Politics

Reality Check – What’s up Washington?

Yesterday, the most unlikely event of the 21st century (and it’s only 2017!) took place in Washington. Donald “grab them by the p*ssy” Trump has been inaugurated as president of the United States of America. The world was watching, and so was Medium Magazine. We decided to rate Trump’s cabinet, his opinions about freedom of press and, of course, his Twitter.

Trump’s promises before becoming president ranged from building walls to banning Muslims, but thankfully the President of the United States does not stand alone in decision-making or implementing new policies. But who will be working together with Trump? What can we expect of them as leaders? Let’s have a look at a few of the members of Trump’s cabinet.

Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson
Has close ties to Russia and to Vladimir Putin himself, who even gave Tillerson the Order of Friendship in 2013. Neat. I would like to give my friends an Order of Friendship too! That’s one hell of a way to keep them loyal right? Tillerson is a climate change sceptic and a great deal of his business in Russia involved oil. He has no previous diplomatic experience, but sure, let’s see what he will do in Syria together with his pal Putin, shall we?

Secretary of Defense: James N Mattis
Goes under the nickname of “Mad Dog”. Not sure why. He is a retired marine corps general and hates Iran. Let’s hope Obama’s cabinet’s amazing work on the Iran nuclear deal does not blow up – pun intended.

CIA Director: Mike Pompeo
He labelled CIA agents involved in torture as “heroes, not pawns in some liberal game”. Does not want to close Guantanamo and wants “the traitor, Edward Snowden” executed. Wait, is this a real life politician and not the bad guy in some predictable action movie?

Attorney General: Jeff Sessions
This guy apparently was too racist to become a judge in the 80’s. Has jokingly said he thought Ku Klux Klan were “OK, until I found out they smoked pot”.

Secretary of Energy: Rick Perry
My personal favourite. Another climate change sceptic on the team, except this one is in charge of the department of Energy. Good luck, Paris-deal. In 2011 he also stated he wanted to shut down the department he will now be in charge of.

Based on this cherry pick of Trump’s cabinet, it appears there’s a future clouded by carbon dioxide ahead of us, in which we can say farewell to peace in Syria and a healthy relationship between the US and Iran. On a sidenote, have you noticed how many old, white men are on this team? The only appropriate scale to rate this cabinet is hence in: 5/5 white men

Trump and Freedom of Press
While Trump in his previous role as real estate mogul and businessman endorsed any media that would give him and his family name attention, he has now become hostile to reporters and media in general. He has made remarkable statements about rewriting the constitution to be able to sue media outlets. That is, if they portray him negatively. This has of course worried the press corps in the United States and throughout the world. Freedom of press, freedom of speech and high quality journalism is incredibly valuable, especially when several serious global conflicts and attempts to solve them demand a lot of attention.

For anyone interested in social media, exciting times lie ahead

Not just Mr. Trump himself is the problem, but also the kind of behaviour he legitimizes. During the presidential campaign, journalists who published critical pieces received death threats, and crowds at campaign meetings rallied against the press and sometimes turned against reporters, who simply tried to do their job.

But how much damage could Donald Trump actually cause? Thankfully, not that much. The first amendment in the Constitution ensures that Congress can not constitute any laws that compromise on the freedom of press. In recent decades, the Supreme Court has consistently ruled in favour of the press and its freedom of speech. However, there is a vacancy in the Supreme Court as two of the sitting judges are over 80 years old. There is thus a possibility that Trump can create a Supreme Court that would interpret the first amendment too conservative. So sharpen your pens, fellow writers, as we might be in for a battle.

Threat to Press Freedom: 3/5 Supreme Court judges

Trump tweets
Besides his angry Tweets about anyone who opposes him, my favourite ‘Trump Tweets’ are the ones with opinions on completely relevant things, such as these:

The effects this style of tweeting has on international relations and trading treaties remains unknown. For anyone interested in social media, exciting times lie ahead. Will we receive live updates from secret diplomatic meetings, or simply more observant tweets about Hollywood stars? 5/5 Twitter birds

Cover: Gage Skidmore

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Kajsa Rosenblad
Kajsa grew up in Stockholm, Sweden, but has now moved to Amsterdam to pursue her dreams of becoming queen of the universe, or maybe at least journalist or political campaigner. She designs and makes her own clothing and likes art, books, chocolate and turtlenecks.

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