Comedian Trevor Noah stated it best on Twitter last Tuesday night: “Lord in Heaven. Why did the first politician to follow through on his promises have to be Donald Trump?” This Tweet, written by the host of "The Daily Show," was a direct response to President Donald Trump’s plans to investigate potential voter fraud.
Though Twitter is a social media platform perfect for expressing thoughts felt in the moment, Noah’s remarks towards Trump are still relevant over one week later. Over the course of his first 10 days in office, President Trump has signed 18 executive orders, many of which restrict the rights of United States Citizens, while also harming the lives of those living overseas.
Before contemplating Trump’s reasoning behind signing these orders, one must first understand the meaning of an executive action. Executive Orders are simply described by the Washington Post as an “official statement from the president about how the federal agencies he oversees are to use their resources.” In no way do these orders create new laws or use government funds. Instead they guide the government in more closely following the Constitution and other laws made by Congress.
So if the President is signing orders that align with our nation’s Constitution and help our government follow the laws created by our Congress, why are people so angry? Simply put, basic human rights are being infringed upon with every new order signed by the President.
When President Trump signed his first order to ease what he labels the “burdens of the Affordable Care Act,” he ultimately laid down a vague procedure set to disassemble the law with no set plan on how to replace it. American citizens across the nation have since been left terrified as to where their healthcare stands under this new administration.
Now zoom in on a more specific region of America: the Dakotas and Iowa region. In this area, Trump plans to advance construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline through an executive order. The construction of this pipeline would be an incredible danger first in regards to water contamination (specifically for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe), but also in the event of any misstep leading to an explosion. And to think that this order was signed by Trump in support of one of his friends, Harold Hamm, the founder and CEO of North Dakota oil company Continental Resources.
Those are just two orders that directly affect United States citizens. Take a look at Trump’s reinstatement of the Mexico-City Policy, or more aptly nicknamed “Global Gag Rule.” The rule restricts American funding to any nation that performs and/or informs their citizens of abortion rights. This act threatens nations into abolishing abortion in fear of losing money crucial to their nation’s stability. This executive order will not prevent abortions. Instead, it will force women to seek other unsafe and deadly means of preventing pregnancy.
Finally there's Trump’s infamous Muslim Ban. By restricting seven nations, in which the majority of citizens are Muslim, from traveling to the United States over the next 90 days while simultaneously halting refugee travel over the next 120 days, this executive order has the potential to sentence fleeing refugees to death.
When the facts surrounding Trump’s executive orders are laid out one by one, it becomes easy to see why citizens are unsettled and scared for the future of their country. But these orders are as vague as they are dangerous. Even those forced to enact them, such as airport security, are confused as to who these orders apply to and how strictly to enforce them.
Upon announcing the Muslim ban, protests at airports across the country emerged immediately.
Though the nation remains uncertain of the stability and power of these orders, the will to resist and fight Trump’s actions is clear.