In response to the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009, the Federal Reserve began performing “stress tests” to assess whether financial institutions with $50 billion or more in assets had sufficient capital to absorb losses during stressful financial times and still be able to lend money to households and businesses. This annual testing led to regulatory improvements with the goal of reducing the likelihood of bank failures resulting in another financial crisis like the one our country went through10 years ago.
Our current president, Donald Trump, through his actions, is like a stress test for the entire United States, putting stress on our institutions, credibility, and standing in the world.
By his actions during the election and during his nascent administration, he has questioned the validity and impartiality of our judiciary. He continually questions the reliability of our intelligence gathering agencies. He demonizes our free press, a precious resource that has made our nation powerful and a beacon to the world. He minimizes our alliances with friendly, like-minded nations and cozies up to bullying nations. He seeks legislation to reduce health care coverage for the poor. He ignores the fact that we are a nation of immigrants and seeks to build walls to “protect us” from well-meaning, desperate, well-vetted refugees from other countries, despite the creed emblazoned at our Statue of Liberty that we welcome the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free”.
Although we elected Mr. Trump to be our president, he shows us daily what can happen when only a fraction of eligible voters participate in our elections. I hope and pray that the national stress test resulting from the Trump presidency will inspire a stronger, more engaged electorate, so that we can regain our place as a beacon of hope to the world.
Burton Scott MD