President Donald Trump’s administration recently revised, archived and restricted the official White House web pages on health care, climate change, civil rights, LGBT rights and disability protections. This move comes on the heels of a few more changes to whitehouse.gov, including the appearance of Trump’s policy pledges for staunch law enforcement support, second amendment rights, military growth and that infamous wall he promised his supporters.
We can take this as a prelude to an all-out attack, if not an attack in itself. While not deleted, the information researched, gathered and published under the Obama administration is now difficult to access. Almost like being swept under the rug, these issues do not take precedence with Trump’s administration or its supporters. If we stand idle, we will watch health care, climate change reform and – perhaps most alarmingly – the very broad civil rights movement slowly crumble.
This should come as no surprise if you’ve been following Trump’s campaign. His stance on health care has rang loud and clear. In the third 2016 presidential debate, Trump said we have to “repeal and replace the disaster known as Obamacare. It’s destroying our country. It’s destroying our businesses.” When asked how he planned on ending it, while also making coverage accessible for people with pre-existing conditions, Trump merely said, “we’re going to be able to. You’re going to have plans that are so good.”
The only thing missing from Trump’s changes to the White House pages, according to the Chicago Tribune, was “anything on repealing or replacing Obamacare,” also known as the Affordable Care Act. This comes as a surprise for many, as tackling the existing health care system was one of Trump’s biggest claims on the campaign trail. On the official Donald Trump website, Trump’s plan for healthcare will rely on an open market system. When we will see this plan on the White House page, no one knows. There’s also a question on whether Trump will follow his proposed plan at all or try something new.
As for climate change, Trump infamously wrote a tweet on Nov. 6, 2012 that stated: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” More recently in 2014, Trump tweeted “Snowing in Texas and Louisiana, record setting freezing temperatures throughout the country and beyond. Global warming is an expensive hoax!”
As if the presence of cold weather proves that the climate is not changing, the same way the presence of food means starving families must not exist. We’re going to see some big changes compared to President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which sought to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, preserve forests, encourage the use of alternate fuels and increase the study of climate change.
Trump also said he will reimplement and expand Stop and Frisk, which was ruled unconstitutional for racially profiling black and Hispanic men. During the first presidential debate, moderator Lester Holt attempted to fact check Trump by reminding him that in 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ruled that New York City violated the U.S. Constitution by continuing its use. Trump simply said “you’re wrong” before elaborating that he felt Scheindlin was “a very against-police judge.” There was national outcry following this statement, which could not go ignored for many civil rights and Black Lives Matter activists.
Trump’s choice of Mike Pence as his vice president says enough for the LGBT community and its supporters. In 2006, Pence said that gay couples signaled “societal collapse” and claimed being gay is a choice. Pence said keeping gays from marrying was not discrimination, but an enforcement of “God’s idea.” In 2007, Pence voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would have banned discrimination against people based on sexual orientation. He later said the law “wages war on freedom and religion in the workplace.” In 2010, Pence voted against the Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Most recently, Pence signed Senate Bill 101, better known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), into law in Indiana which allows individuals and companies to discriminate against LGBT and other marginalized groups with faith as an excuse. According to Ballotpedia, Trump himself does not have such an opinionated stance on LGBT rights. “Trump stated in June 2015 that he was ‘for traditional marriage’ but in 2013 stated, ‘I think I’m evolving, and I think I’m a very fair person, but I have been for traditional marriage.’”
This means nothing. With Vice President Pence by his side, Trump will no doubt shift to a conservative and intolerant view on the LGBT community. From what we have seen, Trump changes his mind. He’s willing to say what conservative voters want to hear, but we haven’t seen if he will follow through. If he does, we will inevitably see a rise in Americans wanting our new president to fail in his endeavors.