The Old Man On The Mountain

A View From the Backwoods of NH

Trump – The First Forty Days

Now I know as well as anyone that it takes time to institute policies and to see results. But I also know that what a President does in the beginning is almost always a harbinger of what’s to come. Obama jumped right on to healthcare, making sure everyone could be covered – not by curbing costs (as I’d hoped and expected), but by making sure the government would write the checks. He didn’t address jobs or the disappearing middle class – he just apologized to the World for who America was and wrote more checks.

But now there’s a new sheriff in town – one who said that he’d “Make America Great Again”. So I couldn’t wait to see what he’d jump on first. I mean, after all, he’s a businessman – not some “say anything” politician. Surely he had a plan to hit the ground running. Well, from where I sit he did try just that – to hit the ground running – except he tripped, fell and skinned his knees. And for all his bluster and promises, I’m really starting to get concerned with his agenda.

One of the first things he said was that he was going to “drain the swamp” in Washington. And while he’s worked hard to keep this promise, what he didn’t say was that he was going to take that drainage and put it into the White House swimming pool. The people that he’s appointed so far are, mostly, the whole reason that Obama enjoyed eight years in the White House. I think the only negative conservative that he HASN’T invited back is Dick Cheney. Could Mike Pence be Trump’s Cheney? I hope not.

Next up was “Executive Orders” – like the businessman that he is, Trump jumped right into autonomy and began issuing executive orders to push his agenda. Unfortunately for him, America is a democracy and, even though the President has broad powers, he cannot just “write the rules”. That’s why we’re governed by laws, not orders. Trump found this out while trying to ban Muslims. I appreciate what he was trying to accomplish – protecting Americans from foreign enemies, and I understand why he chose the countries he did. But even I understand that you can’t “ban” a religion, or a race. What you can do is ensure that full background checks are completed before allowing people to enter the US. Like we were promised after 9/11. And, unless he found his legal advisors in the yellow pages under “wicked good, wicked cheap”, then he (and they) should have known this too.

After this debacle, he took a few steps back and went to what he knows – business. He pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and has made some movement toward bringing back manufacturing and the jobs that go with it. I must say though, I haven’t seen much of anything on rebuilding the middle class and restoring the jobs and wages that were lost there. But at least he’s trying to improve unemployment. One way he could do this would be to trash the current system that determines the unemployment rate and replace it with one that honestly and accurately reflects EVERYONE that’s out of work (not just those who filed recently) and the true value of the “jobs created”. It doesn’t help anyone if we lost 125K jobs paying $50K average and replaced them with 175K jobs paying $30K average. At least then we’d know what to work on.

Next up are a few that are close to my heart. The first is his approval to move forward with both the XL and Dakota Access Pipelines. I don’t understand how risking the largest freshwater aquifer in America (XL pipeline route) or pissing off the folks who lived here first (and once again screwing them over) will help to “Make America Great Again”. The ONLY people that will profit from this is Big Oil (and those that invest in it). You don’t have to be a rocket scientist (or even a HS graduate) to understand that pipelines are about as safe and stable as most third world countries. You can always develop alternative fuels – you can’t “develop” water. And really, haven’t we screwed the Native Americans enough, white man?

Next is his issue with LGBTQRSUVWXYZ (my apologies to the other 13 letters I left out). His views on same-sex marriages, transgenders, bathrooms, etc. appear, at least to me, to be driven by his religious beliefs. And we all know that “separation of church and state” means exactly that – keep your beliefs out of the governing of others. I can’t see how this issue has anything to do with “making America great”, unless you’re looking at it from a bigot’s perspective. If someone is not endangering the life, liberty or pursuit of happiness of others, then leave them alone – this isn’t Puritan England, this is America damn it.

And what’s with this “going after the states that have approved marijuana use”? Have you not paid attention to the war on drugs (you know, the war that makes Vietnam look like a win)? Marijuana is a non-addictive drug, unlike alcohol or opium. With all the problems that Big Pharma has introduced with the exploding opioid epidemic, I’d really like to think that your focus would be on keeping Americans safe, not capitulating to the industries that are telling you how bad marijuana is.

And this last message is to Trump personally – STOP watching Fox and Friends. The information that you keep basing your opinions on and regurgitate on Twitter only does negative damage to your image. You are the leader of our country, with resources that the rest of the world could only dream of having access to. Use it – be intelligent – stop surrounding yourself with drainage and get back to what you promised – Making America Great Again. ‘Cause I’m gonna really be pissed if you jerked me around just to get into office.