By James Osolo.
It’s one month since Donald John Trump was sworn in as the president of the United States and during this time a lot has happened. Talk of the Executive Orders, talk of Controversies, and talk of it. Starting from Executive Orders, he has signed more than 50 executive orders, which looks a lot but still lags behind the ones which the immediate former president Obama. So what has he really done? Other than falsely claiming that his inauguration numbers were more than president Obama’s or claiming that he got the highest electoral college win in modern history even though he falls far behind most of the recent presidents including Obama?
Call it a month of chaos or crisis. What has gone down in the White House is unprecedented to say at least. In his first post-inauguration press conferences he said that he has done a lot, in fact, more than any other president. But what is a lot to Donald may not be a lot to everyone else. And this is why it is so.
On the order authorizing the construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico, sounds like a typical build the wall cry he had on the campaign but how possible is it and who will pay for it? As per now its estimated to cost around 20 billion US dollars to construct the wall and there’s no way Mexico will pay. The financing of this project remains a pipe dream.
On the Keystone pipeline permits, this is a project that was rejected by the Obama administration after a lot of consideration and complaints from environment protectors. The document was already in the public domain by the time Trump was taking over. Practically, there’s very little new things which Trump has done on it other than signing the document Obama rejected years ago. The viability of this project and its net effect on the lives of American’s still remain a mystery.
Taking the orders of deregulation, which is widely considered as a rollback of Dold-Frank is still a work in progress and the treasury secretary must still come up with the measures to ensure it’s successful, still far away from achieving its goal.
On the crime order signed on February 9th which was widely praised as a crackdown to organize crime in the inner cities does not give details on how they are going to do this and how different it’s from the one of the previous administration which also tried to remove crime in the cities.
On the recent crackdown on undocumented immigrants, that’s nothing new. All the presidents Obama included have done exactly that. On the order of defeating ISIS, it will just remain an order since there’s nothing different with what Obama put in place unless he plans on sending the troops to those countries something he has said he won’t do.
The order on the Travel ban is a little bit different. It’s a policy that dramatically changed immigration and visa policies for seven Muslim-majority countries. But it was also swiftly rejected by the courts which declared it unconstitutional. Therefore it means that until the administration comes up with a new order their signature policy is dead.
So it’s right to conclude that it’s all been just words and nothing more. But the chaos in the White House continues and the tweets keep streaming in each and every day. He is fighting friendly nations like Australia and threatening to invade Mexico if they don’t put their house in order. He has also declared war on the media calling anything they write fake news
During the first month, he has spent almost all his weekends golfing even though he was always quick to condemn president Obama for doing the same. There’s confusion in his staff and most of them don’t know what to do or whether they are contradicting themselves with public interest
The confusion and chaos have led to the sacking of his national security advisor Michael Flynn for vehemently lying to vice president Pence about his communication with the Russian ambassador. How about the staffs that lie every day on the national television to please their boss?
President Trump poses a challenge to decades of tradition and precedent. He is masterful as conflating words and actions in a way that enrages and alarms his opponents and exhilarates and excites his supporters. It’s more important than ever to distinguish what is from what isn’t. Getting to know the difference between what the president says and what he does is one of the only things that will keep our public debate from plunging ever deeper into the hall of mirrors.
James Osolo is an International correspondence based in Mombasa. Emailfirstname.lastname@example.org