Any hopes that Donald Trump would become more presidential or moderate in office must surely be expiring.
In his inaugural address Trump used the phrase ‘America First’. This was the name in the 1940s of an anti-interventionist committee, which opposed the USA entering the war against fascism. The use of this term played to the Alt-Right and American fascist parties. It would be naïve to think Trump does not know the historical connotations of this term.
What has happened in his first week in office? Trump signed 14 presidential orders.
On 22nd January came the first attacks on healthcare provision. If ‘Obamacare’ is repealed millions of Americans will be left without healthcare. The US has no comprehensive National Health Service. For millions of Americans healthcare goes with the job. This means if you lose your job you and your family can lose access to healthcare.
23rd January brought a return to the global gag on abortion. Funding will be restricted for global healthcare groups that provide abortion services. This will cost women’s lives.
On the 24th January the climate took a battering. Trump and his team are climate change deniers. Trump signed two memos for oil pipelines. These pipelines signal how the Trump administration will focus on extracting fossil fuels, not investing in renewable energy sources, thus adding to global warming. The Dakota Access pipeline crosses land sacred to Native American groups.
On the 25th January Trump attacked sanctuary cities, denying federal funds to more than 400 cities and counties that given support to undocumented migrants. He also issued an order calling for the construction of the wall on the border with Mexico. Thus Trump continues to scapegoat migrants and foster hatred. He also on the 25th suggested he would like to see torture reintroduced and that he believes torture works. His views have received widespread condemnation. It’s no wonder the President of Mexico cancelled a meeting with Trump.
On the 27th Trump signed an order to ban all refugees coming to the USA and has imposed a 90 day restriction on anyone from seven Majority Muslim countries (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) from entering the USA.
We need to tell the British Government we do not want a special relationship with Donald Trump. Theresa May should be embarrassed to be the first political leader to go to meet Trump. Her initial silence in reaction to the refugee ban translated as acceptance, a position we cannot allow in this country.
It looks like we should expect an atrocity a day from Trump. We must salute the women’s marches of Saturday 21st January and organise to support this mass movement. The necessary job of building the resistance has begun. Trump won’t go away for a while, but neither will we.