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Locals ponder how Trump might govern

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Cortland VFW trustee Dick Small adjusts the U.S. flag flying over the Cortland VFW on Friday. Small, a Vietnam veteran, said he believes President-elect Donald Trump will build a proper team around him and have good generals to help him.

Throughout Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, he presented various ideas and policies that were variously praised, condemned or greeted with bewilderment.

At times, the Republican candidate presented no clear policy, such as giving no indication of how he plans to fight against ISIS or what he plans to do if he eliminated the Affordable Care Act.

The uncertainty of Trump’s looming presidency has left some people nervous, while others believe he will live up to his word to improve the country as a whole.

Dick Small, a Vietnam veteran and trustee of the Cortland Veterans of Foreign Wars, said one thing he learned from his father is: “surprise is the greatest weapon.” He is not concerned that Trump has not said how he plans to deal with terrorism in the world. He likes the fact that Trump is keeping quiet about it.

Small said he believes Trump will build a proper team around him and have good generals to help him.

Throughout Trump’s campaign he promised to help veterans, stating he wants them to be able to get care anywhere, at any time and not just have to rely on going to a Veterans Affairs Hospital.

Small said he hopes Trump will stick to his word and help all veterans.

“Help the vets that need help,” he said. “They should not have to wait for care.”

Trump has already laid out a laundry list of actions he plans to accomplish in his first 100 days in office. Among the topics on the list include making two- and four-year schools more affordable for students and repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Both topics could have a large impact on SUNY Cortland senior Cody Roman.

At the moment, Roman said he is focused on completing school and preparing for the large amount of college loan debt he will have to deal with after school. He said he hopes Trump’s skills in business will help him find a path to lowering the college debt load. Especially if Obamacare is repealed.

Under the health care act, parents can keep their children on their health insurance plan until they are 26 years old.

“I live on my mom’s health care, so I’d be screwed until I could find a good paying job,” Roman said about the possibility of Obamacare being repealed.

However, it is unclear if this is even valid concern. Trump is now saying he may not fully repeal Obamacare, which means young people may be allowed to stay on their parents’ plans until they are 26.

The full result of that course of action is unknown, and there is not enough information at the moment to say how it would effect many in Cortland County, said Marie Walsh, executive director of Catholic Charities of Cortland County.

She suspects if Obamacare were to be repealed there would be a lot more people coming to the organization for help, but it is too soon to say.

“We will always continue to help people with no insurance in any way we can,” Walsh said. “Once we know more about it (Trump’s health care plan) we will respond in the best way we can.”

She said she expects something will happen, but does not think the change will happen as fast as some people do.
“We have a long way to go,” Walsh said. “We’ll take it one step at a time.”

Trump’s ideals have many alarmed, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as he has promised during his campaign to overturn all of President Barrack Obama’s executive orders, which includes a ban on anti-LGBT discrimination.

And Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, has had a history of opposing gay rights. As governor of Indiana he signed into law a bill, in March 2015, that made it legal for businesses to cite religious freedom when refusing to serve gay and transgender people.

In the past 24 hours, we have seen a lot of ugliness from a lot of people towards a lot of groups of people — including the LGBTQ community,” the Cortland LGBTQ Center said in a written statement issued Thursday. “If you need to remove yourself and are looking for beauty in this situation, please come to us.”

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