February 10, 2017

It is nearly a month since the 45th President of the United States has been sworn into office. In this short time it has become very clear to me that a new era has dawned.

Regardless of whom you voted for or supported, we do have a new POTUS, for at least the next 4 years. However the transition has been incredibly disturbing for me personally and clearly for the nation, as evidenced by the numerous and consistent protests both nationally and around the world. The divide in this country is palpable and people are mired in the confusion of what is truth or fiction.

Those of us who tend to read or listen to one or two sources for information are likely not to have all the facts. Those who read and listen to several sources – may have most of the facts and those who rely on word of mouth or are simply not engaged are unable to effectively contribute to the process without following someone else’s lead. Regardless, the real question becomes: Is your source – any source real, fake or simply alternative facts?

President Trump’s style and that of his administration are working hard to influence your thinking. Between the constant push for sharing fallacies to later back pedal, to develop the lingo “alternative facts” as though it is OK to discount the truth and choose a different truth as perfectly acceptable or to constantly state the media is providing us with fake news – it is without a doubt the President is discouraging us to pay attention to any source that is not endorsed by him or his cabinet. It is absolutely appalling to feel as though I am being led to fall in lock step – (without questioning) with anything stated by officials from the White House. It somehow is beginning to feel as though we are being held hostage to one way or the highway. This is not exactly how a free society is suppose to work.

However, I get it, it is a ploy to distract us from the real damage being done to turn our government upside down and our nation into utter chaos. Right before our very eyes with the stroke of a pen, President Trump is signing executive order after executive order to run the country, just like he is running a corporation, ignoring the fact that we have an executive, a judicial and legislative branches of government.

Here are some of the real things going on while we are distracted by the flamboyancy of President Trump, his tweets and his administrations untruths. Keep in mind, it does not matter whether you agree or not, but it is critical that you need to know as these policy decisions will affect us individually and/or collectively as a nation. Please do not allow the sideshow to take you off course and stop you from paying attention to the policies being put in place. Learn the truth, gain an understanding of the effects they will have and be vigilant about paying attention. This is critical now more than ever.

  • Defunding portions of the Affordable Care Act to later completely repeal it is underway.
  • Stephen Bannon, the Chief Strategist for President Trump has tremendous power, while being viewed by many as a nationalist and white supremacist. Bannon has been elevated to have a seat on the National Security Council, which is the main forum for discussing issues of highest security and foreign policy.
  • President Trump signs an executive order to examine rolling back regulations from the 2010 Dodd-Frank law on Wall Street reform.
  • Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as Attorney General was a deeply divided vote due to his questionable stance on civil rights along with several other questionable cabinet nominations.
  • The U.S. has formally withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which means President Trump has decided to end ongoing international negotiations on trade.
  • The federal government has been placed on a hiring freeze for all agencies.
  • President Trump has re-instated a ban on international abortion counseling, which prevents foreign non-governmental organizations from providing counseling, referral services or doing any advocacy for abortion services in their country if they receive any type of funding from the U.S. otherwise they will lose their funding.
  • President Trump has signed orders to advance the construction of both controversial pipelines, the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access.
  • President Trump will be building the wall at the U.S. –Mexico border that will cost approximately $20 billion and the U.S. will foot the bill despite claims he figure out a way to ensure taxpayers are paid back in the future.
  • The infamous travel ban suspending refugee programs for a while and banning arrivals regardless of visa and green card status from Muslim-majority countries, which do not include Muslim-majority countries where President Trump has business dealings.
  • The Vice President had to cast the deciding vote for Betsy DeVos despite the strong effort the democrats in the legislature led against her confirmation to sway 1 vote. DeVos has a record that spits in the face good practices for public education be it traditional or charter.

These few examples should give a clear reason as to why we must vote in every election. There is no time for apathy and one party rule is simply dangerous. Do not be dissuaded by his constant attacks on the independent judiciary, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and the free enterprise system, it should bring each of us pause and fuel us stay engaged. Each and everyday President Trump will be making decisions that will impact each of us and whatever your medium is to keep up with world affairs, make sure you pay attention and rely on several sources to get at the truth. Stay Woke – my friends!