After more than two years of campaigning, President-elect Donald Trump will take the Oval Office. Trump will now sit behind the president’s desk known as the “Resolute desk,” a gift from Great Britain made from the hull of the 19th-century warship HMS Resolute. According to White House Museum website: “Every president since Hayes — except Presidents Johnson, Nixon, and Ford — has used the Resolute desk,”
The definition of resolute is to be “admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering” and now Trump must exemplify these traits in his policy and administration. However, what is scaring some people is the political rhetoric and racist vitriol that propelled him to the presidency. Combined with a Republican-controlled House and Senate, it signals dramatic and potentially devastating changes ahead that will affect millions of Americans.
On day one he has promised to repeal Obamacare, a move that will cause suffering among those in critical medical need. Trump has not revealed any substantive plan to replace the government insurance program.
He will repeal every executive order that President Obama has issued that he deems unconstitutional. It is odd that a businessman with no legal background will challenge a man who taught Constitutional law at Harvard, but this has not stopped Trump. Trump will undoubtedly target the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) issued by President Obama in 2014. The order allows certain undocumented immigrants in the United States who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to receive a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation. This allowed an estimated 45 percent of undocumented immigrants to legally stay and work in the United States.
Trump will now be able to appoint a US Supreme Court Justice to fill the seat vacated in the wake of the death of Antonin Scalia. An obstructionist Republican-controlled Senate refused to move ahead on confirmation of President Obama’s choice. Senate Republicans stated that the next president should make the choice and if Clinton was elected they would not confirm her choice either. Trump has stated that he will appoint a justice that will help overturn the historic Roe v. Wade decision that made it legal for a woman to have an abortion.
A new U.S. Attorney General will be named to replace current Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Under Lynch’s leadership, the Justice Department undertook unprecedented actions and investigations over police shootings of unarmed Black men. The Justice Department uncovered systemic racism and possible hate group membership in police departments and municipalities across the United States. The Black Lives Matter movement arose and brought attention to policing in communities of color. An overwhelming number of Whites, however, saw this as an attack on police officers and their daily sacrifice. During the campaign, Trump sided with the pro-police activists and promised huge support and a change in the Justice Department. Among these changes is the strong possibility that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani will be named Attorney General. While mayor of New York the controversial “stop & frisk” methods of the NYPD flourished. Scores of Black and Latino males were illegally searched and detained by police for minor reasons. In addition, the Voting Rights Bill must be renewed by Congress. Republican-controlled states in the South have called for the easing of restrictions that were levied over civil rights violations against Black voters. These states insist that tighter Voter ID laws need to be put in place to prevent election fraud. However, it has been proved that voter fraud is rare and that the states’ requests are an attempt at voter disenfranchisement.
A resolute President Trump will now have the opportunity to act on his campaign promises.