The First Year of Hell: A Compendium of How Democratic Ideals Fared Against Trump Administration Threats in 2017

The First Year of Hell: A Compendium of How Democratic Ideals Fared Against Trump Administration Threats in 2017

by Ms. Sharon L. Cohen

ISBN: 9781986741194

Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published in Politics & Social Sciences/Politics & Government, Nonfiction/Politics, Politics & Social Sciences, Nonfiction

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Book Description

Did Trump damage American democracy in 2017? Unfortunately, he and his cabinet made great headway into this destruction.

The book covers:

Obama executive orders rescinded;

New cabinet members and steps to disrupt their departments;

The President's "foreign, foreign affairs" and impact on US allies and adversaries

Attacks on free speech;

The rise of hurtful "isms", falsehoods and deceptions;

A timeline of Russian and Trump surrogate relations from 2016 to 2018.

Learn how President Trump is attacking America. Buy The First Year in Hell and see how our country is being burned.

Sample Chapter


Executive Orders. In his first year, Trump signed more executive orders (EOs) than any other president in the past 50 years. This was ironic, considering he greatly criticized Obama's use of such orders: "Obama goes around signing executive orders. He can't even get along with the Democrats. He goes around signing all these executive orders. It's a basic disaster. You can't do it."

Some "Basic Disasters" Covered in Trump's EOs:

Travel Ban.Trump wanted to ban people who were coming to the U.S. primarily from Muslim countries. The President's ban was quickly challenged through the legal system and had to be changed. The six countries approved in the final ban were Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. North Korea and Venezuela were later added. The U.S. Supreme Court made the travel ban fully operational In December 2017.

In January, 2018, nearly one year after Trump issued his initial ban on travel from Muslim countries, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to resolve a challenge to a third, more refined version. In Trump v Hawaii, the Court will hear argumentson whether Trump's travel ban, Proclamation No. 9645, also known as Executive Order 3 (EO-3), violates the Establishment Clause. This issue involves allegations that by applying the ban against Muslim countries based on religion the Trump Administration may have showed favoritism to religions.

Transgender Students' Bathroom Use. The Trump Administration rescinded protections for transgender students in public schools. The move by the U.S. Justice and Education Departments reversed Obama, who said a federal law known as Title IX protected the right of transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities. (Trump also weeted that the U.S. "will not accept or allow ... Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity" in the U.S. military." This request was later withdrawn because of lack of Pentagon support.)

Refugee Resettlement. The U.S. State Department told refugee agencies it was sharply reducing the number of offices across the country authorized to resettle people in 2018. The decision is leading to the closure of numerous resettlement offices around the country, potentially leaving some refugees without access to services that could integrate them into American life. Overall, the number of refugees allowed to resettle was cut from Obama's ceiling of 110,000 to 45,000, the lowest since the modern program was established in 1980.

Sanctuary Cities. Trump tried to financially punish sanctuary cities, which have shielded undocumented immigrants from deportation. A San Francisco judge blocked the order, since Congress--not the President--has control over federal spending. The order also violated the Fifth and Tenth Amendments of the Constitution. In November 2017, U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick issued a permanent injunction blocking Trump's EO.

Election Integrity. This EO ignored Russian involvement in the U.S. election and instead focused on voter fraud, despite all evidence that such fraud has been extremely rare. Trump established the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to “study the registration and voting processes used in federal elections, including 'vulnerabilities' that allow for fraudulent voting."The commission requested voting records from each state.Most states did not send this information for fear of how it was going to be used. The commission was sued by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the American Civil Liberties Union. It was shut down in January 2018 due to "endless legal battles."

Free Speech and Religious Liberty. This EO targeted the Johnson Amendment prohibits religious groups from endorsing political figures and concerns the mandate for employers to subsidize birth control coverage. Changing the amendment altogether would require Congressional action. This EO is on par with court cases, such as the one for Hobby Lobby, which ruled that corporations with religious owners cannot be required to pay for insurance coverage of contraception. If Attorney General Jeff Sessions uses this EO to his advantage, no religious belief would be too minor to exempt an organization from complying with federal law. Corporations and organizations receiving taxpayer dollars would be able to determine which federal regulations they follow. If Sessions’ interpretation is challenged and affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the EO can change the law for a lifetime.

Border Wall. Trump signed an EO ordering the Secretary of Homeland Security to “take all appropriate steps to immediately plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border.” He also took steps to enlarge U.S. resources for capturing and detaining undocumented immigrants, such as increasing border patrol agents and detention centers. The EO nixed the "catch and release" policy, which allowed undocumented immigrants to be set free on humanitarian grounds rather than be detained.

Crime Reduction. Three EOs directed the U.S. Attorney General to establish a Crime Reduction and Public Safety Task Force; target transnational drug cartels by telling federal agencies to "increase intelligence" sharing; and use current federal laws to prosecute anyone who commits violence against law enforcement. These orders contradicted the historic decrease in crime and ignored the impact on communities of color that have been disproportionately singled out by law enforcement.

America-First Offshore Energy Strategy. Trump signed an EO that directed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to develop a five-year plan for oil and gas exploration in offshore waters and to look at several regulations for these activities. Another order established the new position of Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy, who will oversee the Interior Department's energy portfolio across nine of its ten bureaus.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said these orders were aimed at unleashing America's offshore energy potential and growing economy: “Following through on the leadership established by President Trump, today's orders will help cement our nation’s position as a global energy leader and foster energy independence and security for the benefit of the American people, while ensuring that this development is safe and environmentally responsible. We will conduct a thorough review of the Outer Continental Shelf for oil and gas exploration and listen to state and local stakeholders. We also will conduct a thorough review of regulations that were created with good intentions but have had harmful impacts on America's energy security."

The Trump administration had thus promoted the most sweeping offshore drilling plan in American history, with plans for extensive drilling in the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific as well as parts of the previous off-limit areas of the Gulf of Mexico. Experts said this proposal called for a five-year drilling plan for 2019 to 2022 that consisted of over 90% of the entire outer continental shelf, some areas where drilling had never occurred or experienced such exploration in decades. In short, Trump wants to allow drilling for gas and oil along the whole U.S. coast. It is believed that this area holds 90 billion barrels of oil and 319 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, or 80% more than what has been available over time. Zinke said this order would make the U.S. the strongest energy superpower the world has ever known. A joint letter from 64 environmental groups responded that this would cause “severe and unacceptable harm” to U.S. publicly owned oceans, coastal economies and marine life.


Excerpted from "The First Year of Hell: A Compendium of How Democratic Ideals Fared Against Trump Administration Threats in 2017" by Ms. Sharon L. Cohen. Copyright © 2017 by Ms. Sharon L. Cohen. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Ms. Sharon L. Cohen

Ms. Sharon L. Cohen

Sharon L. Cohen has over four decades as a nonfiction author and communication specialist. Her expertise is in research and distilling large, complex topics into easy-to-understand, user-friendly copy. She has written several books about starting an online business as well as on Connecticut communities. After the tragic shooting in Newtown, her present home, she wrote a reference guide of services available for comunity residents in need of support. She is now writing a book on mental healthcare after manmade and natural disasters.

View full Profile of Ms. Sharon L. Cohen

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