The world holds its breath on Trump

02-09-2018 10:47 AM

Youssef Sidhom


Problems on hold

Ever since Donald Trump became President of the United States of America, political observers and analysts have had divergent views on whether he merited the most significant post in the world, that of leading the world superpower. His journey to the US’s White House was controversial; the tools he used to promote himself and to politically harass his competitors were striking, if not outright unprecedented. When preliminary election results indicated a win for his rival Hilary Clinton, he said the elections were being rigged in her favour, which shocked everyone and betrayed his lack of political poise.

Yet, contrary to expectations, Trump made it to the White House and took oath as President of the US. Some expected that, once he shouldered the huge responsibility that came with his position, he would relinquish his unruliness. But this was not to be. Instead, the US President persisted in his impulsiveness, firing blow after blow towards friends and foes. He ignored all American political fundamentals, embarked on a vicious war against the media, overthrew those of his aides who did not go along with his whims, and thought nothing of studies or recommendations issued by US decision-making institutions. With an open appetite for confrontation, he ruled through his Twitter tweets, oblivious to all the norms and values that have always governed US policy.

It was natural that Trump’s wildness should spill over outside domestic policies. He pulled the US out of international trade pacts, and disowned pivotal political treaties that previous American administrations had signed for the sake of preserving world peace. He even jeopardised the world’s most significant political, economic and military coalitions post WWII; he sharply criticised WTO, NATO and UNESCO. He deceived the American people with his claim of “America First”, which soon turned into a chain of peculiar, hasty moves that translated into “America Alone”. His reckless behaviour led the world’s great political forces to question the validity of trusting the US.

It appeared rather weird that the precarious US policy under Trump did not move Americans who obviously care for nothing but economic indicators and that the US President should commit himself to what he promised. Experts and analysts had repeatedly warned that the damage toll would be too high and that the current economic boom was not the fruit of Trump’s policies during this short period in office, but was the outcome of policies set in motion by previous administrations. The American street remained unruffled save for a few side issues such as the President’s confused decisions regarding immigrants, and his declarations against the rights of minorities. His affronts against the media, judiciary and State institutions counted for nothing.

Trump waded into perilous waters, however, when he appeared to have “lied to the American people”. Two court rulings issued last month against two of Trump’s aides might have strongly pointed at that. The President’s aides were accused of concealing facts and misleading justice in matters concerning the financing of Trump’s presidential campaign, specifically regarding tax and bank fraud. This in addition to accusations of bribing specific women to buy their silence on illicit affairs they claimed to have had with Trump. It later turned out that Trump had been aware of his aides’ actions and blessed them, although at the time he had consistently denied having any knowledge of the violations. Meaning that he had lied to his people.

Although this last development has less serious repercussions than those of Trump’s blows against US allies and world peace, analysts believe it may very well be his downfall. News appear to indicate that Trump, his lawyers, and aides have lost their balance; they keep firing declarations that threaten, even terrorise, the American people: “Impeaching the President will bring on rebellion by Americans”; “Impeachment will bring about collapse of the money markets in the US and the whole world, which would in turn increase poverty”. And an arrogant Trump asks how anyone could impeach a president who accomplished the great mission of unfettering the economy, admirably reducing taxes, and succeeding in providing 48,000 job opportunities.

It is very obvious that Trump is currently off balance, cornered as he is by increasingly incriminating evidence that calls for his impeachment. As matters develop, the world holds its breath.

Watani International

2 September 2018

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