Opinion: Trump’s first week leaves the U.S. in turmoil

Brion Hoban

Credit: ABC News
No amount of hyperbole is unjustified. Donald Trump’s first week in office begins an era of horror that is almost impossible to comprehend.
Much time and effort has been spent mocking Trump as he continuously claimed that the crowd at his inauguration was bigger than the crowd at President Obama’s. All photographic evidence proves this to be a lie.
Yet it is very important not to get distracted by grandiose lies like this. While Trump loudly boasted about his crowds, he was quietly undoing eight years of progress.
Trump’s first action was to sign an executive order aimed at scrapping Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act currently provides healthcare to 30 million Americans.
It will be demolished and no other healthcare plan will be put in place as a replacement. Instead the allocated funds will be used to pay for upper class tax cuts while millions die of easily treatable diseases.
He is moving ahead with plans to build his border wall. Contrary to what he repeated throughout his campaign, it will be American tax payers rather than Mexico who end up funding his great folly.
The wall will be ruinously expensive and ecologically disastrous. Also, it will not halt illegal immigration as the areas of the border that already feature walls are pockmarked with tunnels running beneath them.
The final action of his first week was to ban all refugees entering America for 120 days and banning Syrian refuges indefinitely. He signed this order on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
There is no satire that could possibly be more nightmarish than reality. There is no political thriller than can be described as far-fetched ever again.
The only solace is that Trump is and always has been wildly unpopular. He entered office with the lowest presidential approval rating in history.
He gained just 46% of the vote in the election and received 2.8 million votes less than Hillary Clinton.
The American people rejected Donald Trump, even if their flawed electoral system facilitated his election.
The outstanding success of the Women’s March points to his unpopularity. Half a million people marched in opposition in Washington DC, more than three times the amount that attended the inauguration.
An estimated five million people participated worldwide. This level of engagement and protest will be crucial to stop the bleeding over the next four years.
Will Ireland suffer as a result of Trump’s reign? Yes, but provided he does not start a major war, the worst consequences will be economic.
Ireland will lose thousands of jobs if Trump decides to match our low corporation tax rate. Trade with America will likely be hampered by his commitment against the spread of free trade.
Even stricter immigration measures may result in America no longer to be a prime holiday destination for Irish men and woman. J1 visas are also on Trump’s chopping list.
Yet we will never suffer any measurable percentage as badly as the citizens of America. It is our duty as fellow human beings to assist and resist in any way we can.

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