Trump’s ”America First” White House Page Reveals His Grotesque Agenda
One of President Donald Trump’s first — albeit superficial — orders of business after taking over the White House was eliminating nearly anything on the official site that could be tied back to the Obama administration. This included information related to climate change and the LGBTQ community, which is concerning. Many feel the new WhiteHouse.gov page is unrecognisable, with discussions about some of the most essential modern issues disappearing entirely from view.
Also concerning is not necessarily the fact that these topics were removed or eliminated, but what has been added in place of them — in particular, the language and wording used.
A page devoted to climate change and related actions agencies are taking to combat it disappeared from the WhiteHouse.gov site. It was eventually replaced by information alluding to Donald Trump’s new pledge — he wants to undo environmental regulations and "revive America's coal industry" to create a more thriving market.
It’s titled the “America First Energy Plan”, and contains 361 words outlining Trump's new global warming and climate change stance — but without mention of either of these issues — and proposes a more combative stance. Trump is committed to “eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule”.
This administration favours the enterprise and conglomerate world over the greater good of its citizens
The Climate Action Plan, for instance, dealt with reducing greenhouse gas emissions produced by fossil-fuel based power plants. Trump attests that these climate change policies, and Obama’s inclination for them, resulted in the collapse of the coal industry during the past decade or so. This conveniently ignores the fact that the domestic coal industry was on the decline already, primarily thanks to more efficient, more capable and cleaner modern technologies.
This is just one more example of how this administration favours the enterprise and conglomerate world over the greater good of its citizens.
Conveniently, several materials and reports related to LGBTQ rights were also removed from the White House’s website, devoid of replacement in the meantime. A page dedicated to LGBTQ rights was discarded in late January, while another report on LGBTQ workers’ rights was removed from the Labor Department’s website.
Many of the materials and resources for these issues are still available via an archived version of the Obama site.
It's not only concerning that these materials and resources were scrubbed from the government site, but also that nothing was put in their place. It provides a direct example of the current administration’s stance on these issues, particularly when it comes to the rights of the LGBTQ community.
Remember, Trump has previously said he is opposed to same-sex marriage, while Vice President Pence has also taken an opposing stance on gay rights. Everyone living in the U.S. is supposed to be afforded the right to the pursuit of “life, liberty and happiness”. The removal of this page is a sign that Trump’s administration is, at the least, pivoted against providing those rights for select groups of people.
What Trump has replaced these pages with is no better. The new “Issues” tab touts two “America First” labels, a whole page dedicated to “Repealing and Replacing Obamacare”, as well as one dedicated to “Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community”.
The real overarching concern is what this could mean for our country’s discourse and rhetoric
The “America First” label is inherently rooted in the Trump administration’s adamant dislike for foreigners, immigrants and anything they deem to be a threat to what they see as “traditional American culture.” It’s made clear in the “America First Foreign Policy” page.
Moving to the next one, it’s my humble opinion that dedicating an entire page to “repealing and replacing” something is childish as all hell. Point blank. Trump could have chosen to name it something straightforward and logical like, oh I don’t know, the American Health Care Act — what his new plan is actually called. Even “Trumpcare” would be a more appropriate alternative. When Obama was in office, the health care page was labelled — shocker — “Health Care”. Instead, Trump demonstrates once again his immature goal to tarnish Obama’s name out of his own petty dislike for the former president.
And I’m sorry, but are there no bigger issues to talk about than the supposed “dangerous anti-police atmosphere” in America? Don’t get me wrong, I respect and appreciate the work that my country’s honest and non-corrupt policemen do to keep our communities safer. However, with all of the pressing economic, social and structural problems America is facing right now, does this really need to be a key issue? Sorry, but it just screams #AllLivesMatter.
Many may see this and wonder, why does this even matter? After all, the removed resources and information is available elsewhere, and it's par for the course to see new legislation updating the White House website after an inaurguration.
The real overarching concern is what this could mean for our country’s discourse and rhetoric. If the current administration isn’t taking these issues seriously and talking about them, many will go back to assuming that none of us need to.
So, what can we do? For starters, we need to keep talking about it. Peacefully protest, rally, write articles, write and call your representatives. Donate to and support anti-hate organisations like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU. Make your voice heard and get involved, regardless of where you hail from. The creep of nationalism in many countries is a serious current issue that is threatening Western democracy as we know it, and has the potential to change our global structure for the worse.
About the author
Born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Kate Harveston is a recent college graduate and an aspiring journalist. She enjoys writing about social change and human rights issues, but she has written on a wide variety of other topics as well.
She blogs on social and cultural issues at Only Slightly Biased.
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