America’s year with Donald Trump

December 28, 2017

All predictions and hopes that US President Donald Trump will not last long in his office, not even the first six months, have been proven wrong at the close of his first year in office. And any...

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All predictions and hopes that US President Donald Trump will not last long in his office, not even the first six months, have been proven wrong at the close of his first year in office. And any chances of that happening anytime soon are not there.

Trump continues to tear apart American polity, society and economy through the economic divide in country and by playing with fire by igniting the white racist identity at home. All this, along with the polarisation across the continents, is opposite to the role of a leadership.

The uncertainty, tension and climate of fear that Trump has created at home and abroad reminds one of the inter-war period (1919-1939). When the US president called the North Korean leader ‘little rocket man’ scholars back home called him the ‘Big rocket man’. From the US Congress to experts, everyone started worrying about the powers that the US commander in chief has over authorising use of nuclear weapons. That worry is not over yet, since an impulsive and unpredictable president’s rule is like a dangerous gamble.

The recent elections in Virginia, New Jersey and Alabama show a comeback of the Democratic Party in traditional Republican strongholds but it has not been enough to weaken Trump. Many in the Republican Party realise that Trump is adding to the woes of the party. But then where do they stand without him? Aren’t they hostage to him and his whims. Yes many old associates of Republicans have disassociated with the party, such as former Congressman Pressler, but does he say he disagrees with Trump’s selection of the team? No.

Trump’s coming into power was the revenge of the white identity. Race represents tribal values and is in total contrast to the modern cosmopolitan market culture and defies the laws governing capitalism. Though Trump did not win in big American cities like New York, Chicago and LA, his support base was rural America, where over 50 percent people live on the pay check and without enough savings. (Also shockingly, some traditional democratic blue states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota went red)

Trump’s shock and awe policy isn’t yielding results. Breaking channels of diplomatic communications with key UN Security Council members and going solo on Jerusalem questions, as well as facing a humiliating defeat in the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, the Trump administration is not defending American interests, but only paving the way for a volatile world and undermining institutional arrangements without the ability to foresee the consequences of a disorder.

Nikki Haley’s threat of cutting down US aid to countries if they voted against the American position on Jerusalem showed that ignorance or denial is deep within US policymakers. It also reflects their unawareness of the reality that the world largely does not depend on their aid and assistance. States like Pakistan, when it comes to their security questions, keep aid (development) as the least priority. One really fails to understand why this threat of cutting down aid was even used; who exactly was the reference? Perhaps, Egypt! But it went unheard. The US gave up the last bargaining space to Israel just to keep Trump’s domestic constituency happy.

In his year-long rule, Trump has failed to satisfy his own people. What does he mean by making ‘America great again’? What lost glory is he really talking about? The US continues to be the most powerful empire in the world, with the largest economy and size of the GDP and the same level of troop presence in over 130 countries. The troop presence following the peace treaties of World War II were largely seen as stabilising and balancing forces in volatile regions from the Far East to East Asia, the Middle East to Eastern Europe. That is how the US earned the title of the World’s Policeman, unwanted and uncalled for.

By adopting a threatening posture towards friends and foes, what is Trump trying to achieve? What the American media, top security agencies and key politicians believe is a threat of Russian intervention in the 2016 elections Trump does not seem to consider a serious and real issue. American writers and intellectuals see their democracy and electoral system under attack by such threats, while Trump sees all this as a conspiracy against him. However, it is becoming clear that the single most dangerous issue that could decide Trump’s future in the White House is the ongoing FBI investigation into Trump’s election team’s contacts with. The firing of the FBI director did not help stop the investigation.

By changing the American position on Jerusalem, Trump has, for the time being, been successful in diverting focus and attention from the issues he was engulfed at home to the new crisis, igniting anti-Americanism, on which he thrives. Trump took the most unwise and internationally unpopular course of actions on Jerusalem, burying any chances of lasting peace between Palestine and Israel, at least during his remaining period in office.

The Republican Party has not recovered from Trump’s popular takeover. Most of the party leaders reluctantly stand behind Trump as they do not see anyone else delivering them their conservative socio-economic agenda. They fear Trump and the only those who do not intend to seek re-election speak up against him. The Republicans face a dilemma; with Trump they are set to lose the upcoming midterm elections, and without his support or rallying behind him, they do not have even have a chance. The party is stuck with him – as is the country and the rest of the world.

Trump’s language, Twitter habits and the ongoing investigation into the Russian connection are giving enough fuel to the Democratic Party to attack him. The Bernie-Warren combination is a force which could lift the US out of this embarrassment both at home and abroad.


Twitter: MushRajpar

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