After two years of campaigning, the US presidential election is finally over. In a twist that no one saw coming, Donald Trump is to become the 45th president of the United States.
The man that divided opinions across the globe won with 279 electoral votes to Clinton’s 218. He promised to “Make America Great Again”, but how exactly does he intend to do this? Trump’s campaign was marred by scandal, memes and of course, hatred, but what are his actual policies?
Let’s begin with the most controversial issue Trump championed; immigration. Trump promised to deport all illegal immigrants from the United States, therefore freeing up jobs for the working class American. During an interview with MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Trump announced his intention to form a “deportation force” to round up the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country. However, he has never said how he intended to find these illegal immigrants.
Of course, who could forget about the infamous wall? In Trump’s Ten Point Plan to Put America First, his first act is to build the wall on the border of the US and Mexico. And of course, Mexico will pay for it! However, as a result of the election, the Mexican peso has fallen to an all-time low with an 11% drop. Unfortunately for The Donald, that means they probably won’t be paying out for this wall. He has also ceded that what may end up being built, will be more akin to a fence, but by all accounts, it’ll be a great fence.
One of the most talked about issues surrounding this election was gun control throughout the country. Hillary Clinton opposed gun laws in the United States and intended to change the gun control laws. However, Trump intends to uphold the second amendment. He instead wants to bring back programs like Project Exile to get gang members and drug dealers off the street. According to his website “Crime will go down and our cities and communities will be safer places to live”.
Another issue that plagued this campaign is, of course, Hillary’s emails. Trump was quick to jump onto this subject every chance that he got during the presidential debates. So what are Trump’s plan for cyber-security in America, keeping in mind this is the man that said: “Russia if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing”.
Trump intends to immediately review all U.S. cyber-defences and vulnerabilities by a Cyber Review Team made up of people from the military, law enforcement, and the private sector. According to his website, “the Cyber Review Team will provide specific recommendations for safeguarding different entities with the best defence technologies tailored to the likely threats, and will be followed up regularly at various federal agencies and departments”.
There, of course, has been huge controversy about his views on women, so what does he intend to do whilst in office for women’s rights? Trump’s views on abortion have changed several times over the years. Back in 1999, he said he “hated” abortion but because he was a New Yorker he was “pro-choice in every way”. However, in 2016 his view changed drastically, he said intends to nominate pro-life justices to the Supreme Court, defund Planned Parenthood as long as they still performed abortions, as well as saying that abortions are “not acceptable,” and that women who get abortions should be subject “to some form of punishment”.
As we fight to Repeal the Eighth here in Ireland, Trump looks to take this right away from American women. Of course, one cannot forget Trump’s running mate and now Vice President-elect, Mike Pence’s view on women’s rights. While he was a member of congress, he removed funding from Planned Parenthood in his state of Indiana, causing several clinics to close down. He is extremely anti-abortion. When asked about the future of the Trump/Pence administration, he said, “We’ll see Roe v. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs”. Whilst in congress, Pence has also blocked a bill to introduce equal pay for women three times.
Although Pence has been blocked from bringing in more radical laws as a governor, will he be blocked by Congress as Vice President?
Pence has also made a lot of homophobic comments during his time in office. In 2006 he said that same-sex couples were a sign of “societal collapse.” He also voted against repealing the act that forbade openly gay and lesbian people from serving in the military. Pence also signed a “religious freedom bill” that enables anti-gay and other types of discrimination. The Huffington Post referred to the bill as allowing “any individual or corporation to cite its religious beliefs as a defence when sued by a private party” therefore businesses that “don’t want to serve same-sex couples, for example, could now have legal protections to discriminate”.
In relation to Ireland, Trump intends to get rid of the J1 visa that allows students to work in America for three months. So many Irish students take advantage of this visa, however, Trump wants to remove it so Americans can get more jobs rather than giving them to foreign students. He also intends to drop the business tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, enticing multinational companies that are based in Ireland back to the States.
However, more importantly, words to Trump seem to be meaningless trinkets to be tossed about as and when he feels like it. Even this week he’s already admitted that he is now willing to keep an open mind toward climate change, rather than maintaining that it is a conspiracy conjured up by the Chinese to impede American industry. So it seems the most worrying thing of all is that despite how much he’s said he will do, we’re still no closer to knowing what he will do.