What’s the Deal With These Orders?

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Yasmeen Waliaga

The United States’ 45th president has not paused for a moment during this first month in office. With 22 executive orders already into play (some technically considered memorandums and proclamations), Trump has made it clear that he intends to follow through with his promised actions. The question is whether or not the people actually want him to.

Donald Trump’s impulsivity and remorseless demeanor may seem panic-worthy to some, but people also complain when someone with power is hesitant to make bold moves initially. I’d like to say there’s a balance, but our democracy has proven its incapability of symmetry. Remember, it all comes back to politics so before hating the player, remember the history of the game. But do not assume I am justifying any of the player’s actions. Sometimes, a new president tiptoes into the Oval Office and sometimes a new president marches instead.

It’s difficult to march without stepping on some toes, hence, the backlash to Trump’s executive decisions thus far. 

We are well past the age of it being acceptable to base our political stances on what we hear our parents discuss at the dinner table. So, it is important for us to understand how politics work, at least enough to have some ground to base our opinions on. An educated stance is much more appealing than one unaware of the system.

So here is some helpful information on what these acts of power mean and how they differ from each other. And incase you haven’t heard enough about Donald Trump’s actions thus far, you can catch up with this brief list that puts Trump’s actions in language we don’t fall asleep reading.

“Sir, Yes, Sir”: What Do We Call These Orders?

Believe it or not, Donald Trump’s actions are not all manifested through Twitter slang. They actually have real titles that classify them. So, what’s the difference?

Executive orders are often confused with executive actions. Truth is, all presidential moves are considered executive actions. An order is just one example. An executive order by definition is an order made by the president that applies to certain governmental agencies and tells them exactly how to carry out a specific action the president orders of the executive branch.

Memorandums are similar in that they show how to carry out a law or action, however, unlike executive orders, memoranda are not included in the Federal Register. The organization system for these isn’t as regulated as that for executive orders, which are placed in consecutive order in the Federal Register.

Proclamations are far from being as bossy as executive orders and memorandums. These are more ceremonial. They might lead to new actions but not as aggressively. Sneaky ritual proclamations!

“I Told You So!”: Trump’s Promises Fulfilled.. At What Expense?

Here is a roundup of some of the president’s most talked about actions so far as the “everything”-in-chief of the United States. This is not all of the 22, but these few actions have sure been initiating a good amount of frustration, excitement and just simple confusion. Here are five actions that have gotten attention in my opinion.

  • The Mexico border wall is real and the Department of Homeland Security is on it! Oh, and more (thousands more) will be hired for patrol duty.

  • Refugees along with immigrants from seven Muslim countries could not enter the U.S., even if the refugees had been vetted and cleared. Imagine you were told you had a brand new car waiting for you and you showed up at the dealership to find nothing.

  • The Keystone XL pipelines and Dakota Access pipelines are back! Donald Trump wants everyone to forget about that whole ordeal and start drilling. Once again, we are ignoring those who were here before our European ancestors.

  • Peace out Trans-Pacific Partnership! Hey, at least this one helps our domestic situation. America doesn’t need to stick around in a relationship. Maybe we need to be single again!

  • Another freeze! No hiring federal employees for now. Perhaps this will shrink the government. Hey, I’m not opposed to shrinking the government.