(CNN)Last weekend, while enormous numbers of Americans were marching throughout the country against the proposed policies of a president sworn in just the day before, the Trump administration had already made a move that will make it more expensive for many Americans to become homeowners. The rescinding of a pending cut in mortgage insurance rates planned to go into effect January 27 wasn’t a big surprise, and it doesn’t seem to have been a carefully considered policy decision. The Obama administration implemented the planned cut in its final days, apparently without consulting the incoming Trump team. But none of that changes the fact that for all President Trump’s talk about helping the little guy, this move will hurt low- and middle-income borrowers.
Trump’s persona as champion of the everyday American has long been a head fake, given his business track record that includes being sued for racial discrimination, fraud and for not paying the small business owners who have done work for him. This move, coming so early in his tenure, simply underscores what we’ve long known about his priorities — they don’t include the everyday Americans struggling to make ends meet.
That’s why the pleas to “just give him a chance” or “wait to see what he does” have always been absurd. The decisions Trump has made from the day he began running for president have proven that he is rhetorically in tune with what many Americans want to hear, which is often the opposite of what they need. In addition to his mortgage insurance decision, Trump took first-day steps to begin the gutting of the Affordable Care Act, which has improved and saved the lives of millions of everyday Americans. He has also staffed a Justice Department that likely won’t protect voting rights as aggressively as the Obama administration, and espoused a tax policy that could be heavily weighted toward providing relief for the richest among us.
It’s clear Trump isn’t waiting to see what his opponents plan to do before acting. There’s little reason to believe he wouldn’t implement policies that hurt, rather than help, the very communities he pledged to help during his campaign. That’s why elections matter. But that’s also why what happened on Saturday, with coordinated marches throughout the country in a way we haven’t seen in a long time, must be a beginning, not an end. Trump’s actions, if not his words, prove that he isn’t a champion of the everyday American — which means everyday Americans better be ready to champion themselves.