By Sebastian Godinez
Hello again. As with a new semester, we have a new President: Donald Trump. I’m sure many of us are concerned about what might happen under a Trump Presidency (myself included). He has, in the past week, signed executive orders reviving the Keystone XL and Dakota pipelines, giving funding for a border wall, proclaimed his inauguration a “day of patriotism”, and has begun the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act. So far, so predictable.
However, what Trump might do at any time is a mystery to pretty much everyone, save his closest advisors. Today (Thursday), his senior advisor told the press to ‘shut up’ because they got the results of the presidential election wrong. All in all, not the best week for trying to re-unite the country after a bitter election and “Making America Great Again” by taking their healthcare and declaring a ‘war’ on the press. And we’ve got two years to go with this trend. Why two and not four? Because there will be a Senate election in 2018 and 1/3 of the Senate is up for re-election (I don’t mention the House because it will probably stay Republican).
Trump needs Congress if he wants to get most of what he’s promised done. Right now Congress is Republican and they can pass many laws with little opposition. Trump said he’s going to nominate a Supreme Court Justice this week. So it’s a scary time for those not supporting the new President. However, and I say this with the greatest respect, protesting isn’t a viable strategy. It’s a great media tactic to be sure, but ultimately it achieves little to nothing. If you truly want to get something done, call your Senator or Representative, run for office or join an organization. Some of these options seem arbitrary or time-consuming, but it’s the way change happens.
If you want to stop President Trump and his agenda or that of the Republicans in Congress: VOTE. If you stay home, you lose any right to complain, the same point I made in my piece leading up to the election. For those who support Trump, vote to continue to allow his agenda to continue. But vote regardless of how you feel about President Trump. The level of civic participation, including voting and running for office, has gotten too low for my taste. It’s sad that today some 90% of House members and 80%+ of Senators win re-election. If you want change, you can make it. Vote and let yourself be heard.
Sebastian is a junior Political Science major.