Thursday, 10 November 2016

U.S.A.: The Dangers of Trump's Presidency

Trump's stunning victory is a shock for all those who had counted on the political wisdom of American's voters. Trump's presidency will be of ''reflexes'' as opposed to real policies, of withdrawing from the world, instead of  engaging with it.

The secret to Trump's victory was his relentless optimism. It did not matter that he had deficit of real plans, genuine programs and identifiable advisers. The lack of specificity to his policies was what really distinguished Trump. He provided emotional placeholders where messy political ideas belong. Trump promised a utopia through the magic of deficit spending. Never mind the division of powers, checks and balances and bureaucratic inertia: Trump encouraged his believers to think he will resolve all of the nation's problems. These shortcomings turned out to be strengths.

Now the postwar liberal order has been upended in the nation that created it, paid for it, defended it by means military, cultural , and ideological. Trump won the presidency by openly pitting some Americans against others--Against Muslims, Hispanics, African-Americans, and liberals, He won by calling his rival a criminal and vowing to prosecute her. He won by inciting crowds to acts of violence. 

No one can be sure exactly what Donald Trump, a 70 years old man with a temperament of 9 years old would do as president of the most powerful country on earth. If Trump's words (promises) were his bond ( we know that it is not the case, because Trump lies better than the devil), then Trump's presidency will cause these damages:

Trump considers the nuclear pact that President Barack Obama painstakingly reached with Iran to be the worst deal ever made. He will certainly abrogate that deal, sending Iran into a frenzy of nuclear enrichment, and which will turn provoke Israel, perhaps with American help, to launch an attack. Iran, in turn, will respond by using proxies: including Hezbollah to attack Israel and America's interests in the region.

Donald Trump considers climate change a hoax. Few things are more certain that he will repudiate the Paris agreement to limit carbon emissions. And should Washington abandon efforts to slow climate change, we can predict that many if not most, major governments will follow suit, which will reversing all the efforts made so far.

Globalization has already stalled in recent years. Trump's presidency threatens to throw into reverse. At very least, Trump's presidency will kill off the paint hopes of concluding the trade deals that Barack Obama's administration had been negotiating: the completed but unratified Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with 11 Pacific countries, and the stalled Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union.

Trump's presidency will threaten Europe's security. The fact that Trump has indicated he will demand that European NATO allies pay more for US military protection, and has even called America's own loyalty to the alliance into question, has triggered widespread concern, particularly in Eastern Europe.

Trump will also renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico. Trump might as well pull out of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the multilateral rules based trading system. Such an agenda would threaten a global recession. The collapse of the TPP will paves the way for the Chinese to build their own trading bloc.

Trump's presidency will threaten East Asia's  security as well as its economy. By retreating from the free trade and casting doubts on US security guarantees for its allies, Trump could prompt Japan, South Korea, and others to race to acquire nuclear weapons to protect themselves against a rising China. The Philippines is unlikely to be the last country in the region to conclude that cozying up to China is a better bet than relying on an increasingly isolationist America.

Trump's outright racism, hostility to Hispanics immigrants, and Islamophobic rhetoric threatens a culture clash, and even violence, within America. It could also set the stage for the clash of civilizations. Bullying Mexico to try to force it to pay for the huge border wall that Trump wants to erect would be an act of hostility against all Latinos. Casting Muslims as enemies and denying them entry to America, as he vowed during his campaign, would be a powerful recruiting sergeant for the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, as is suggesting that the US ought to seize Iraq's oilfields for itself.

The most enduring damage will be to America's soft power and the appeal of its liberal democracy. The election of a racist president with fascist tendencies is an indictment of America's political system. Trump himself has shown to be contemptuous of democracy, saying he would not accept the election result if he lost and threatening to hail his opponent. America is no longer the ''shining city upon the hill that successive presidents have proclaimed it to be.

By Guylain Gustave Moke
Political Analyst/Writer
International Affairs Expert/Author

Photo-credit: The US President elected : Donald J Trump