The Biggest Danger of the Trump Presidency

The Biggest Danger of the Trump Presidency

What Trump's White House may mean for the Earth
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In the wake of the election, protesters, the media, and even Broadway actors have voiced their concerns about a Trump presidency. He ran a nasty campaign, one built on lewd remarks about women, islamophobic sentiments, and promises to restrict access to abortion and reproduction care for women. Just to name a few. But it’s not only what Trump has said, and since reinforced with his appointment of ex-Breitbart executive Stephen Bannon as chief strategist, but what he has ignored that may pose one of the biggest threats to the United States, and the world, long after Trump leaves the Oval Office.

With entirely unfounded statement that climate change is a “hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese, the deteriorating environment seems to be the least of Trump’s concerns. He has stated that he will withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, a political claim that scares not only American environmentalists, but government leaders from all over the world.

Trump will take office on January 20, and with the new administration, we may see drastic changes in the social and economic outlook of the country as a whole, and as impactful as they may be, no president, or law, is truly permanent.

But will the newfound ignorance and denial of climate change in the White House be something we can afford?

In 2011, the United States was responsible for 17% of the total carbon emission in the world. In 2015, atmospheric CO2 exceeded 400 parts per million, the highest level in more than 800,000 years. 2014 saw the highest recorded the ocean temperatures and sea levels ever as a result of the increased carbon level in the atmosphere.

But these numbers alone do not fully express the damage done by expedited climate change. Spike in temperatures worldwide have led to droughts, worsening storms, and spread of diseases. In 2003, a record-breaking heat wave in Europe killed 15,000 people in France alone. Malaria and cholera have both been proven to spread more rapidly under warmer conditions.

And it’s only projected to get worse.

This election marked a pivotal turning point for the environmentalist movement. We are the last generation with the power to heal a damaged globe. Left unchecked, most of the state of Florida and entire coast of California could be underwater by 2050 as a result of rising sea levels due to global. These impending years are crucial. Will we continue Obama’s unfinished business as a leader of the UN conventions on climate change, or will we reverse his work, and take the backseat as the climate trickles into disarray? Will we take responsibility for the detriment humans have caused to the planet, or simply brush it off as the natural ebb and flow of the climate over time? Will we take action to cut back out carbon emissions, or will we allow the ignorance of the president elect drive our environmental ethics?

For the time being, there is only one planet habitable by the human race. While the Trump administration may be one of unsavory social policy, all of that can be fixed in a few years with the right legislation and leadership. If we let the Trump administration neglect the environment, that damage may not be undone.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Abortion Bans Are Only A Small Part Of The Republican War On Women

These bans expose the Republican Party for what it truly is.

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This week, several states passed laws that ban abortion after six to eight weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know that they're pregnant. The most egregious of these is Alabama — the state has banned abortion except for in cases of danger to the mother. Exceptions in the cases of rape and incest were actively voted against by the state legislature. Under the new law, any doctor who is caught giving an abortion would be sentenced to 99 years in prison, and the woman would be charged with murder.

Apart from the fact that this explicitly violates the decision of Roe v. Wade (which is the point), this is only a small part of the slow but steady degradation of women's rights by Republicans in the United States. To anyone who believes that this is simply about people being "pro-life" or "saving the children," then tell them to look at what happens after the fetus is carried to term.

Republicans oppose forcing fathers to be involved in the lives of their children that were forcibly carried to term, desires to cut food stamps and make it more difficult to feed said child, cut funding for affordable housing to make it more difficult for them to find homes, cut spending to public education so these children can't move up the social ladder, and refuse to offer the woman or her child health insurance to keep them both healthy. What about efforts to prevent pregnancy? Republicans also oppose funding birth control and contraception, as well as opposing comprehensive sexual education. To them, the only feasible solution is to simply keep your legs shut. They oppose all of these things because it is, in their eyes, a violation of individual rights to force people to do something. The bill also makes women who get abortions felons, and felons can't vote. I'll let you finish putting those two together.

If you view it from this framework, it would seem like Republicans are being extremely hypocritical by violating the personal freedoms of pregnant women, but if you look at it from the view of restricting social mobility for women, then it makes perfect sense. The Republican dogma of "individual rights" and "personal responsibility" is a socially acceptable facade that they use to cover up their true intentions of protecting the status quo and protect those in power. About any Republican policy, ask yourself: does this disperse power or consolidate it? Whether it be education, healthcare, the environment, or the economy, Republicans love to keep power away from the average citizen and give it to the small number of people that they deem "deserving" of it because of their race, gender, wealth, or power. This is the case with abortion as well; Power is being taken from women, and being given back to men in a reversal of the Feminist Movement of the 1970s.

Republicans don't believe in systemic issues. They believe that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed regardless of what point they started. This is why they love capitalism so much. It acts as some sort of great filter in which only those who deserve power can make it to the top. It's also why they hate social policies; they think that helping people who can't help themselves changes the hierarchy in a negative way by giving people who don't "deserve" power, power. Of course, we know that just because you have money and power doesn't mean you earned it fair and square, and even if Republicans believe it, it wouldn't change anything because it wouldn't change how they want to distribute power.

In short, Republican policies, including abortion, leave the average American with less money, less protection, less education, worse health, less opportunity, fewer rights, and less freedom. This is NOT a side effect. This is the point. Regardless of what Republicans will tell you about "inalienable rights" and how everyone is equal, in reality, they believe that some people and groups are more deserving of rights than others, and the group that deserves rights the most are the ones "that will do the best with them." To Republicans, this group consists of the wealthy, the powerful, and the white — the mega-rich, the CEOs of large companies, gun owners and Christians.

So, who do Republicans think deserve power and give it to? People who look and think like them. This, however, begs the question: Who do they want to take it from?

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