public reaction.

Derived from Newton’s third law of motion, this principle has guided the first 12 days of Donald J. Trump’s presidency. It has been a torrid game of seesaw featuring Trump and activists, as well as politicians, and journalists who cannot seem to get ahead of them.

To kick off Trump’s term in office, the world (on all seven continents) responded with a grassroots movement labeled the Women’s March on Washington. Its goal was to protest his campaign rhetoric and plans in a sea of pink that dwarfed the size of the previous day’s inauguration crowd.

At this point in time, there was no distinct objective for the protesters. But there would be soon.

The dismantling of the Affordable Care Act. The beginnings of a border wall between the United States and Mexico. The temporary travel ban on those belonging to seven Muslim-majority countries.

Each of these executive actions has been met with intense protests from Americans. Most recently, the travel ban caused immediate resistance around the country, the largest of which occurred at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Anti-Trump protesters seem ready to pounce at any given moment.

The word “divided” has frequently been used to describe the current state of the U.S., but at this point it has practically been obliterated.

Among all the chaos that has ensued, the only certainty when the sun rises in the morning is there will be fresh chaos to come. The only normal quality of Trump’s presidency thus far has been abnormality.

So it’s time to ask the question: Is there a new normal?

The answer is both yes and no.

The first thing to understand is while American voters put Trump in the White House on his platform, they did not do so comfortably. As everyone has probably heard at this point, Clinton won the popular vote, and even though Trump’s favorability ratings have improved, they are still dismal, with about half the country rating him as “unfavorable.”

But they did elect him. And Trump’s firm ability to follow through with his controversial campaign promises has turned the political arena into a battlefield. Doubters suggested that he was simply trying to gain votes. However, he has followed through swiftly.

The normality of the situation can also be gauged by comparisons to the past. For example, much of the restructuring of federal agencies that Trump has been criticized for since taking office is entirely in line with his predecessors. However, the travel ban has been a different story, and people have gone so far as to call it unconstitutional and un-American.

At the same time, there is nothing normal about the role media — both mainstream and social media — has had in altering political climate. With Trump waging an all-out war with mainstream outlets such as CNN and The New York Times, the majority of news coverage currently portrays a consistent anti-Trump bias. While the validity of the mainstream media has been at odds with that of the White House itself, it is difficult to know who to trust.

This issue has escalated further and created a landmine of articles to explode with each action Trump has taken. The result is an intense propagation of outrage on Facebook and Twitter for every move coming out of his administration.

With the rampant use of social media to discuss current events, there is nowhere to hide, except behind other political frenzies.

Remember the size of the movement to occupy Standing Rock Indian Reservation in order to prevent the Dakota Access pipeline from being built? It was eventually victorious. That is, until Trump signed a presidential memorandum to review and approve the permit in an expedited manner.

But who has time to talk about that when executive orders are being signed daily?

We’ve reached a point where it’s impossible to prioritize which cause is more important than another. And therein lies the new normal: News is moving faster than it can be covered effectively.

In case you missed it, Trump’s latest action came at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, when he nominated conservative judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the opening in the Supreme Court.

Your move, America.

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  1. In my memory, what I will call “nasty politics” started with Rush “He’s a Nazi” Limbaugh as he started his “America Held Hostage” campaign during the Clinton presidency. This continued through the Obama presidency (I refuse to listen to him any more but I am fairly sure he continued his diatribes). In the interval between Clinton and Obama, George Dubya Bush received similar treatment from liberal sources.

    The overtly egotistical person that is Mr. Trump makes him easier to attack that most. What has been forgotten is that citizens should respect the office of the President. Yes, even if it seems as though the man in the office does not! Mr. Clinton was impeached for being a sleaze. True, but not an impeachable offence. I think Mr. Clinton’s time could have been better spent dealing with Osama Bin Laden rather than with a vindictive Congress.

    I don’t agree with the travel ban but I understand why Trump did it. It is not the end of the world. I agree with the nomination of Judge Gorsuch. I also hope Congress makes it possible to repeal Roe v Wade which is the end of the world for one life at a time. I do not agree with the liberal outlook that seems to say “if I want it I ought to have it”. Seemingly ignored are the consequences of actions based on such a philosophy. Equally disagreeable is the notion of “if it doesn’t result in disaster it must be OK” as in despoiling of the environment.

    It is not America’s turn to react to Mr. Trump. It didn’t take long for indignation to provide the opportunity for destructive behavior (yesterday at Cal Tech). Study his decisions, give time to evaluate his actions and respect the office.

  2. “the majority of news coverage currently portrays a consistent anti-Trump bias” I think what you mean is they are refuting obvious misstatements, challenging illegal actions, and calling BS when appropriate. This con has run on long enough, time for impeachment. It was neat of him to think of running with a “poison pill” for a VP, but he wont last long either.

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