Californians are seeing many policies put forth by President Donald Trump and the rest of his administration as a direct attack on their values, with some lawmakers articulating that the president has “declared war” on The Golden State.
Just days after the state officially made the consumption of marijuana for recreational purposes a legal activity, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he was rescinding a rule from the President Barack Obama administration that limited to what extent federal prosecutors could go after drug sellers across the nation. Rather than limiting U.S. attorneys, the new rule made by Sessions allows them to decide for themselves whether prosecution against otherwise legal dispensaries is warranted.
But it’s not just legal pot that has Californian’s upset. Trump’s views and policies on immigration have also run contradictory to what the state wants. With the start of the new year, California became a “sanctuary state,” meaning police cannot ask about the immigration status of victims or witnesses in routine contact with the public or during an investigation involving a different matter altogether.
California is also promising to stand up to Trump’s new goals of creating new offshore drilling sites near its Pacific waters.
“For more than 30 years, our shared coastline has been protected from further federal drilling, and we’ll do whatever it takes to stop this reckless, short-sighted action,” Gov. Jerry Brown said in a joint statement with other Pacific Coast governors.
Finally, consider Trump’s response to the wildfires that engulfed the state this past fall — or rather, his lack of a response. While the state dealt with fires that consumed hundreds of thousands of acres, forcing tens of thousands of residents to evacuate, the president’s response was quiet at first, almost like he was ignorant of it happening.
Trump did eventually issue a statement on Twitter sending out his condolences to the people affected by the fires. But it took until just two days ago for him to officially declare the destruction wrought by the fires a disaster area.
On a myriad of issues, Trump has proven time and again that he has very little care for Californians. It may be political retribution; the state voted against him by more than 30 percentage points in 2016.
Yet that doesn’t excuse his seemingly deliberate attack on the state. Legal weed has worked elsewhere, and the administration’s decision to allow prosecution by U.S. attorneys, just days after California officially decriminalizes pot, is a clear sign that the administration is targeting the state. Offshore drilling, immigration goals that do more harm than good, and a slow response to the wildfires, also demonstrate that the administration has little interest in serving their constituents’ wishes on the West Coast.
This president needs to put his personal animosity aside and work to make the largest economy in the nation a priority for him and his administration. If he doesn’t, Californians seem determined to make sure he’ll regret not doing so.