Some time has now passed and we have a feel for how the next 4 years might be. This is what worries me the most:
- The approach to security. America already has an over militarized police as well as aggressive border police. As a permanent resident, not a citizen, I've had to give thought about what happens when I decide to travel overseas and have to re-enter the country. My kids are at the age where they want to travel abroad themselves but the situation now is that they would have to be accompanied or I would have to have a lawyer on speed dial for their return.
The problem is that the "trust" and "discretion" and amendments to policy and policy interpretation, empowers people who are already in positions of power. The stories that have come out about how legal people have been questioned and treated are not in line with the values of western democracies. This is because people who are already authoritarian in nature have been given a freer rein to act irrationally.
-The EPA. Oklahoma is now more seismically active than California. This is due to fracking which in turn happened because of an overly powerful fossil fuel lobby in that state. The AG of that state, Scott Pruitt, has been a supporter of that lobby and highly critical of the EPA.
I enjoy the clean air here in California. The very diesels that predominate in western European countries and elsewhere because of their previously claimed environmental friendliness, were never clean enough for California. Whatever some of the excesses of the environmental lobby in California, clean air has never been a controversial topic here. And the science and people have proven to be right on this issue.
The problem with environmental issues is that what other people do affects you and there is little you can do about it. I feel I could navigate, mitigate and manage changes in other areas such as healthcare and tax, but on environmental issues what can you do eg if you're an Oklahoman with low income who can't afford to move? Some of those people, as with the people of Flint, have suffered terribly.
Other aspects trouble me as well, but it would become a very long post to cover them all. In terms of concerns for other Americans, the biggest would have to be healthcare. The worry that some people must be going through right now, must be horrendous.
Lastly, so many times we read about people who only changed their tune about policies when their personal circumstances change. Dick Cheney on gay marriage. Countless GOP supporters about Obamacare. Additionally, the country is divided by party lines right now, to the extent that there are truly two sets of "facts" that exist. No matter what their leaders say or do, they will support it. To them, the other side is simply evil.
I personally feel that one side is far more responsible and guilty of this than the other, but as long we have this duality of selfishness ie vote against things for others when you're not a "taker" but change your mind when you're in need, and the selfishness of needing your own set of facts to suit your beliefs, then I don't see any end to the problems we have and this is in fact the biggest worry I have about the next 4 years.