close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

December 10, 2020

The real American carnage

Opinion

December 10, 2020

“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.” With these words on January 20, 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

Trump had come from a business background and had been a reality TV star. His populist campaign – anti-immigrant, hateful of Muslims and other minorities – attracted a devoted following among whites. His base soon consisted of people from rural states, white Christian evangelicals and others who felt left behind in the new globalized world.

Expectations were that this ultra-wealthy person, not known for his largesse towards the less fortunate, will somehow fend for the masses. Four years later, as voters have pushed him out of office, the country lies in shambles. A global pandemic has ravaged the country, made worse by Trump’s inept handling. The economy is hurting badly with over 10 million unemployed. Even as other countries have started to come out of the health crisis, the US is sinking deeper into it.

About 15 million Americans have been infected, with almost 200,000 getting infected every day. The number of deaths from Covid-19 is approaching 300,000, the highest in the world.

To make matters worse, Trump continues to contest the results of the recently concluded elections in the face of all facts. More than 50 lawsuits launched by him, contesting election results, have been dismissed by courts. Yet he continues to insist the election was rigged.

Using these claims, he has continued to ask his supporters for donations, raising over $200 million since the election. There is little doubt Trump will be out of office on January 20 when Joe Biden is sworn in. What remains to be seen is exactly where Trump will take his supporters on the back of blatant lies about the authenticity of the election results. Grave harm is being done to the country and to the norms of democracy. Such blatant lying and indecency has not been seen from a president in recent times.

Beyond domestic affairs, Trump's foreign policy ventures are also a disaster. His policy of maximum pressure on Iran has pushed that country to speed up production of fissile material, making it much harder for the incoming Biden administration to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions. The Trump administration has capitulated to every whim of the right-wing Israeli administration of Benjamin Netanyahu, making resolution of the Palestinian conflict even harder. Trump’s diplomacy with North Korea has yielded no results except elevating the stature of dictator Kim Jong Un.

One of the major initiatives by the Obama administration to curtail China's economic influence was to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This tediously negotiated alliance, comprising 40 percent of global GDP, had strategically excluded China. Trump promptly exited this treaty. Rejoining the TPP now will be near impossible for the US. In addition, China has concluded a multilateral treaty of its own with Asian nations called the RCEP, excluding the US of course.

Donald Trump will be the first president in a century or more who will leave office with three million fewer Americans employed than at the beginning of his term. He added over $7 trillion to the government deficit, with not much to show for it. Except, the wealthy got much wealthier – by the generous tax cuts given to the highest earners in 2017, and by the support provided by the Federal Reserve Bank to the stock market.

Sadly, “the forgotten men and women” of whom Trump spoke on his first day in office, are now seeing carnage like never before.

The writer is a freelance contributor based in Washington DC.

Website: www.sqshareef.com/blogs