Trump getting off on the wrong foot after first week

Published 10:55 am Thursday, February 2, 2017

By Joel McNeece

I wrote in my first column post-election that Donald J. Trump earned the right to prove himself as president. I still believe that, but he’s making it difficult to extend that chance when he and his administration are shooting craziness at us at such an alarming rate.

Barely a week into his presidency, Donald Trump is signing off on executive orders as fast as ink will leave the pen. It wasn’t but a few months ago Republicans were decrying President Barack Obama’s use of executive orders as “power grabs” and “unilateral edicts.”

Let’s pause for a minute and address these Republicans. These are the same people throughout the campaign that were calling then candidate Trump every name in the book and stating how they could never support his detestable proposals. That’s the nastiness of politics. Today, these same elected leaders follow him like puppy dogs scared to death to question him.

The big controversy over the weekend was one of those executive orders in which Pres. Trump temporarily bans people from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States. The scenes from airports around the country over the weekend were surreal.

These are pandering actions based in fear, which is not what our country is supposed to be about.

Remember “the only thing to fear is fear itself?” Pres. Trump appears scared to death of anyone who doesn’t look like him, talk like him, or heaven forbid has something critical to say about him or any of his policies.

Let’s be clear, since Sept. 11, 2001, there has been no terrorist attack in the U.S. by anyone who came here from the seven countries Trump has now banned, sending outrage through the rest of the world. That is creating more danger than previously existed.

Trump’s ban, which appears unconstitutional, targets exclusively the Muslim religion, although it should be noted he excluded the majority Muslim countries where he has business ties.

Such bigotry has far reaching impact. Mississippi State University President Dr. Mark Keenum released this statement Monday, “The recent Presidential Executive Orders…have created uncertainty and anxiety among valued members of our university community — as across the nation. MSU is taking appropriate steps to support and assist our international students, faculty, staff and researchers as these issues evolve.”

Instead of arguing about the size of his crowds, destroying foreign relations, endorsing “alternative facts” (as if that’s a thing), and possibly jump-starting a period of significant price inflation for us all, the president needs to step away from the Twitter button and focus on what he can do to, as he would put it, “Make America Great Again,” because we’ve got a lot of repair work to do after his first week.

Joel McNeece is publisher of The Calhoun County Journal in Bruce. You may email him at joelmcneece@gmail.com.