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Trump’s Dictionary

Trump’s Dictionary

Trump’s Dictionary
January 05
16:41 2018

Jesús Sánchez Meleán

Trump dared to wish Merry Christmas in one of his tweets on December 24th of this year. The president said: “People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again. I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!”. Trump believes he is very sharp for writing those words. According to Trump, the phrase “Merry Christmas” had been vetted by the intellectuals and leftists, because it is not “politically correct.”

Those who support the censoring of the phrase “Merry Christmas”, would be doing so to respect the rights of non-Christian religions, who also have celebrations during the month of December. But Trump, as a good avenger, pronounces the phrase to please Christians disregarding the grievance he might be causing others. Even more important, Trump states that his gesture seeks to return freedom of speech to all of those who publicly want to say “Merry Christmas” without being criticized.

His intentions are good and have positive aspects. With his “audacity”, Trump is clearly supporting free speech. The problem is that he is not too consistent. He frees some words while censoring others. The Trump administration banned officers from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to use seven words or phrases in official documents regarding projects and budget for the year 2018.

These words are: Diversity, fetus, transgender, vulnerable, science-based, evidence-based and entitlement. These terms must be eliminated from any document the CDC, main public health agency, issues. Experts in healthcare policy assure that many of the censored words are directly tied to gender and reproductive rights, as well as the acknowledgement of gender identity for transgender individuals.

Experts also explain that the now forbidden words are used, among other things, for research projects and action plans geared towards endemic illness control. These experts mention as an example the AIDS prevention programs that are geared towards the transgender population. On the other hand, vetting the word “fetus” weakens research on the consequences of the Zika virus. This censorship of words makes clear the health priorities this current administration has.

By eliminating some words from the public health sector dictionary in the U.S., the Trump administration is also making an ideological statement. For decades, the most conservative wing of the Republican party has sought to eliminate or minimize all “entitlement” programs, those that conform the “American welfare.” This rigid view by certain Republicans was ignored by Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr., all of them Republican presidents.

All the above might be defined as “compassionate” Republicans, even though the term was coined by Bush Jr. All of them protected the entitlement programs. Eisenhower, for example, increased social security benefits and unemployment insurance. Meanwhile, Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes, kept the social security benefits that protect retirement and the disabled. These presidents also supported Medicare and Medicaid.

By forbidding the CDC to use the word “entitlement”, Trump is giving a direct blow to the U.S. welfare system. Everything indicates that Medicaid and Medicare programs will be diminished, according to experts. Up until the moment Trump became president, which has come with the ascent of the most conservative ideologies, there was a national consensus on the need to help those in poverty and the most vulnerable. With the new censure on words imposed by Trump, it is evident that the consensus is gone. Welcome to 2018. 

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Edición Virtual | #327 | 6 de diciembre 2018

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