Pre-Presidency: the Problems with Donald Trump

This will be a running list
  1. The rallies
    (1) Rather than taking the time to travel to the states he won, Trump should be using that time to prepare for the presidency and attending the national security briefings. (2) It's one thing to hold rallies w/ bombast and vilification of the other side while campaigning. It's another to do it when you're the leader. It reeks of monarchy at best, fascism at worst.
  2. The conflicts of interest
    The Philippine government is already positioning itself by appointing Trump's business partner as special envoy to the US. The outcome of global security and foreign policy will be determined by Trump's businesses. Here, being a businessman wk not help America because he will be thinking of himself first.
  3. The attacks on free speech
    Hamilton (first amendment right to criticize elected officials). Flag burning (I disagree with it, but it's a first amendment right that SCOTUS has said is allowed). The media (by vilifying the media, he is setting up half the nation to discount anything the media reports. That means that he can do something egregious, and the media can report on it to no avail. He is laying the groundwork to prevent a Walter Cronkite-Vietnam War scenario with him.).
  4. Steve Bannon
    Trump has allowed someone into the executive office who has been praised by the KKK and David Duke.
  5. The cabinet
    The war on the ACA will leave millions uninsured and make healthcare more expensive for women. The war on women's health will leave women without access to their constitutionally protected right to abortion. The war on civil rights will have consequences for generations, as seen in voting rights and gerrymandering. The war on climate change will leave the planet in disrepair.
  6. Mike Pence
    He is the one getting the classified briefings. There is speculation he is the real power behind the throne. He is a man with experience, so he knows what he's doing. And unlike Trump, he is not nearly so malleable as to "keep an open mind" about the Paris Climate Agreement, or to say that same sex marriage is settled law.
  7. "Stop it."
    Trump has spent countless tweets, breaths, and words excoriating the media, Democrats, and foreign nations. But when confronted with the reality that some of his supporters have felt emboldened by his victory to commit hate crimes, he only said that he did not know it was happening and told people to "stop it." That is enough. The inequality of reactions is glaring.
  8. The lack of knowledge
    He did not prepare policy briefs in preparation of the presidency. He refuses security briefings regarding national security. He speaks the diplomats without State Department guidance. The NYT puts it very well:
  9. The tweets
    Rather than subject himself to a press conference and take questions from reporters, Trump puts his "policy" thoughts and general complaints on twitter. These statements are all we have to gauge our future. They're not vetted by anyone. They are incendiary. They determine the future of this country.
  10. Saturday Night Live
    The media has a right to lambaste public figures (provided they aren't violating libel or slander laws) (side note: there are no federal libel laws to "open up"). Satire owes no duty for "equal time." Satire is meant to exaggerate. Trump forgets these basic pillars of our first amendment, and he spends time excoriating them regularly, instead of receiving intelligence briefings and learning about foreign policy.
  11. The Apprentice
    Trump said that he plans on staying the executive producer of his reality show claim to fame. This is concerning, because the presidency is an all-consuming job. There are no breaks from threats to national security, to crumbling infrastructure, to diplomacy, to domestic policy. There is no room for "side jobs" when one is president.
  12. The hypocrisy
    Trump has said that he will refuse the presidential salary upon assuming office. However, his wife and son remaining in NYC means that the secret service will be renting a floor from Trump, which will, on a yearly basis, cost many times over what the presidential salary would have been. Trump has also advertised the secret service as a "hot new amenity" for Trump Tower, thus blatantly trying to profit off taxpayer security. The security on 5th Ave will also starve local businesses.
  13. The questionnaire
    A questionnaire was sent to employees in the Dept of Energy, asking specifically if anyone was involved in environmentally-friendly policies during the Obama administration. This level is detail is unprecedented, and it appears to have little purpose beyond wanting to pinpoint which employees are on a different side of the ideological spectrum. In short, is a witch hunt.
  14. Micheal Flynn
    His ideological leanings are not the concern; presidents have the right to appoint a national security advisor with whom he agrees. The concern is Mattis' proclivity for spreading fake news (his retweets) and for promoting Islamophobia (which plays right into the hands of Daesh).
  15. The need to win
    Trump has thin skin and feels the need to constantly defend himself. But in doing so, he threatens the integrity of many of the nation's institutions, leaving him as the only voice of truth. That is dangerous. In insisting that he won the popular vote and that Jill Stein's recount efforts were absurd, he stated that there was massive voter fraud. In insisting that the CIA finding that Russia wanted Trump in the White House, he chose to defend Russia by undermining faith in the CIA.
  16. Russia
    There were suspicions of Russian interference during campaigning. Now, the CIA is confirming our fears. There has been bipartisan condemnation about Russia, even from the most incendiary republicans. But DJT opts to delegitimize the CIA to quash any possibility that his win wasn't his alone. In short, he is threatening the integrity of our institutions because he's a sore winner. Also, his Nat Sec Advisor & Sec of State have close ties to Russia.
  17. The tweets, part 2: the chest-thumping
    Trump wants to return the US to a world of nuclear arms race. It is dangerous, it is unwise, and it is destructive. We saw that during the Cold War.
  18. The transition meddling
    Bill Clinton. George W. Bush. Barack Obama. All three prior presidents made it clear that they would not interfere with the outgoing president's policies, domestic or foreign. In fact, they maintained that the nation needed a unified voice for the world. These presidents demonstrate that respect for the former administration is not a partisan issue at all. Trump's public kvetching of Pres. Obama's policies is dangerous for diplomacy and foreign affairs, and it emboldens foreign governments.
  19. The taking of credit
    Trump publicly takes support of Telecom jobs, despite the fact that Telecom had already planned to not move those jobs out of the country. Trump takes credit for an uptick in Christmas shopping, despite no evidence tying his election to it. He takes credit for Dow strength, overlooking that Wall St is strong because they anticipate Trump policies favoring deregulation and big banks at the expense of Main St and the middle class. The whole time, Trump neglects the important issues.
  20. The dismantling of ethics
    Admittedly, this isn't directly caused by Trump, but it's because of a GOP house emboldened by him. The eradication of an ethics office is concerning, no matter the administration/party/time. But doing it now — when there are a plethora of conflict of interest and ethical questions — is suspicious, to say the least. It doesn't make America "great," it makes us look like a sham democracy built on corruption.
  21. The hypocrisy (again)
    This problem applies to both DJT and to Congress. Trump and the GOP advocate for increased gun presence, going so far as to call for concealed carry and guns at schools. However, they ban guns from the inauguration and from the RNC — when their own lives are in danger. The GOP is also now claiming that any obstruction w/r/t SCOTUS nominees is inexcusable, after 10 months of doing the same thing to Judge Merrick Garland. The American people should see right through this, for any and all parties.
  22. The power struggle
    On issue after issue, Trump and the Republicans have not seen eye to eye on stances and priorities. While this might appear to be a boon for liberals, it is dangerous because we have combative characters in the same party, where both sides hold power. It presents a fractured picture to the world, thus undermining diplomacy/foreign policy, and weakens support for domestic policy. The net loser is the country as a whole.
  23. The rejection of intelligence
    It began with refusals to sit down for daily intelligence briefings. It has expanded to the undermining of the intelligence community to support his own brand and world views. He is choosing to attack NBC over reporting of Russian findings, rather than question Russian involvement. In challenging the intelligence community, he is forcing them to spell out American capabilities in damaging clarity, simply to convince him. Other countries now also know our limits and abilities, because of him.
  24. The lack of vetting
    Trump and the congressional republicans are pushing through cabinet confirmation hearings prior to the completion of background checks and ethics disclosures. In all prior hearings, those precautions were met. But now, with Trump having his own problems and republicans splitting hairs over Russia, they seek to usher in a cabinet without bothering to even pretend to care about conflicts of interest and other concerns.
  25. Jeff Sessions
    From the confirmation hearing: he lied about his credentials (claiming to be lead prosecutor when he was not); could not define with any specificity the guidelines for keeping entire religious groups out of the US; did not look into or think about the allegations against Russia. Prior to hearing: he celebrated the striking down of key VRA positions; said grabbing women wasn't sexual assault; wants to get rid of women's choice and access to abortion.