Interview Questions / Answers requested by & submitted to a representative of the Huffington Post.
What Presidential Executive orders are impacting your life and how?
Collectively the orders are, on balance, more theatrics than substance. They are intended to appease Trump’s base and prove that he is a man of action, as promised. That being said, there are a few that have immediate implications. Most notably:
- The Hiring Freeze. Initially the freeze impacted the VA, (staffing being a huge contributor to service gaps). After an uproar by veterans, supporters, and the media, an exception was granted for the VA.
- The Dakota Access & Keystone Pipelines memorandums indicate what we already knew about Trump, that commerce will trump tradition and environmental concerns. The fact that the memo was issued without even talking to the stakeholders shows a disregard (and disrespect) for those involved.
- Restrictions on immigration, including the so-called Muslim Ban, (Bans on entry from certain predominately Muslim nations, with Christian Faith exceptions), and the wall on the southern border, ignore statistics that indicate these issues are not growing concerns. The 7 nations selected for the travel ban have contributed exactly zero terrorist to all terror events dating back to 9/11, and yes that including 9/11. Southern border crossings are down comparatively and declining.
Overall, the executive orders indicate a reckless disregard for unintended consequences. As such, they are sending shockwaves throughout the nation and the world resulting in a level of unrest we have not seen in decades.
As for how these orders are impacting my life . . .
They reinforce my general concerns about this unstable and unfit President. They indicate that he is willing to quickly abandon long-held processes, procedures, and norms to fulfill campaign promises, the outcomes be damned. These actions, along with false claims of voter fraud and lies in the face of easily accessible and undeniable facts, are causing concerns and fears among many Americans, me included.
What concerns do you have for other Veterans?
A majority of veterans and active duty service members supported Trump during the election. Both military groups, along with Trump’s poorly educated and lower income base, stand to lose the most under a Trump administration. Efforts to privatize the VA and to change/reduce/privatize safety nets like Social Security and Medicare will impact them more than anyone. I worry they will be hurt by his policies. I am certain he cares less about their welfare than he does about the overall perception of his successes.
How do you feel about what Trump is doing?
I believe Donald Trump poses a real and present danger to our society. He has risen to the Presidency with the support of hateful, angry, and divisive individuals and groups. He has rewarded these individuals and groups, (and big money on Wall Street), with key Cabinet/Administration positions. He routinely attacks the bedrocks of our Constitution, like Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Religion. He shows a blatant disregard for truth and ethics. As a candidate, that was troubling. Now, as our national spokesman, our country’s credibility is dwindling with each passing day. I believe he could do irreversible harm to our nation and it’s standing in the world.