It is just 14 days until Election Day, and GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is in a tailspin. His final debate against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was another disaster, topped off by his declaration that he still wasn’t sure if he would abide by the final election results as he believes the contest is rigged.
Since then, his poll numbers have dropped even more. Even his first major newspaper endorsement was a bit of a bust, since the Las Vegas Review Journal is wholly owned by one of his biggest backers. Still, Trump made one more stab at saving his flailing campaign this weekend, when he traveled to Gettysburg to announce his blueprint for the first 100 days of his administration if elected.
And yes, it was as terrifying as you may imagine. His promises to repeal all of President Obama’s executive orders, deport 2 million undocumented Americans, open up more drilling and fracking sites and immediately appoint a far right justice to the Supreme Court was just the start. Here are a few highlights:
1) Congressional Term Limits
On the surface, limiting the time a politician spends in Congress may not seem like an awful idea. After all, that’s how you get DC insiders who forget about the realities of those back home who elect them, right? But the reality of the impact is far different, and is why most people other than the far right fringe gave up on the proposal decades ago.
“I imagine term-limit proponents mean well, but whether they appreciate the details or not, forcing experienced policymakers out of office, even if their constituents want to re-elect them, has an unintended consequence: inexperienced officials inevitably find themselves more dependent on lobbyists, outside groups, and trade associations, who are only too pleased to lend their expertise developed over the course of decades,” explains Steve Benen at MSNBC.com. “In other words, the policy intended to weaken ‘special-interest dealing’ has the opposite effect in practice. It also shifts power away from the legislative branch, which would suddenly have no veteran lawmakers, and towards the executive branch — another dynamic conservatives are supposed to oppose.”
2) The End of Sanctuary Cities
Trump promised that once in office, he would end all federal funding to any “sanctuary city” allowing undocumented immigrants to reside safely within its borders without fear of deportation. But as the Marshall Project explains, rather than opposing undocumented immigrants, many law enforcement agencies approve of allowing local control over immigration issues, because they find it makes their communities safer when undocumented populations don’t live in fear of the police.
“Other officers have expressed fear that imposing limits on sanctuary cities would breed distrust between police and immigrant communities, making their jobs even harder,” the Marshall Project explains. “After North Carolina passed a law requiring officers to fully cooperate with ICE, Jose Lopez, the Durham police chief, told the New York Times, ‘It will cause individuals to flee the police, on the belief that some minor incident is going to get them deported.'” Targeting undocumented populations is asking for an increase in danger in these communities.
3) Obamacare’s Complete Repeal
Yes, the Affordable Care Act hasn’t been the complete panacea that many wanted when it comes to health care reform. Insurance is still too expensive, companies are still determined to make a profit off the health of the American population, and too many states have blocked implementation assistance to make things more affordable. But it is better than anything that existed before the ACA, and it’s far better than the GOP plan to simply let people go bankrupt over their health care bills. And that’s exactly what Trump wants to return to when he promises to repeal Obamacare as soon as he is sworn in.
4) Suing Everyone
Those dozen women who accused Trump of inappropriate and unwanted sexual contact with them? Trump is going to make sure he files a lawsuit against each and every one of them. “Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign,” Trump said according to CNN.com. “Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”
Why, if this were a legitimate move, he would need to wait until he was in office is unclear, as is why he thinks this needs to be an administrative action. But then again, Trump has shown repeatedly that he sees no separation between his political power and his personal power.
5) Breaking the Media
Trump’s plan to limit freedom of the press if elected wasn’t actually mentioned in his 100 days speech, but the day after. However, it’s one he has consistently discussed and can be expected if he wins in November — making it easier to sue news outlets that provide unfavorable coverage. “Well in England they have a system where you can actually sue if someone says something wrong. Our press is allowed to say whatever they want and get away with it,” he told a radio host, according to Talking Points Memo, adding, “I’m a big believer tremendous believer of the freedom of the press. Nobody believes it stronger than me but if they make terrible, terrible mistakes and those mistakes are made on purpose to injure people. I’m not just talking about me I’m talking anybody else then yes, I think you should have the ability to sue them.” Considering Trump’s prime example of newspapers “lying” is the New York Times investigating his past, you can bet his agenda will have a chilling and devastating impact on fair news coverage.