A Trump Assessment One Year Later


It is a year since Donald J. Trump’s election as president on November 8, 2016, and a couple of months less since his inauguration.  In that time the bombast has not stopped, the achievements remain meager.

The threats against North Korea continue — now on Trump’s Asian tour.  President Moon of South Korea is from the rapprochement party, bemused at the bellicosity, in polite tolerance because of trade, displaying Asian courtesy to one he probably considers a buffoon.  Can anyone imagine him sacrificing the estimated 100,000 dead, in Seoul alone, and a repeat destruction of his country in a war with North Korea?  Moreover, no amount of sanctions will have any effect as long as China continues to help its long-term ally.

Relations with other allies remain cool to say the least.  No sign of the oft repeated better trade deals.  COP23 the UN climate change conference is in progress at the UNFCCC Secretariat in Bonn.  The U.S. has 48 attendees despite the Administration’s lack of support.

Now that Syria has joined the Paris Climate Accord, the US is the only country left out.  Worth noting  the French Foreign Ministry announced Trump has not been invited to the December Climate Summit in Paris.

The wall on the border with Mexico to keep out migrants appears moribund.  Indeed relations with Mexico are cool to say the least and they have scoffed at the idea of paying for the wall as was Trump’s boast.

The domestic policy record is one of general failure in Congress, a body controlled at present by the president’s own party.  Even Republicans are not going to vote out Obamacare unless there is a reasonable healthcare alternative.  There has been no ‘beautiful healthcare for all’ as promised in the campaign.

About the only thing positive is a reduction in unemployment but the trend downwards originated long ago under Obama with the economic turnaround following the 2008 financial collapse.

The president has been busy with his pen signing executive orders.  He has just signed one to deregulate again the financial monoliths that caused the 2008 disaster.  Not surprising as he has more billionaires in his administration than ever in history, some from Wall Street.

While he plans tax cuts for the wealthy, including himself, he supports a budget that would cut $472 billion from Medicare and more than $ 1 trillion from Medicaid, the only health support for the destitute and disabled.  If the Democrats have any spine left, they will filibuster this appalling injustice.

The US has become an even more extremely violent place.  On Sunday November 5, 28 people were killed and 20 wounded during a church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas.  The Las Vegas shooting was a little over a month ago on October 1.  The deadliest in modern U.S. history, it lasted 10 minutes and claimed 58 lives wounding 546.  A mass shooting is defined by Shooting Tracker as an incident in which there are four or more victims excluding the perpetrator.  According to its records, there were 25 such incidents from October 15 through November 5th.

Donald Trump’s response each time follows the gun lobby mantra, namely, ‘Guns don’t kill people; people kill people’.  Mr. President, the guns sure help.  The Las Vegas killer had an arsenal including a rapid-firing machine gun equivalent.  Obama at least recognized the problem and attempted to do something about it.

Lastly, at number 23 the U.S. already lags most of the developed world in income inequality.  Should Trump’s tax proposals and other policies go into effect, it is expected to drop another 33 spots to a ranking of 59 just below Sri Lanka.

The U.S. deserves better.
Dr Arshad M Khan (http://ofthisandthat.org/index.html) is a former Professor based in the U.S. whose comments over several decades have appeared in a wide-ranging array of print and internet media.  His work has been quoted in the U.S. Congress and published in the Congressional Record.

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