After President Trump’s address to Congress Tuesday night, many people were left feeling hopeful. Republicans were thrilled with his speech and how successful the address went. Some were confused by his change in tone, as he moved more towards the center with several of his comments about healthcare. I, however, am remaining skeptical.
It is interesting that Trump remained so opposed to undocumented immigrants in his speech to Congress. Just hours before, he had mentioned to reporters that he would consider legalizing undocumented immigrants if they were deemed safe. At the address, however, there was no mention of this shift in policy. Perhaps he refrained from this knowing his supporters would believe him to be a hypocrite. Trump has been known to change his policy preferences based on whatever is convenient for him at the time, so to me this is no surprise.
Just last year in November, the New York Times reported on Donald Trump appearing to soften his stance on immigration. According to the NY Times, published on November 13th, Donald Trump had changed his original wall proposal to include fences in some areas on the border of Mexico instead of the great wall he had planned to build. Also, he changed his immigration stance by stating that his main priority was to deport illegal immigrants that are dangerous, two to three million, rather than the eleven million he had said he would deport previously. As we can see, changing policy stances is not something new for President Trump. He did it just days after he was elected.
Since November, Trump has continuously pushed for budgets to be created for his wall and has remained seemingly tough on illegal immigration. However, on Tuesday, Trump noted that, “real and positive immigration reform is possible,” but with Congress already busy with attempting to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and soon to begin on his infrastructure demands, I am not sure when immigration reform will come into play.
The American people do have to keep in mind that Trump is doing whatever Steve Bannon tells him to do. And not only this, but he is doing whatever will keep the Republicans on his side and increase his own power. Donald Trump may not truly believe that illegal immigrants are inherently bad people, but he knows that it is exactly what his supporters think, so of course he will continue to say it. Steve Bannon is not fond of even legal immigrants, so of course Donald Trump can be expected to remain tough on illegal immigration.
President Trump is now realizing that he will need at least some Democrats on his side in order to pass the bills that he has promised the American people. That is what his address was about Tuesday night. He needs to unite Congress enough to get his agenda through. With the pressure from progressive Americans to keep opposing anything Trump proposes, Democrats are in for a tough decision to make. Should they continue to oppose everything President Trump wants to pass, or is compromise possible?
For me, it is difficult to take anything Donald Trump proposes seriously, especially when his cabinet and appointees still remain cloaked in scandal. How are the American people or the Democrats supposed to strive for compromise when this administration has had contact with Russia and is clearly working for big business, not average Americans? Jeff Sessions is just the latest in many suspicious happenings that surround this administration.
Michael Flynn was just fired for having interactions with the top Russian diplomat, and now it has come out that Jeff Sessions did the same exact thing last year. During Sessions’ confirmation hearing, he said that he knew nothing of Trump’s campaign having connections with Russia. He also failed to mention that he himself had spoken with the diplomat himself.
The Department of Justice has been investigating the ties between Russia and Trump’s administration and campaign. Jeff Sessions is right in the heart of this investigation. Democrats and Republicans alike are calling for Sessions to recuse himself from the investigation, but I think it best if he simply resign from his position. Not only did Sessions meet with Kislyak, the Russian diplomat, twice in July. He also met with him in his office in September while he was a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee. This is unacceptable for someone that is now the Attorney General of the United States and has been a long time Trump surrogate.
If Michael Flynn, previously senior National Security Adviser to Trump could be fired for having contacts with Russia, Jeff Sessions should certainly resign over this mess. This administration will never be taken seriously if its members cannot hold the public’s trust. I am so tired of turning on the news to another scandal or lawsuit being brought against Donald Trump and his surrogates. If Donald Trump wishes to unite the parties and be taken seriously, he needs to start with appointing people that hold the public’s interests at heart, not people like Jeff Sessions.