13 Things Donald Trump Has Done To Piss Me Off

“‘But he hasn’t even done anything yet!’ erupts from every corner of the internet, including whatever fetid swamps Milo Yiannopolous resides in.”

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It’s only been six days since Donald Trump was elected president. Choruses of “But he hasn’t even done anything yet!” erupt from every corner of the internet, including whatever fetid swamps Milo Yiannopolous resides in. But for those of you at home keeping score, here are 13 things that Donald Trump has done to earn my fiery ire.

1. Jailed Journalists

While covering the Women’s March in D.C., six journalists from various organizations including RT America and Vocativ were jailed. The journalists could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted on felony charges under an anti-rioting D.C. statute.

Though Donald Trump has yet to comment on this specific case, his delegitimization of and “running war” with the media tells us exactly what we should think of these journalists and what he thinks about them, despite the fact that all have denied participating in or urging others to participate in the violence seen on inauguration day.

Shoutout to brave and independent journalists.

2. EPA and Science Agency Gag Order

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Donald Trump ordered a “regulatory freeze pending review” on the EPA , as a larger communication clampdown on the agency. According to the New York Times, “emails sent to EPA staff and reviewed by The Associated Press also detailed specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency’s social media accounts.”

He is directly attacking regulations put in place before Barack Obama ended his presidency, a first step toward killing them. He has also, through this action, kneecapped the ability of science agencies to inform the public about the greatest environmental crisis facing us – climate change.

Shoutout to @RogueNasa and @BadlandsNPS for the clapback.

3. Literally all of his cabinet picks

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Betsy DeVos knows nothing about banking, education, or government. Steve Mnuchin made a fortune on struggling homeowners through legally dubious methods that earned him the nickname “the foreclosure king.”

Ben Carson is a neurosurgeon with no government experience. Rex Tillerson used to be the CEO of Exxon Mobil, creating an unprecedented level of conflict for a position as Secretary of State. And Jeff Sessions doesn’t know whether or not to protect atheists as Attorney General.

Shoutout to Chuck Schumer for a vicious “No” on DeVos. (Keep it up.)

4. Federal Hiring Freeze

Trump has instituted a hiring freeze on any federal government hiring except for those in national security, public safety, and the military. This hurts many veterans who would benefit from jobs in the public sector, and ensures that every other segment of government is weakened except for the ability to attack abroad and at home.

Speaking of federal employees, shoutout to the Secret Service agent who would rather take jail than protect Donald Trump.

5. Justification For Police State

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In a tweet, Donald Trump said that if Chicago couldn’t keep their apparent “carnage” under control, he would “send in the Feds!” Not only does no one know what this really means, but it’s going to be a little difficult to keep a bunch of federal employees on staff after that hiring freeze we talked about.

Donald Trump is laying out the justification for a police state, with the apparent “carnage” as the cited excuse, even though studies show that, largely, crime is currently at its lowest levels ever.

Shoutout to crime for not existing as much.

6. “Immigration Restriction.”

Denying that he would follow-through on his most consistent and wild campaign promise, Donald Trump claims that he is not calling for a muslim ban, but only “immigration restrictions.” However, the executive order shortly restricts travel and immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Iran.

He has also vowed to ramp up the deportation and detention forces regarding immigrants, and publicly publishing a daily list of immigrants that commit crime, reinforcing the idea that immigrants commit a lot of crime, and they don’t. It’s not even close.

Shoutout to my hardworking and disenfranchised illegal immigrants. 

7. The Wall

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Even the Homeland Security Secretary has admitted that building a wall alone will not work. Some have noted that the wall is not a particularly effective means of reducing illegal immigration. Others still have noted, citing research by the congressional budget office, that here is no economic justification for it, as the cost for the wall will be astronomical – between $12-15 billion for creation – in the low estimates – far more than any monetary gains made by it. The congressional budget office also estimated that upkeep for the wall would exceed the initial construction costs within seven years.

Further research shows that immigrants are less likely to commit crime than their citizen counterparts, and contribute a great deal to our economy in the form of taxes and work. If they all left, we’d be in trouble.

Lastly, despite Donald Trump’s claims, Mexico has repeatedly and steadfastly refused to pay for that wall, guaranteeing that the money Trump needs for it is going to come from robbing us – the taxpayers – blind, and he has changed his position to say that Mexico will “reimburse” us for the funds we spend on the it.

If “reimbursed” isn’t synonymous with “scam”, I just don’t know what is.

Shoutout to the Mexican president for canceling his visit with Trump. 

8. Lying About Inauguration Size and Popular Vote Slaughter

Many can’t understand why some of the issues of most apparent urgency to the president appear to be trivial, like the size of his inauguration (which was visibly smaller than Barack Obama’s), or his loss of the popular vote (in which he was gutted like a pig by Hillary “NastyWoman” Clinton).

The facts are there, and anyone who says they’re not is lying.

Shoutout to everyone who skipped attending or watching the inauguration.

9. Dakota Access Pipeline

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Trump has issued an executive order to restart construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline that Standing Rock, North Dakota had refused, reversing an order by Obama to halt construction on it. Trump has cited the construction jobs that the pipeline will create, but failed to mention the ecological and environmental risks that the residents are rejecting.

Shoutout to Standing Rock and all the protestors. Keep warm.

10. The Affordable Care Act

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Through executive order, Trump has taken aim at the first steps of repealing Obamacare. Particularly foolhardy is House and Senate Republicans like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, who desperately want to repeal the law but have no clear plan for a replacement, leaving millions without the healthcare that they need for themselves and their families.

Shoutout to everyone who just turned 26.

11. Abortion gag order

Trump has issued another executive order that no federal funding will be allotted to any organizations that perform abortion services. This fulfills on the promise to defund organizations like Planned Parenthood, which provide a range of healthcare services that actually reduce the amount of abortions and teen pregnancies in the US.

Shoutout to all the doctors that perform abortions, and solidarity for the ones who can’t.

12. Support for anti-LGBTQ legislation

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Trump pledged to sign the First Amendment Defense Act, if passed by Congress. It allows broad discrimination against LGBTQ folks, including by employers, businesses, landlords, and healthcare providers, provided the discriminator claims to be motivated by deeply held religious beliefs.

This overturns an executive order from Obama in 2014, prohibiting discrimination among federal contractors.

Shoutout to my struggling LGBTQ folks, especially youth. You are valued and important.

13. Elimination Of Arts Funding

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Trump’s delegitimization of the arts becomes tangible as he reaches for a budget that would eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts entirely. Donald Trump has routinely criticized art in the form of SNL, Hamilton, Meryl Streep, or anyone that says anything that is critical of him or just an impression he doesn’t like.

Let me tell you something. Art is power, and art has always been to agitate and provoke. Shakespeare spent his time criticizing the folly of nobility, Claude McKay and Langston Hughes wrote eloquently about the plight of black Americans in a supposedly gilded age, and one of Pablo Picasso’s most famous paintings is about the bombing of a Basque Country village during the Spanish Civil War. No wonder Trump wants to silence that. No wonder he will not succeed.

Shoutout to my fellow artists who just won’t stay quiet. 

Silver lining?

Democracy is alive right now. That’s the silver lining. I included those shoutouts for a reason, and it’s that you need to know you are not alone.

Every day, I’m seeing people take up the task that is asked of them, even though it’s more than they’ve ever had to carry before. I see people calling their representatives, helping others find out who that is for them, rallies, marches, funding, donations, journalism, research,  …and it all comes down to one word: Resistance.

What Donald Trump is doing is not by accident. There’s a method in the madness.

If you don’t know that he lost the popular vote, that his inauguration was smaller, that his approval rating is garbage, or that tens of thousands more people showed up to protest than to celebrate him, then you will think he has more support than he really does.

This means that you won’t know that Democrats, Republicans, gay people, celebrities, journalists, black people, white people, Asian people, Mexican people, women, immigrants, and badass National Park Services are united in rejecting this supposed “leader.” You won’t know you’re not alone.

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He doesn’t want you to know, either, because that is what mobilizes you against his agenda. That is what gives you the strength and courage to oppose, because you know that your fellow citizens are with you. He doesn’t have the support, he doesn’t have the numbers, and he doesn’t have the votes.

But you do.

Rise up.

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The Real Abortion Conversation No One Is Having

Pro-life: It’s a person, and that’s all we need to know.

Pro-choice: It’s not a person, and that’s all we need to know.

The only problem is that neither of those are “all we need to know.”

Abortion is one of the most hotly contested political issues in modern politics, as evidenced by the time that this here post sparked an over 100 comment and sub-comment debate on my Facebook:

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Samantha Bee actually does a good job here of describing how it came to be so. The TL:DR version of it is that the religious right specifically chose the issue of abortion and amplified it on the national stage in order to exert political power. Small misconceptions were turned into large ones and over time that gap widened until you could see the Republican nominee for president saying women should receive some sort of punishment for abortions, and this:

I think it’s it’s terrible. If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month [on the final day], you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby. – Donald Trump

Clinton: Well, that is not what happens in these cases.

Yeah, of course it’s not. People who have actually performed the procedure that Donald Trump is describing with woeful imprecision have said that’s not what happens.

However, I don’t think that’s what this conversation is really about.

The Trolley Problem

Much of the debate surrounding abortion centers on whether or not the fetus is a person or not. Allow me to introduce The Trolley Problem, which you’ve definitely heard before. It goes something like this:

There is a train on a collision course with five people on the tracks. There is another route the train can take, one toward a track with one person. You are standing at a switchboard that allows you to change the train’s destination. You cannot save all six people. Which track do you choose?

The reason this thought experience causes so much turmoil is that it causes us to confront something that we take extreme precautions to avoid confronting: That we all make determinations on the value of human life.

The Trolley Problem gets even more complicated if you ask any questions whatsoever about the identity of the people on the tracks. Is the one person the president? Are the five geriatric patients with unfortunate prognoses? Is the one a child? Did the five just get accepted to Harvard? Are there fathers? Mothers? Did one of the five just get married?

Those…are not easy questions. And after you ask all of them, you probably still won’t know what to do.

The Real Abortion Conversation: Whose Life Matters More?

Support The Troops
Support The Troops

It’s no secret that people who are pro-life tend to lean conservative, and people who are pro-choice the opposite direction. However, keeping this debate at the level of whether or not the fetus is a human being helps both sides ignore the subtext of the issue, and I think that’s why they keep it that way.

For the pro-life crowd, it allows them to pretend that we don’t make these decisions about human life all the time. Because it seems unconscionable to make a determination on whose life weighs more, there’s something of a prohibition against admitting that we do that.

“Support the troops” is met with rallying cries of support from the same people, while not acknowledging that the reason we “support the troops” is that we have collectively deemed their sacrifice as worth the price of freedom. Many more than five people have died for our national security, but we made the decision that their deaths were worth the security we have.

That’s not comfortable, and it’s not as easy as you might think to make a definitive ethical case for why this person’s life matters more than the mother it could be endangering.

For the pro-choice crowd, it seems much too callous and shallow to acknowledge that you value one human’s life as being less than the other, but that’s exactly what we do all the time. It could be tricky and difficult to make a definitive ethical case for why you believe that a human being’s life is worth less than another’s, so it’s probably much more simple to say it’s not a human to begin with.

However, what’s more brutal, doing it or talking about it?

The much more digestible claim for both of these groups to make is:

Pro-life: It’s a person, and that’s all we need to know.

Pro-choice: It’s not a person, and that’s all we need to know.

The only problem is that neither of those are “all we need to know”, because both ignore the hard subtext of the conversation, which is that we choose all the time whose life matters more.

And while we languish in this contentious midway point, the real problems of abortion are happening. Women need them and can’t get them; abortions are legal as per Roe V. Wade, but women may have to go hundreds of miles to get one, and lawmakers want to defund Planned Parenthood, based on doctored videos designed to scare the public.

If both of these groups don’t step up to the plate and start the difficult, brutal work of defining what standards we use to determine who lives and who dies, the conversation will remain in a quagmire, with the real victims unclear and far away.

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