Opinion

Trump's censorship is authoritative, harmful

Fetus . Diversity. Transgender. Vulnerable. Entitlement. Science-based. Evidence-based. 

These are all words that the Trump administration has chosen to ban from the budget proposals of the Center for Disease Control. While the Department of Health and Human Services claims that no list of banned words exists, it is easy to understand the implication directed towards CDC employees: there may not be an official list, but using those particular words in your proposals will get you in trouble. CDC employees who like their jobs will undoubtedly refrain from putting these newly proclaimed buzz-words in their reports. 

Censorship of science and facts is a step toward dictatorship and the banning of these particular words will result in extreme harm to our nation’s health, as well as the repression of knowledge regarding such health. The Trump administration’s attempt to distort scientific fact in order to push their agendas is a steps towards exerting complete control over the people . 

By eliminating the word “fetus”, the Trump administration further pushes a pro-life agenda and according to the pro-life movement, the term “fetus” dehumanizes the unborn. Thus, the elimination of the word “fetus,” to be replaced with a term such as “child” is meant to dictate through CDC reports that abortion is wrong. Basically, the Trump administration is warning the CDC not to use a scientifically correct term in order to sneak misogynistic, body-controlling thoughts into the public’s mind. 

Eliminating use of the word “diversity” shows that Trump and his administration have no regard for diversity. He called neo-Nazis “very fine people.” He assumed that all Haitians have AIDS and thought that all Nigerians lived in huts. He referred to African countries as “shitholes.” These are just some examples of his disturbing racial profiling - he has made far too many offensive comments for all of them to be listed here. 

The next banned word, transgender, demonstrates how the Trump administration has attempted to push an anti-LGBTQ agenda, trying to ban members of the transgender community from serving in the military. It seems that Trump thinks that banning the word “transgender” from CDC budget proposals will somehow help his case. 

Banning the word “vulnerable” also raises additional questions about Trump’s administration. The Trump administration has just passed a piece of legislation that raises taxes on the lower and middle classes in order to provide a big tax break to the wealthy, including Trump himself. Those who will be negatively affected by the tax bill are already vulnerable, but Trump simply cannot have the CDC revealing just how vulnerable poor people are. 

Next, the banned word “entitlement.” An “entitlement” can be defined as a benefit that the government is required to provide to people who qualify for it. Entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare are of little concern to the Trump administration. It is no secret that there are plans to cut these programs significantly. 

Each of these words is vital to scientific accuracy and understanding, which the Trump administration hopes to undermine. Banning the phrases “Science-based” and “Evidence-based” clearly demonstrates this.. If the facts, by way of science and evidence, are in the way of his agenda, Trump will pretend they don’t exist. Even worse, he will do his best to prevent such science and evidence from being presented to the public. 

Trump wants the public to be as uninformed as possible so he can easily fill voters’ minds to the brim with inaccuracies and lies. For the health of our population, the well-being of our democracy and the functionality of our society, it is of the utmost importance that our government does not censor information pertinent to the general public’s understanding of our nation’s health. 

Ashley is a freshman intending on majoring in journalism. Please send any and all of your comments and questions to opinion@dailycardinal.com.

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