What to expect from a Trump presidency
The Democrats’ Hillary Clinton and the Republicans’ Donald Trump are going head to head in the U.S. presidential race. FBI Director James Comey’s letter to Congress last week about the reopening of the Clinton email investigation came as an “October surprise” and helped Trump narrow the gap and even grab a lead ahead of Clinton in some polls.
Given the business mogul’s insurmountable rise in politics, Trump’s electoral victory has now become a serious possibility. So what might the world look like if Trump takes office come January?
Notwithstanding his self-destructive remarks regarding Mexicans, Muslims and women, Trump actually built his campaign upon the theme of “Making America Great Again!”
His main argument was that America has lost its political and economic power over the years; everything has been going wrong and he is the only one able to put the house back in order.
His primary focus on domestic issues, particularly on fixing the economy, and his claims about the entire political system being rigged, struck a chord with the predominantly white, male, non-college educated, religious masses who felt deprived of their erstwhile privileges amid the destructive forces of global capitalism.
Trump claims that he will be able to negotiate better trade deals that will create American jobs, increase American wages and reduce America’s trade deficit even though his ideas such as putting up trade barriers to protect local businesses strongly contradict the liberal values upon which the U.S. was founded.
Basically, Trump commits himself undoing much of the Obama’s legacy. He vows to abolish “Obamacare” (the healthcare system), revoke the nuclear deal with Iran and withdraw from the Trans Pacific Trade deal. He also demands the revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
To be frank, however, it is a difficult task inserting Trump’s contradictory foreign policy views into a single, neat category. But it is possible to say he envisions a largely isolationist stance for the U.S. in world politics.
Based on his “America First!” policy, Trump argues for lesser U.S. engagement in conflicts overseas but tough and unilateral responses when necessary. “We will never enter into conflict unless it makes us safer as a nation!” says Trump.
He objects to the U.S. role as the world’s policeman, and displays a critical stance toward international institutions and alliances such as NATO. He even offers to make U.S. military support for NATO members conditional based on whether these states meet their financial obligations to the bloc.
On the issue of the proliferation of nuclear weapons, for instance, Trump seems to be at ease with Japan and South Korea building their own nuclear arsenals rather than depending on the U.S. for protection against North Korea and China.
As for halting China’s expansionist policies in the Pacific, Trump thinks that the best way is to threaten its access to American markets.
In stark contrast to this isolationist approach, Trump also suggests taking tough measures, particularly against terrorism. “Knock the hell of ISIS” has been one of his famous phrases. He claims to have a secret plan but refuses to share it in order not to kill the surprise of the future operations. Whether he truly has a plan or not remains in doubt.
With his bad temperament, inexperience in politics and lack of knowledge in foreign affairs, Trump is certainly not the ideal leader to take up a seat at Oval Office when the world is experiencing such turbulent times.
However, he ironically has the potential to get along well with the Turkish government based on his views on a number of thorny issues, which have been troubling both the U.S. and Turkey for quite some time.
Take the Kurdish issue for instance: While Trump does not shy away from expressing his appreciation for the Kurdish forces, he also underlines the importance of having good relations with Turkey. As such, he seems to be hopeful about mediating between the Kurds and Turkey and ultimately convincing them to work together against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Like Clinton, Trump also favors establishing safe zones in Syria in order to solve the refugee crisis. “When it comes to civil liberties, our country has a lot of problems. What right do we in the U.S. have to criticize the conditions of human rights elsewhere?” says Trump, questioning the U.S. position to pass judgment on Turkey’s democracy.
Prioritizing interests over values, Trump relies on his skills to have a man-to-man talk with world leaders and cut the best deals just like a businessman.
For some, Trump is a threat to American values. For others he is simply outspoken and pragmatic. One thing that is certain is that he wants to run his country like a CEO. Sounds familiar?