• Rachel R

My Inauguration Day Thoughts

We have finally gotten to Inauguration Day! Holy moly that was a long year (4 years).

Democrats organized our asses off to pull off the 2020 election win, and it felt like such a huge accomplishment. This was the first campaign I had been a part of, and I was super nervous. On election night I was refreshing google every 10 minutes waiting for the results. When they finally announced the results (looking at you Nevada!) I was relieved but nervous that trump would find a way to overturn them. Thank goodness that the courts did their job and held up to their insane lawsuits. The electors did their jobs and we made it. While watching the coverage of the inauguration a big weight was lifted off my brain. The chaos is over. Someone is going to help us make it through this thing. We can finally start working on getting this country on the right path.

Now if you are furious because you like trump, I apologize that your feelings are hurt but he was an awful president. He made a lot of sketchy choices and pushed agendas that were not in America’s best interest. He lied every time he spoke publicly. He treated people horribly unless they kissed his ass, and even some of them got bullied. He is a narcissist.

To back up some of my dislike I am going to offer some policies trump either signed as an EO or pushed for via congress or his unqualified department heads. I figured it was only fair to offer some examples instead of just talking smack and moving on.

**These Statements Were Copy and Pasted from the New York Times article “The Trump Administration Rolled Back More Than 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List.” Written by NADJA POPOVICH, LIVIA ALBECK-RIPKA and KENDRA PIERRE-LOUIS. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/climate/trump-environment-rollbacks-list.html **

· Formally withdrew the United States from the Paris climate agreement, an international plan to avert catastrophic climate change adopted by nearly 200 counties.

· Revoked an Obama executive order that set a goal of cutting the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent over 10 years.

· Approved construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, less than a mile from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The Obama administration had halted the project, with the Army Corps of Engineers saying it would explore alternative routes. In 2020, a federal court reversed the Trump administration’s decision to allow the pipeline to run along its current path, but it was allowed to continue operating.

· Moved the permitting process for certain projects that cross international borders, such as oil pipelines, to the office of the president from the State Department, exempting them from environmental review.

· Revoked an Obama-era executive order designed to preserve ocean, coastal and Great Lakes waters in favor of a policy focused on energy production and economic growth.

· Revoked Obama-era flood standards for federal infrastructure projects that required the government to account for sea level rise and other climate change effects.

· Revoked a directive for federal agencies to minimize impacts on water, wildlife, land, and other natural resources when approving development projects.

· Changed the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, making it more difficult to protect wildlife from long-term threats posed by climate change.

· Removed the gray wolf from the endangered species list.

· Amended fishing regulations to loosen restrictions on the harvest of a number of species.

· Removed restrictions on commercial fishing in a protected marine preserve southeast of Cape Cod that is home to rare corals and a number of endangered sea animals. The Trump administration suggested changing the management or size of two other marine protected areas in the Pacific Ocean.

· Revoked a rule that prevented coal companies from dumping mining debris into local streams.

· Weakened a rule that aimed to limit toxic discharge from power plants into public waterways.

· Doubled the time allowed for utilities to remove lead pipes from water systems with high levels of lead.

· Withdrew a proposed rule requiring groundwater protections for certain uranium mines. Recently, the administration’s Nuclear Fuel Working Group proposed opening up 1,500 acres outside the Grand Canyon to nuclear production.

· Reversed an Obama-era rule that required braking system upgrades for “high hazard” trains hauling flammable liquids like oil and ethanol.

· Rolled back most of the requirements of a 2017 rule aimed at improving safety at sites that use hazardous chemicals that was instituted after a chemical plant exploded in Texas.

· Changed a 25-year-old policy to allow coastal replenishment projects to use sand from protected ecosystems.

· So yeah, those are only the environmental reasons I strongly dislike that administration. They did a lot of damage to a lot of ecosystems and let corporations dump their chemicals into our waterways.

** End of copy and paste from New York Times Article **

So, a lot of not great stuff. And this is just the policy decisions made about Environment, it doesn’t include the many, many others that make me infuriated. He played on people’s fears and manipulated the truth to fit his narrative.

Now that we have Biden and Harris, I am looking forward to a lot of those things being undone and hopefully a lot of things that help people in a meaningful way being done. I have high hopes just by looking at his proposed cabinet members and heads of departments. He has the most diverse cabinet in the history of this country, which is both awesome and sad at the same time. I believe that having a diverse group of people at the table will help us formulate more inclusive solutions to our problems. I hope that those in charge will be willing to fight for what is right regardless of some people’s initial reactions.

After all that negative stuff we need some positivity. Let’s check out what Executive Orders Biden Signed on his very first day in office!

** We used New York Times ( https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/us/biden-executive-orders.html ) and PBS (https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/a-look-at-bidens-first-executive-orders-in-office ) Articles to gather the following info **

· Rejoined the World Health Organization

· restores the Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, a team in charge of the pandemic response, within the National Security Council.

· Extended the eviction moratorium until March 31st, 2021.

· Extended the pause on student loan payments until September 30th, 2021.

· Rejoined Paris Climate Agreement

· Reversal of trump’s order to not include undocumented individuals in the Census.

· A memorandum to strengthen DACA.

· Undid the Muslim ban

· An order changing the policy around the types of individuals ICE should be arresting, i.e., violent people instead of just anyone.

· Stopped construction of the senseless border wall.

· An executive order directing the government to interpret the Civil Rights Act as prohibiting workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, in addition to race, color, religion, sex and national origin.

· An executive order enacting new ethics rules for government officials. The rules will require executive branch appointees to sign an ethics pledge, barring them from acting in their personal interest.

** End of Information from the above news articles **

There were a few more but this shows you that he is here to get shit done. I am here for all of these! I am excited to see what else we can get done. We cannot let up though, we must stay focused and hold these people accountable. We must keep organizing for the things we believe in and keep fighting the good fight. If they screw it up, we vote them out.

Even if you are a republican or third-party voter, I believe that if we come together as a citizenry and hold politicians accountable, we can change the way our society operates in a way that reduces fear and economic instability. If we are yelling at each other and not the people making the laws, they will continue to do nothing for us and line their pockets with money.

We can do this y’all!

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