Why Trump’s “rhetoric” should be the least of our concerns


“Actions speak louder than words.”

It’s an overplayed adage, but one that is more relevant than ever. As we watch Donald Trump move swiftly into the driver’s seat of this country, we need to be concentrating on what he does, not what he says.

Trump’s 100-day plan will prove that the campaign “rhetoric” so lambasted over the last year of limited consequence.

In his 100-day plan, Trump has promised to undermine NAFTA and label China a currency manipulator, move forward with the Keystone pipeline and lift restrictions on the production of 50 trillion-dollars worth of fossil fuel energy, remove millions of child immigrants from the country, cancel funding for Sanctuary Cities and, yes, build a wall.

That’s a lot of damage. Let’s break down why this series of actions will be catastrophic.

NAFTA is a multination trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada – which makes it easier for manufacturers and farmers to do business. Because NAFTA is an existing treaty signed by Congress, it will be hard to change. But, Trump can strangle it.

What could happen if NAFTA is suffocated?

Businesses with well-established supply chains and distribution systems based on simple trade will struggle to adapt. Trump thinks NAFTA moves manufacturing jobs to Mexico. So he will likely impose tariffs and aggressively use enforcement mechanisms to hassle companies to keep or move those systems to the U.S.

If Trump moves forward, there’s no doubt prices on relatively cheap goods will go up and businesses will be hung out to dry.

Mexico is not the only nation Trump will alienate with aggressive trade negotiation. Labelling China a currency manipulator, according to experts at the Wall Street Journal, could cause a trade war.

Though the distinction of currency manipulator has little actual effect, there is no doubt the action will strain an already contentious relationship with China. Trump will likely impose new U.S. tariffs on China and spark legal problems with U.S. importers.

One foreign entity may be pleased with Trump’s 100-day plan. TransCanada – an oil company owning over 40,000 miles of pipeline in North America – is eager for a green-light to continue building the Keystone XL pipeline.

The pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels of oil from the Canadian tar-sands to the United States – per day.

The Keystone XL pipeline is only one of the many projects that a Trump administration would likely permit and encourage to create temporary jobs in the face of their devastating effects.

Perhaps the most heartbreaking item on his agenda is to begin the mass deportation of immigrants, including children, and systematically disenfranchise Sanctuary Cities across the country.

Trump promises to end DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals which allows children brought into the country to receive protection from deportation – and make around 1.3 million immigrant children eligible for deportation.

It’s hard to put into words how heartbreaking that initiative would be.

Trump promises to fund the construction of a wall on our southern border, even though Mexico will not pay for it, establish a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions.

These actions are costly, in human and and in economic terms. We cannot afford to keep thousands of immigrants in our already overcrowded prisons and build a multi-trillion dollar wall across our border with Mexico. If such an initiative is even started, the federal deficit will skyrocket.

This is only the beginning of the 100-day plan.

Trump wants to funnel money into the Justice Department to “reduce crime.”

Trump plans to overhaul the tax bracket – cutting income tax rates, capping deductions for the wealthy, reducing business tax rate to 15 percent and eliminating the estate tax (otherwise known as the inheritance tax).

And the biggest “winners” of this plan are the wealthy. Estimates from the Tax Policy Center say that the top one-percent of households would see their after-tax incomes rise by double digits, while households in the 40th and 60th percentile would only see an increase in after-tax income of about one-percent: an example of trickle-down economics at it’s most evident.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that Trump follows through with these promises in their entirety. We’ve already watched Trump walk back part of his promise to completely repeal and replace Obamacare.

But it’s important to note that this 100-day plan is his proposed actions. We aren’t dealing with Trump rhetoric anymore. We are dealing with a plan on the table; a series of catastrophic actions that would lead to the alienation of foreign nations, the continued destruction of our planet and the disintegration of millions of hardworking immigrant families.

The ball is in our court. Do we sit on the sidelines and discuss how disgusting the pre-game trash-talk was? Or get back in the game and do everything we can to block his next shot?



  1. This I think is one of the best informative posts about President Elect Trump there has been.
    I’m still in awe, as we all are, that we have elected a demagogue and climate change denier who’s enacted ideals can be absolutely catastrophic.

    The keystone pipeline and the NAFTA issues scare me the most because I feel like those are most achievable to him. And for the uneducated all over the US – mainly rural America – they will see a boost in jobs because of things like the keystone pipeline, but won’t realize how terrible it is for the environment. Instead of pushing jobs toward stable sufficient energy, and shifting the world’s stance on oil, they like to stick to what they know – keeping their pockets full while also trying to convince millions of people that climate change is a hoax created by China.

    Absolutely stupid by the Right Wing, but nonetheless, great and informative post.


  2. I actually wrote an op-ed that makes the complete opposite argument (that Trump’s rhetoric was the most damaging part of this election), but your post obviously cuts straight to the real ramifications his presidency could have on our country. The President-elect’s 100-day plan is bleak, to say the least, and we’re right to already be discussing its larger implications and building resistance to its outcomes.You bring up that Trump is already starting to walk back some of his promises, and seems to be tripping over policies he claimed to have a “plan” for, but now he has the operatives and institutional authority to activate his fleeting impulses. My argument was focused on the damning effects of his hate speech and the precedent he sets for future American leaders, as well as the larger sentiments of what our country stands and strives for; this piece made me further weigh what real damage he’s on track to do. I stand by my piece, but I don’t think it necessarily conflicts with yours.


  3. Trump spoke his mind with no apparent filter and a complete disregard for basic human decency, but it has been all bark and no bite up to this point. People that say Trump isn’t that bad cause he hasn’t done anything that reproachable and only said he’d do awful things, are in for a treat. Now that he’s taking the presidency, there’s no telling how committed he’ll be to fulfilling his promises, but uncertainty and fear are certainly widespread both with his followers and his detractors. Will he bite, or just keep barking?


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