After a contentious (protest) first week as president, Trump decided he needed to do something outrageous to up the ratings of his new reality show. Enter a travel (read: Muslim) ban against Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Why those countries? Because, terrorists. So, not only is America safe now, everyone in the whole world is tuning in to watch the president. Sure some people are saying some mean things about the ban, but those people are either liberal or biased or illegal, or all three. Outside of Donald Trump’s Alternate Universe however, this viewpoint is just an alternative fact. It’s not just protesters at the airports, it’s immigration lawyers too; it’s not just rogue judges issuing stays against the executive order; it’s the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; and it’s not just some small startups drumming up opposition on social media, it’s 127 of the largest tech companies in America who are stepping up the legal fight. Game on.
Regardless of the thinly veiled national security reasons, the ban is tearing apart families, segregating communities and causing fear and confusion – and possibly being used by ISIS as an effective recruitment tool. The speed with which the ban was introduced led to inevitable chaos and probable instances of human rights or constitutional violations. President Trump’s immigration order is a 9/11-type reaction – without a 9/11. Stories abound of people being discriminated against based on country of origin or religion, being held or questioned for hours without explanation or access to family or lawyers, or were put back on a plane without consideration of the consequences. For now, the executive order has been suspended, but this issue will probably go all the way to the Supreme Court. Trump will be facing an uphill battle against the left, corporate America, and even some in his own party, but the question is, if the travel ban is reinstated in some form, will the list of countries be expanded and will the timelines be pushed out indefinitely? Tune in next week.
So what’s the biggest takeaway from this topsy-turvy week in politics? President Trump is scarier than Candidate Trump. Gasp you should. Even after winning the election, Trump shows no signs of pulling back on his “rigged system” rhetoric, and is denouncing or firing anyone or anything that isn’t on his side (think: the media, the state department, the intelligence agencies, the judiciary). Trump threw a Twitter Tantrum about the resistance to his ban, and not only questioned the decision of an individual judge, but personally attacked their integrity and authority. Every time Trump does this, he risks delegitimizing the entire independent judicial system – which is the country’s best hope of preventing a violation of the constitution or an illegal power grab. The 40 or so lawsuits currently being filed against his travel ban should be a hard wakeup call – no one is above the law, not even the President of the United States.
Feel that if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere? Movie for your mood: In America