26 January, 2017
(THE TV’s LEAKING) 2016 was frequently bemoaned as an all round terrible year, kick starting with the loss of a number of great and beloved stars. David Bowie and Alan Rickman were lost within the first few weeks of 2016, seeking to provide a sense of foreboding that promised only more and more devastating things. We lost Prince, Mohammed Ali, Carrier Fisher, 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando in a hate crime attack, Harambe the gorilla from a Cincinnati zoo and Britain from the European Union. So understandably, people turned to 2017 to be their saviour; the year of redemption, to make up for all the horrors that we longed to leave behind in the murky depths of 2016.
So far, the prospects of that aren’t looking too great and in fact, in my opinion, 2017 is shaping up to be on par with 2016, as highlighted by the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump on the 20th of this month. This is something that still terrifies me – the fact that this arrogant, misogynistic, racist and I-could-keep-going-ist billionaire is running one of the world’s superpowers. I still find it a little bit bewildering that there are people out there saying that because he’s the president now we should give him the benefit of the doubt. This is still the same man that campaigned in the US election, the same man that plans to make America great again by building a wall along the US-Mexico border and to ban Muslims from entering the United States until we figure out ‘what is happening’.
The day after he was sworn in, his press secretary’s briefing accused the media of deliberate false reporting, insisting that photos of the inauguration were framed in a way to purposely minimise the size of the crowd that had turned out to support the new president. Apparently this also applied to any attempt to try and count the amount that attended the historic women’s march on Washington, reported as being three times the size of Trump’s crowd.
He has been in office a mere 3 days and he is already being sued for violating the constitution. On his second day in office he signed an anti-abortion executive order whilst surrounded by a room full of white men. The order is also known as the ‘global gag rule’, that has not been in place since Reagan’s government in 1984. Not only did he sign an order that will have far-reaching global consequences for women, he did it without a woman in sight. Interesting, to say the least, as you’d think that signing a policy which prohibits US funding to any international non-governmental organisations responsible for giving sexual health advice and family planning would require some input from women, as they are usually the ones who are pregnant.
The effects that this order will have is massive on women all over the world. It won’t stop abortion happening, but it will make it less safe. Thousands more women will die, and it will prevent those international organisations from promoting or even discussing abortion as a family planning option. Because if they do, they’ll lose the large amount of US funding they receive for all of their other health care services.
Not to mention his bipolar disorder approach to his policies. One minute he is planning to shake up the American intelligence agency, with a major reform in store. The next he’s visiting them, telling them he supports them 1000%, reportedly saying he loves them. Then there’s the rising tensions with China, over the ‘One-China policy’ and Taiwan, and the accusations over Twitter that China is not doing enough to contain its ally, North Korea, over their threat of an extremely powerful nuclear ballistic capabilities. Then there was the continuation of the suspected drone strike programme that killed three alleged Al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen, a program that doesn’t seem to be coming to an end with the entry of the new president, despite
the controversies and the fact that it could lead to war crime investigations.
I could go on. The truth is, if you think think that not being an American means that this will not affect you, you are seriously misguided. On his second day in power Trump signed a single executive that has the power to affect women on all 7 continents. As Meryl Streep said in her Golden Globes speech, “when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”
Who only knows what else he can do.
This article (The End of the World as We Know It) was written exclusively for The TV’s Leaking and may not be reproduced in any way, shape or form without permission from the author.
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