Wakefield Reacts to One Year with President Trump


Gage Skidmore

Image found at https://tinyurl.com/ycn77m79

Friday, January 20th marked the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration. Being one of the United States’ most controversial presidents, The Chieftain interviewed the Wakefield Republicans and the Young Democrats Club to hear their opinions about his actions and policies. To say the least, it got pretty heated.

One of the many things that sets Trump apart from past presidents is his constant use of Twitter, which he many times uses as his main method of communication with the public to convey important announcements, such as the ban on transgender peoples’ ability to join the military. Some felt that this use of Twitter is very unpresidential, while others thought that it was smart of Trump to use a popular social media app as a platform to reach the general public.

The first question asked was: How do you feel about Trump’s use of Twitter as his main method of conveying important information to the American people?

One member of the Young Democrats Club, senior Alistair Watson, said, “as a Democrat here, I think the Twitter use is very unfortunate, especially when he banned transgender troops from joining the military with a tweet. I think that was a very improper and impolite way to present the announcement.” 

Junior Zach Saltos, a member of the Wakefield Republicans, said, “I think it’s great, honestly. It’s just an amazing tool to say something unfiltered and to be able to get right to the point. I think it’s really nice to have a president who is actually using this tool that so many Americans use as well, to fully communicate with ordinary people.”

Another member of the Wakefield Republicans, junior Emily Portalatin, said, “in the age that we are living, social media is almost a basic necessity of life. If you aren’t involved in social media, then you don’t really know what’s going on. I think his use of Twitter to get his message across is really smart. Some of the things he says may be a little too rough and a little too direct for the public, but I think that that is exactly what we need.”

Trump has already acted on his campaign promise by ending DACA, and, most recently promising to deport over 200,000 Salvadorans from the United States. These actions have inspired hundreds of protests across the country.

Because of this, the next question asked was: One of Trump’s main campaign promises was to deport illegal immigrants. Do you find his strict immigration and border control policies beneficial to the well being of the American people? 

First, the Democrats had the mic.

Senior Jorge Sanchez said, “I would like to say that his immigration plans are really misguided when it comes to the actual facts. For example, he says that immigrants are wasting a lot of money when it comes to welfare, but the fact of the matter is that you can’t apply for welfare because, you need to be a US citizen with and ID or a social security number, and a lot of them (illegal immigrants) don’t have that. On top of that, even if they are citizens, it takes up to five years for them to receive it.”

Senior Juan Martinez added to Jorge’s point; “I would like to emphasize that many of the immigrants from countries that Trump does not want to admit into our country are willing to come here and work the jobs that the vast majority of the American people are not willing to do. For example, many fresh produce farms heavily rely on the labor of immigrants, and now that they have been forced to leave, these farms are struggling. Yes, it is true, some of these people may not be the most educated, but they are willing to put in the work to be able to provide for their families.”

Senior Nick Dubois said, “I think that any sensible immigration policy needs to balance two goals: securing our borders and humanely treating and dealing with the immigrants that are already here. I believe that some of the President’s rhetoric on deporting illegal immigrants doesn’t really embody the latter, and I don’t think his policies are necessarily representative of the values of our country, being a nation of immigrants. That being said, we are also a nation of laws and we do have to secure the borders, though that doesn’t mean building a wall, that doesn’t mean rounding everyone up, it just means to establish some common-sense immigration policies.”

Then, it was the Republicans turn to speak.

Junior Zach Saltos said, “Trump is willing to work with democrats to end chain migration. If you take a country like Germany, who has been accepting Syrian refugees, as well as other refugees from the Middle East who are dealing with war and persecution, you will notice that their crime is skyrocketing. 

The discussion on immigration led to a discussion on a recent comment made by Trump, where he referred to certain countries, specifically Haiti, El Salvador, and a few parts of Africa, with a distasteful word. Over the course of the year, many have questioned Trump’s standards for immigration.

Zach Saltos said, “the reason Trump doesn’t want people from Haiti immigrating to our country has nothing to do with their race. If you were to look at their annual earnings per year, it’s about $1000 per year. Their literacy rate is very poor, and their GDP per capita is again very low. So really Trump is looking for immigrants with high levels of education who can support our economy, so I can understand why he would want someone from Norway, because they would fit this description.”

Then, junior Hannah Jones replied, “there are several countries that arguably fit the criteria of what you are saying qualifies a country to be included in the ban that are not included. These countries are deemed as high threats when it comes to terrorism, but they are not included on the ban, which is why I think some may see the travel ban as a ban on Muslims because it doesn’t completely cover all of the countries that can be considered threats to American safety.”

The last question asked, was: What is one common misconception about Trump’s actions and/or his policies that you would like to clarify?

Zach Saltos ended the conversation as he said, “one thing I would like to clarify is the issue of Islamophobia, and the Muslim travel ban. It’s not a Muslim travel ban, because it doesn’t include many of the Muslim majority countries of the Middle East. It’s a ban on countries with extremist groups like ISIS who hope to cause harm to the United States.”

Join the Wakefield Republicans or the Young Democrats Club today if the political discussion in this article interested you. 

Remember, we are the future, and our voice matters.