Tag: donald trump

The Debate About “Birthright”

Recently, President Trump said that he is planning to sign an executive order to ban people from attaining citizenship from birthright, saying, “We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States.” His statement was made in reference to the fact that those who are born in the United States whose parents are non-citizens, or illegal immigrants, are legally considered citizens from birth.

This almost definitely comes from the caravans that are currently traveling to the United States’ southern border. The caravans have brought up a huge debate about immigration, primarily illegal immigration. The past year, as a whole, has been a huge debate about America’s immigration policy, and whether we should change or keep it the way it is.

Trump’s call for an executive order has stirred up the conversation even more than the caravan has, in the span of just a few days. Some say that his call is unconstitutional, while others champion his decision. Whether he will implement the policy to prevent people from being granted citizenship by birthright is still unknown, as he hasn’t made any formal actions yet, but time will tell.

If he does end up implementing it, there are still a lot of unknowns. How will babies become citizens in the future? Does this count towards legal citizens too? These are questions that have yet to be answered, leaving the President’s calls–for now–to be nothing more than senseless rambling. Another hard question that has yet to be answered is the constitutionality of his executive order. Can a President single-handedly amend the constitution? Most, as of now, are saying a flat no.

Most likely, if President Trump goes ahead with the order, it will be challenged by many federal courts. Only then will we know if it is truly constitutional or not.

But, for now, we have to wait, and see if the President makes a move.

 

By: Jaron Bullington

North Korean Missile Crisis

In the midst of Trump’s “fire and fury” tweets and ominous imagery of nukes hanging overhead, it can be easy to forget the facts. Over the past few months, North Korea has been launching missile tests, experimenting with combining a long-range missile and a nuclear warhead. On the Fourth of July, North Korea launched a missile called an intercontinental ballistic missile [ICBM]—a missile with the power to cross the Pacific Ocean and land in Alaska. Earlier this week, North Korea announced that they had successfully miniaturized a nuclear warhead, which means that they can be placed inside missiles such as an ICBM. They have officially stated that they have missiles which are capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. While most experts believe that it will still be a year or two before North Korea can produce highly accurate long-range missiles, the threat is now much closer than it had been before.

In response to this situation, Donald Trump has asked for China to “put a heavy move” on North Korea and cut off any economic ties between the countries. Additionally, the United States and South Korea both launched several precision missiles into the South Korean Sea as a show of force against North Korea. President Trump has been very clear that any threats to the United States will not be tolerated. Following reports that North Korea had the potential to put a nuclear warhead on a long-range missile capable of reaching the United States, he tweeted that any threat would be met with “fire and fury unlike any the world has seen before.” After this warning, North Korea revealed that they had plans to launch four missiles at Guam, a tiny US territory in the Pacific Ocean that is home to 7,000 US military personnel. While a diplomatic solution is still the goal, and economic sanctions and diplomacy will be attempted before moving into options regarding military force. As of Tuesday, August 15th, Kim Jong Un has announced that the proposal for launching missiles at Guam has been put on hold. It appears that both the United States and North Korea have backed off—for now. Beginning August 21, the US and South Korea have been participating in joint military drills, although they are insisted to be purely defensive. But for the time being, tensions have lowered and we wait in uneasy silence for someone to make the next move.

By: Rachel Smith

A Month in Trump’s America

Contrary to what some thought—and perhaps more hoped—the Trump administration has not imploded. The transition of power is complete, and Donald J. Trump is the President of the United States for at least four years. The month can be checked off the calendar in relief or satisfaction, but its importance in history should be reflected upon no matter the emotion one feels. Trump undeniably committed himself to swift executions of some of his staple campaign promises (the ones he did not backpedal out of as president-elect); a portion of the public unsurprisingly offered repudiation and protest in wake of these measures. From the Women’s Marches around the world that just happened to coincide with the inauguration to Shia LaBeouf’s “He Will Not Divide Us” mantra to the Berkeley fiasco to sad(!)der tweets about fake news, the first thirty days contained adequate entertainment and horror and shock and joy all at the same time.

First, Trump’s approval ratings are of particular interest. Being one of the most unpopular presidential candidates of all time does not produce healthy expectations for approval in office. In accordance with this understanding, Trump’s ratings are underwhelming. Forty percent of Americans approve of Donald Trump and his policies at this juncture, down five points from when he became Commander-in-Chief. What are the concrete reasons that these numbers are so low (historically so for both this point in the presidency and in any point of presidencies)? Mostly they come from Trump continuing to be Trump.

The most controversial aspect of the new administration thus far has been the executive order implementing a travel ban on seven Middle Eastern, predominantly Muslim nations. The order also put a halt to the acceptance of all refugees for 120 days while outlawing acceptance of Syrian refugees indefinitely. Despite being an improvement on his campaign promise of a Muslim ban, the order was impugned for its constitutionality among other flaws (an overlooked one being that other Middle Eastern countries, such as Saudi Arabia, that were not included in the ban happen to have business ties with Trump). A Seattle judge put a temporary ban on the order, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld this ruling. Trump took to twitter to proclaim his intent of taking these court-dwelling judges to court. Trump has since conceded pursuing further litigation to challenge his ruling, but the hold on the ban came too late for hundreds of heartbroken refugees.

While that controversy has received a successful conclusion (those against the executive order have defeated it, those for it await a revised version), the true impact of Trump’s White House on the country is not yet set in stone. Numerous secretary picks alarmed citizens and politicians of any affiliation (namely Betsy DeVos—the now Secretary of Education who had one of the worst confirmation hearings in history, has not more than a couple of hours of presence within any public school, has defended the need for guns in schools as a contingency against “grizzlies,” and has admitted to partaking in the corrupt process of machine politics willingly and happily—and Scott Pruitt—the now head of the Environmental Protection Agency who has sued the EPA over a dozen of times, openly committed to being an advocate against the EPA, and denied the overwhelming consensus among scientists that climate change is real and heavily affected by humans). The “Drain the Swamp” president has ironically constructed the wealthiest cabinet ever. He has also punished Kellyanne Conway, his former campaign manager who does…something in the White House other than illegally provide free promotion for Ivanka Trump’s fashion line following Nordstrom’s removal of the brand from their stores, with essentially a talking to.

Another concern of many is the odious expenditures required for Melania Trump to maintain her residence in her golden penthouse; the number is projected to be about $182 million if she and Barron Trump remain there for the entire year. She is also shaping up to be a far more reserved First Lady than those before her, not yet endeavoring to achieve anything (perhaps she should take more beats from Michelle Obama in a fashion similar to her rather inspired speech during the Republican National Convention). Furthermore, multiple, yet anonymous, sources from within the White House depict an administration in shambles—confusion and contradiction reign supreme while Mike Pence is alleged to be the glue keeping it all together. A more recent development that contributes to the mounting concerns of the Trump administration’s condition is National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s resignation; he had been in contact with his Russian counterpart prior to inauguration, violating laws and raising eyebrows. He lied about the event and was forced to resign, but the situation brings to the forefront the suspicion of an administration overly tied to Russia. Trump is claimed to have extensive dealings with Russia (that would be revealed through his tax records), and the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was a chairman of Exxon while the corporation collaborated with a Russian oil company. Vladimir Putin ultimately awarded Tillerson the Order of Friendship, Russia’s highest award for foreign citizens.

Then there is that beautiful press conference on February 16. It was Donald J. Trump alone in a verbal wrestling match with the media for over an hour. It was in this atmosphere that Trump continued to exaggerate claims about his electoral college win (it was one of the more smaller margins) and inauguration attendance (far less than Obama’s, no matter how many times Kellyanne Conway thinks of falsehoods as “alternative facts”). He continued to admonish the media as fake news (employing probably the greatest quote of the century: “the news is fake because so much of the news is fake news,”) while positing that “Russia is a ruse.” He both commended and condemned Mike Flynn’s actions, expressed his desire for friendly reporters, brushed off a Jewish reporter’s concern over anti-Semitism, and presumed that a black reporter would be able to plan a meeting involving African-American congressional representatives because all black people must know each other.

Despite all the negative of Trump’s first month in office—which, while not falsely reported on, is overwhelmingly the focus of news media—there are some points of positivity and comfort. He carried out his campaign promise of withdrawing from the Trans Pacific Partnership. He has chosen a relatively sane Supreme Court nominee. He signed an executive order freezing the hiring of government employees in certain areas in order to reduce taxpayer expenses (although this is criticized for actually lowering the efficiency of federal agencies, thus requiring greater expenses to hire contractors). He has demonstrated an effort to combat terrorism (the first operation he approved, however, was unacceptably risky and resulted in the death of a Seal and an eight-year-old American girl among a dozen alleged terrorists). But perhaps the most incredible testament to the anomaly that was the Trump candidacy and will be the Trump presidency is his commitment to his people. I mean not the American people in this context if only for the rejection of Trump by a majority of those people, but the diehard Trump supporters who truly believe in his message of making America great again. On January 18, Donald Trump held a political rally. Some jokingly say it was the first campaign stop of the 2020 election cycle, but Trump said neutrally, “life is a campaign.” He surrounded himself for a time with not insults from Democrats and fellow Republicans, animosity by the opposition, obligations of the oval office, or the dishonest media but the praise and applause of adoring citizens emboldened and encouraged by what Trump stands for to them. It would not be surprising to see more retreats by the President into these crowds who will hear his words and take them with rejuvenated hope and patriotism, gifting courage and boldness right back to him. Surely this empowered Trump will be willing to take on greater, riskier, and more controversial tasks. So, the first month may be over, but a long four years still wait. Here’s to knowing it will be tiringly eventful.

By: Ryan Hill

How the Trump Stole Election Day

Whether it is the rejoicing Trump supporters, the lamenting Clinton supporters, or the flabbergasted rest of the world, absolutely no one perceived this outcome to the 2016 presidential election cycle. In one of the greatest—if not, the greatest—political upsets of modern times. A businessman entertainer, turned political rookie, precluded the ostensibly inevitable tenure of Hillary Clinton as Commander-in-Chief  after conducting the most disastrous campaign in American political history (that is, a fatally disastrous campaign for anybody besides Donald Trump). President-elect Donald Trump defied all expectations, all predictions, when he conquered the Electoral College. Numerous sources, including In-Flight News’ own article regarding the matter, placed a Clinton victory at a high certainty. The challenges that Trump faced seemed too insurmountable, and Clinton’s lead seemed too unreachable for him to overcome. Nonetheless, he did. And, as far as she is concerned anyway, Donald Trump stole the election right out from under Clinton. So, how did he do it?

In order to understand Trump’s victory at the Electoral College (Clinton has won the popular vote by about 2 million votes), one must analyze the demographics of the election. Surprises and clarity are found there. First and foremost, this election seemed to be dictated by ethnic race far more heavily than previous elections. In reality, however, the racial margins were quite similar to those of previous 21st century presidential races. According to Pew Research Center, Trump continued the Republican trend of achieving the white vote—he had a 21 percentage point lead over Clinton. Likewise, Clinton retained the minority votes with an 80 point margin among African Americans, and a 36 point margin among Hispanic voters. Clinton, despite the impressive margins, clearly lost votes among these ethnic groups.

Though it is not particularly shocking, the gender gap in voter choice this election surely provided Donald Trump with additional votes that Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee, could not secure. By a margin of 12 points, women supported Clinton over Trump; by a margin of 12 points, men supported Trump over Hillary. And, as per usual, young voters failed to make a significant mark on this year’s election due to their perpetuation of low turnout. They, just as in 2012 (but by a smaller amount; six percentage points more young voters aided President Obama), supported the Democratic Party by a double-digit margin, 18 percent.

The single most striking alteration to demographic trends during election cycles this year is education level. In 2012, Obama was victorious among both voters with a college degree (two point margin) and voters without a college degree (four point margin). This year, however, college educated voters favored Clinton with a 9 percent margin while voters without a college degree favored Trump by an 8 percent margin. So, despite both candidates achieving a greater margin than the party’s previous nominees did, Trump benefited. Clinton gained about seven more points than Obama did in the college educated cohort, but Trump gained 12 more points than Romney did in the non- college education cohort. Furthermore, this disparity grows when only white voters are taken into account. Trump won among white college educated voters by a margin of four points (a ten point decrease from Romney’s margin of victory).

More important, though, is his victory in the category of non-collegiate graduates of the white race. His margin of victory over Clinton was a whopping 39 percent, a 14 percent increase from Romney’s margin four years ago. It is this demographic that opened the door of the White House to Donald Trump. Blue-collar workers, a group of voters that were treated with negligence by Clinton and catered to by Trump, dominate this category. These workers just so happen to live in the former industrial sector of America, now known as the Rust Belt, and this sector just so happens to include the Midwest. It was the key region of the Midwest, particularly the states surrounding the Great Lakes that leaned Democratic in previous elections (Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio), that ultimately consolidated the Trump victory.  The enormous victory that Trump had among white blue-collar workers—who typically conglomerate in Midwestern states—and non-college educated voters (who tend to be blue-collar workers) gave him the edge in the three Rust Belt states, thus securing the election in favor of Donald Trump.

In a way, it is the greatest riches-to-more-riches story in history. And he lived it on the backs of the people he would be employing if he never ran for president—given that he wouldn’t have hired undocumented workers like he had done in the past, of course.

By Ryan Hill