Time to be vigilant

In this new era of Trump, we must continue to stay informed

This past week, for many of us, has been like watching a slow-motion train wreck. While nothing following the inauguration of Donald Trump on Friday (Jan. 20) has been particularly surprising, it’s still somehow shocking that it’s becoming reality. And it’s happening fast.

In just his first few days in office, President Trump already has made a number of orders, including:

• Canceling a .25 percent cut on mortgage insurance that former President Obama approved but that hadn’t yet taken effect. This affects mostly first-time home buyers.

• Directing Congress to begin preparing for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

• Reinstating the Mexico City policy, which forbids U.S. federal dollars from funding nonprofits that perform abortions in foreign countries.

• Moving forward on the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline projects. In doing so, he asked the Army to approve construction near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and mandated that pipeline material be made in the United States.

• Withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement among 12 nations championed by former President Barack Obama but not yet in effect.

As of press time, many other actions were expected Wednesday, including those regarding building a wall between the United States and Mexico, and launching an investigation into voter fraud. Trump has said he’ll soon submit his nomination for the empty Supreme Court seat.

And, of course, Trump isn’t the only one making laws in Washington. Earlier this week, the office of Rep. Doug LaMalfa sent out a press release in which he pats himself on the back for voting for House Resolution 7, an anti-abortion measure that will make the procedure unaffordable for low-income women by eliminating funding to insurance plans that cover it.

We’ve long known that LaMalfa (R-Richvale), whose 1st District covers Butte County, is anti-abortion. After all, during the pre-election debate hosted by the League of Women Voters of Butte County between himself and challenger Jim Reed, the CN&R asked the two men about their stances on Planned Parenthood. LaMalfa predictably repeated the debunked claim that the nonprofit, which provides reproductive health services including exams, STD testing and family planning, is a “seller of baby parts.” Reed rightly took LaMalfa to task, clearly disgusted—as we were—that the congressman would continue to spread such lies.

HR 7 looks to be a first salvo at defunding Planned Parenthood. But more than that, it’s one of the first actions—following Trump’s reinstatement of the Mexico City policy—that our government has taken during this presidency that takes direct aim at women’s rights. It’s disturbing that it came just days after the Women’s March, for which millions of people took to America’s streets to protest policies that would strip women—and all minorities—of their rights, including the right to an abortion.

This week’s cover package focuses on the power of protest. As we saw in just a few days following Trump’s inauguration, people are ready for it. We could be entering an era of revolution unlike anything in America since the Civil Rights movement and protests against the war in Vietnam. It certainly feels that way.

In this new era, in addition to protesting the inhumane policies set by our leaders, we must be vigilant in our efforts to stay informed. We must not let our representatives, like Mr. LaMalfa, off the hook when they reverse the path to equality this nation has fought so hard for. As journalists, we’ll do our part to keep readers informed. We hope you’ll do your part, too. This is our revolution.