Fear of the Unknown

Uncertainty exists in Oxnard about Trump’s policies


There are few who have no opinion on President-Elect Donald Trump. While California’s electoral votes went to Clinton, close to four million Californians voted for Donald Trump. This seemingly large number is dwarfed by Clinton’s roughly eight million votes in California. The numbers aside, Oxnard is home to both Trump’s supporters and detractors.

Despite the groups’ differences, they often share one commonality, being the lack of clarity on Trump’s specific plans for policies. These policies are subject to change, as are many things in the political world, but will be adamantly defended by the populist base and the Republican Congress. Their unwillingness to compromise has been showcased in the 2013 shutdown of the Federal Government.

Recent walkouts and in-school demonstrations have consisted of large numbers of students, some of whom are well educated and informed, whereas others neither know nor care to learn about the policies that will define the nation’s future.

On the issue of LGBT marriage, Oxnard High School sophomore Joseph Bautista said, “I knew he didn’t mind it, but I didn’t know he didn’t have a plan” when he was informed of Trump’s stance. The president-elect has said he would not attempt changing the current rulings on LGBT marriage. When presented with Trump’s policy plans without associating them with Trump, some students misattributed them to President Barack Obama.

Another proposal has been in regards to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. President-Elect Trump has been critical of it, claiming we lose too much money defending other countries, who fail to compensate our expenses.  An Oxnard High alumnus, Nathaniel Terry, said, “(Trump) is either going to fix it or ditch it. The US is a large member of NATO and can afford to make demands.”

Trump has said, “I would be absolutely prepared to tell those countries, ‘Congratulations, you will be defending yourself.’” These remarks have drawn criticism from many who fear that this would weaken the geopolitical position of Western democracy.

One of the most divisive issues, which was asserted by innumerable media outlets such as  CNBC, Business Insider, The New York Times, The Guardian, and the Washington Post, to be the end of Trump, was his stance on immigration. The president-elect’s statements on crime among immigrants has been a driving factor in his disapproval rating, which was as high as 71% at the start of his campaign. Over the course of the election, his unfavorability has dropped to below 50%, as reported by the Huffington Post. This may be due to voters becoming informed about Trump’s plans to reform immigration, rather than listening to political rhetoric.

Trump has said he would introduce the “End Illegal Immigration Act” to Congress, which would fund the building of a wall, assuming that the expenses will be eventually covered by Mexico. It would also require repeatedly deported illegals to serve a two-year minimum prison sentence, and a five-year minimum for those who have felonies, multiple misdemeanors, or multiple deportations. Those who overstay visas would face more serious punishments.

Trump has also iterated that dangerous criminals and drug dealers would be targeted for deportation first and that visas will be canceled for all countries who refuse to take them back. These hardline immigration proposals have drawn much criticism from Americans, especially in California’s Hispanic population.

Trump’s presidency will go down in history, even if there is discord over how it will do so. The full extent of his administration will ultimately be recorded by the American people, not in his policies. Laws and orders will be repealed and changed, but their impact can leave a lasting imprint on Americans. For these reasons, it is important to be knowledgeable about the president, regardless of opinion.