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DJT Plans Tracking

These are short paragraphs describing Donald Trump's plans, proposals, and nominees, written by the (brilliant!) students in my First Year Seminar on the Election for our last class.  If you have anything to add, or think something is inaccurate, please leave a comment. 

Democratic Norms

posted Nov 29, 2016, 7:49 PM by Daniel Laurison

Since the election, Trump has done a number of things that no President or President-elect has done before, flouting numerous norms and conventions. These include his treatment of journalists: tweeting disparagement at journalists and holding a meeting with journalists and media magnates in which he reportedly yelled at them; he seems to be mixing his business interests with his position as President-elect in various ways, including bringing his children (who will be running his business) to meetings with foreign dignitaries; and his appointment of people far far outside the political mainstream to key posts in his administration. 


Conflicts of Interest & The Emoluments Clause

posted Nov 29, 2016, 7:38 PM by Daniel Laurison

The Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution says "No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."  Emolument means compensation, essentially; Trump's business interests around the world include a number that work directly with foreign governments or corporations controlled by foreign governments.


Roe v Wade, Abortion & Reproductive Rights

posted Nov 29, 2016, 7:33 PM by Daniel Laurison


Trump claimed during his presidential campaign that Roe v Wade would automatically be overturned because he planned on appointing pro-life judges to the Supreme Court. In reality, the Supreme Court has a 5-3 majority right now supporting reproductive rights. There is one vacancy due to the death of Scalia that Trump has to fill (because Republicans blocked confirmation of Obama's appointee, Merrick Garland - http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/06/politics/merrick-garland-supreme-court-wait/). Even if he did appoint a pro-life judge to this spot, this would “merely restore the status quo of the court.” There shouldn’t be any real concern unless he gets to nominate one more justice which would be a 5-3 imbalance in favor of pro-choice. Trump said if the reversal were to go through then it would be up to state legislatures to determine which circumstances women were allowed to access abortions in. Likely Northeast states and West coast states would support women’s reproductive rights, but all other states would enact some sort of limitation whether that be abortion only within the first trimester or a total ban of the procedure unless the mother’s life is at risk. When this was brought up to Trump in a 60 minutes interview he said “well, they’ll perhaps have to go, they’ll have to go to another state.” Obviously not all women have the resources to just get up and go wherever so that could be devasting for women. But overall, it is not likely that the decision will be completely reversed.

Supreme Court

posted Nov 29, 2016, 7:30 PM by Daniel Laurison   [ updated Nov 29, 2016, 7:31 PM ]

Donald Trump can nominate people to the Supreme Court, subject to Senate approval. He has released a list of possible nominees (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/19/us/politics/donald-trump-supreme-court-nominees.html)

(http://www.businessinsider.com/president-elect-donald-trump-supreme-court-list), most of whom are white, conservative men. He’s expressed support for appointing justices that would overturn Roe vs. Wade, which is often a litmus test for conservative justices. A simple majority would be needed to confirm Supreme Court nominees unless there is a filibuster, but Republicans could rewrite the rules to prevent Democrats from filibustering.

Rise in Hate Crimes

posted Nov 29, 2016, 7:29 PM by Daniel Laurison

Using his informal “bully pulpit” power, Donald Trump could denounce the rise in hate crimes since the election, which he has kind of done (http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/10/us/post-election-hate-crimes-and-fears-trnd/), but has yet to say anything on Twitter. There has been an empirically verified increase in hate crimes since the election (https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2016/11/18/update-incidents-hateful-harassment-election-day-now-number-701). Donald Trump could reverse Obama’s executive order 13672, which prohibits discrimination in the federal government and contractors on the basis on gender identity and sexual orientation. On the other hand, he could theoretically issue executive orders protecting more groups, though that seems unlikely given his refusal to denounce the white supremacy groups that supported him. Supreme Court challenges are a check on executive orders.

Jobs, Economy, Infrastructure

posted Nov 29, 2016, 7:16 PM by Daniel Laurison



-every income group receives a tax cut, with low-income Americans paying no taxes at all

-greatest reduction in taxes goes to working and middle class

- lowers business tax rate

- raises minimum wage

- stops sending jobs overseas

It looks like Trump has succeeded in keeping at least one company from moving jobs overseas: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/29/business/trump-to-announce-carrier-plant-will-keep-jobs-in-us.html



-substantial infrastructure investments

-America’s Infrastructure First Policy

- provide maximum flexibility to the states

- create jobs in construction, steel manufacturing, etc to build the transportation, water, telecommunications, and energy infrastructure

-american steel by American workers

-approve private sector energy infrastructure projects

-modernize airports and reform FAA and TSA

-clean water a high priority

there is some skepticism about the feasibility of this plan:

Wars, NATO, Russia

posted Nov 29, 2016, 7:10 PM by Daniel Laurison

This Forbes article says that Trump could reduce the danger of war in Europe for the U.S for five reasons.  One is that he will seek common ground with Putin.  He also wants Europeans to take the lead in defending themselves because as of now the U.S provides over 70% of NATO’s military spending. Return to “speaking softly and carrying a big stick” rather than doing what this article is claiming the Obama administration is doing now: “speaking loudly and carrying a little stick.”


This article argues that because Trump will not want the U.S to continue its leadership in NATO that it can lead to a nuclear war with Russia.  This is because the article claims that NATO completely depends on the premise that the U.S will come to the aid of allies unconditionally.  And Trump being against this weakens the alliance.  Russia is more likely to invade the Baltic states if the U.S is unlikely to step in.  The article claims that any war with Russia will escalate to a nuclear war.  According to this article, if Trump does not change his position on the U.S in NATO, a nuclear war with Russia could occur.


LGBTQ People & Families

posted Nov 29, 2016, 7:06 PM by Daniel Laurison

-Trump can rescind Obama’s executive orders protecting these groups of people

-Can also appoint anti-LGBTQ/pro-”religious liberty” politicians and judges to positions in the executive branch and on the Supreme Court

-pending Congressional approval

-Trump has not been nearly as clear about this as his VP-elect Pence (who has been a “religious liberty” activist his entire political career)

-during the primaries, appealed to republican voters and promising to stay true to their “ideals” (which would suggest a lack of government protection for these groups)

-at convention, condemned the Orlando shooting, promising to protect this community, but then announced Pence as his VP pick

-now is saying that he does not want to overturn the Supreme Court ruling allowing gay marriage, saying that it is a finished argument

*Trump himself is very back-and-forth about the topic* so we shall see……


Education - Betsy DeVos

posted Nov 29, 2016, 7:03 PM by Daniel Laurison

Trump is calling for $20 billion in federal funding to allow poor children at low-performing public schools to enroll in charter and private schools. This increases parents’ choice over the kind of education their kids receive.   Trump only spoke about education in broad terms so specific policy changes are unknown.  He is also calling for a downsizing of the education department.

His nominee for Secretary of Education, head the US Department of Education, is Betsy DeVos. She is an advocate of charter schools and "school choice," which many believe will make our education system more unequal. This position requires Senate confirmation.




Mike Pompeo - head of CIA

posted Nov 29, 2016, 6:57 PM by Daniel Laurison

Mike Pompeo: Trump’s nominee for head of the CIA. Pompeo serves on the House Intelligence Committee. He was also on a committee that looked into the Benghazi attack. Close friend of Mike Pence. This position requires Senate confirmation.

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