The protests that swept across several U.S states in the past week calling for Trump to be dumped have finally subsided and the realisation that he will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States on 20 January 2017 has set in. President Barack Obama swiftly invited Trump last Thursday to the White House for a guided tour and to commence the process of transition of power from one administration to another.
Construed as one of the dirtiest campaign races of all time, Trump threw in every trick to convince the American public it was time for party leadership change. Whilst the popular vote was in Clinton’s favour by around 300,000 votes nationally, the Electoral College voting system went in Trump’s direction across all the Republican majority states and key Democrat strongholds.
This week in the first of a new series ALFIE5 looks at the top 5 promises Trump made to secure his win as the next President and whether he will be able to realistically deliver what he has promised to the U.S. public.
1. Trump and his Mexican Wall of Fame, or Shame?
Trump was quoted on CBS last week playing down his Wall citing instead more stringent policies for immigration involving clearance for bank accounts and long stay visas. He was also prepared to draw up a list of illegal immigrants but fell short of talking too much about this Wall of his that he cried out for to win the support of so many Americans.
On Trump’s own website he outlines how he would “make Mexico pay”. The Mexican President maintains following Trump’s win that Mexico will not pay.
The U.S. government has already indicated that it will be a huge challenge to build a wall and it would likely follow 2 to 3 years of legislation and too and froing of hundreds if not thousands of agreements and health and safety and construction provisions before a brick is even laid at the border. Further, given the challenges of having to buy privately owned land along the border route to build it on, and the need for Congressional backing, many analysts think it will never be built.
Instead, Trump is expected to argue for border policing and a tightening of immigration rules. Some Trump advisers have talked of a “virtual” or “technological” wall.
Our opinion is that it is likely to amount to a wall of shame than one of historical fame.
2. Does Trump truly not care for Obama Care?
Donald Trump has pledged to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act, which he intends to scrap “very, very quickly”. Those millions of Americans who fell outside the scope of coverage for this healthcare had been heavily affected by what was seen as prejudiced and unfair legislation that sought to enable millions of poor American’s access to an expensive healthcare.
However and no surprise to some had Trump since his meeting last week with Obama, he said it was a very good rump has now said he is open to leaving intact key pillars of President Barack Obama’s bill.
He has said he will keep the ban on insurers denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. He told the Wall Street Journal that he favoured allowing young adults to be insured on their parents’ policies.
A promise to repeal it was what was on offer. A desire to “revise and reform” effort would not be so acceptable and Trump will fall foul with his ardent supporters and Congressmen who wish to see it demolish it. This, in turn, may lead to an era of lame duck politics where he is vetoed on everything he tries to do based on his inability to keep his word with his fellow Republican’s just to enable him a taste of ultimate power.
3. The U.S. Presidency and Putin and the Wider World
Trump was said to have spoken to Putin this week but to what extent no one really knows. Putin was apparently heard saying that he wanted the U.S. to treat Russia with respect and in turn, would afford Trump an ear to negotiate properly with how to tackle ISIS and instability in the World. With North Korea, China and the Middle East seen as potential threats, Russia has always been considered a nuisance.
Concern amidst the party ranks suggests Trump is barking up the wrong tree. Russia and the U.S. always perform better as foes and the Cold War is proof in that respect. As far as Washington is concerned no one needs to dust off an outdated Russia, whose leader is more concerned with demonstrations of self-importance rather than any real desire to help on global issues. Worse, Putin is a notoriously backhanded and untrustworthy individual whose stance in Ukraine should and cannot be tolerated.
Trump’s miscalculated approach may see a Cold War ensue in any event as he is about to get a Russian reality check when it comes to Alpha male puffery and ruling party rhetoric. He may further go down in history as someone who thought his personality could win over Putin. Others don’t believe it will happen. Let’s see.
4. The U.S. v the World
Trump has already indicated that he wants the World to step up and stop leaching off Lady Liberty. He has threatened to bail on NATO, pull the Paris Accord on Climate Change and turn off the taps too many Countries who are desperate for aid. Trump also stated frequently that he is fed up of China raping U.S. exports and controlling imports with favorable and untenable tax breaks.
Trump shouted down Clinton’s deplorable policies whilst she was Secretary of State engaging in appeasing powers across the World, spending billions unnecessarily in helping others to fight their own wars. Even with Syria and the threat of ISIS he has suggested that the G7 become even more involved and take a fair share of the military and financial muscle to tackle current issues abroad. Even Trump’s own take on North Korea doesn’t even consider the fact that it has nuclear weapons of mass destruction that it could use in the blink of an eye. Consider now that Trump has been given access to the codes to launch a nuclear strike on another country and the idea of a Cold War may start to become a rather heated debate.
Or perhaps consider that he is all talk so far and it is likely his own cabinet and its educated officials that he appoints will likely turn him into a puppet President whilst Washington engages in a business as usual peace keeping exercise at the cost of the U.S tax payer.
5. It’s the Economy, Stupid
Trump wants to usher in a period of isolationism and internal repair to its own infrastructure. He has promised to lower taxes, seek to increase corporation tax, tax on foreign imports, increase jobs, rebuilding America’s rusting infrastructure, bridges airports and railways. He wants to create a land, which is rich once again in resource and industrial might.
Trump also wants to seek a comprehensive revisit of the schooling system across America, equal access to education, opportunity and a fair health care system that suits all. This on top of taxes, the benefits to true U.S. citizens and seek to lower inflation to an unprecedented level.
With the U.S. deficit lying at 441 million dollars, it will take a great deal to get Congress to agree to finance all this without resort to increasing taxes. Whilst it was music to many American’s ears, Trump promising to shine their local landscape as well as their bank accounts, it will be a totally different story if he seeks to divert international funds to national projects when the U.S. is almost certainly tied in to international trade and a policy of protectionism which it would be hard to overturn in 3 years, let alone the night after his inauguration. In Obama’s own words will Trump be proven to be ‘uniquely unqualified’ to take on the Presidency or will Trump turn this era into a sensational economic success story to make America Great Again. We will soon find out.
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