May 23, 2017

Trials, Troubles and Tribulations of Donald Trump

The world has seen three weeks of a Trump presidency and a return to normality is but a glimmer on the horizon. His supporter base is prouder and happier than ever, but elsewhere strife reigns and perhaps nowhere moreso than in the mind of Donald Trump himself.

 

Predictions Crushed

A few months back I suggested that a Donald Trump victory might be a good thing for America as he was such a bad candidate that they would be:

forced to acknowledge that they need to take a second look at how their very democracy works

Only a few weeks have gone by since his election and there has been no whiff of an inquest into the failures of the democratic party. No one has questioned why Trump, a candidate elected with around 10% less votes than Obama, managed to beat Hillary. Instead, America’s left have gone out of their way to label his voters as sexist, racist, islamophobic and stupid, driving them further and further to the right.

Some Donald Trump voters have shown regret. Often this stems from Trump’s moves to repeal the affordable care act:

Or his border ban:

Donald’s promise to “drain the swamp” has been broken to no one’s surprise. Goldman Sach’s executives were swiftly added to administration. Trump claimed his cabinet would be filled with the best and the brightest but instead it’s been filled with the foolhardy and the feckless. His new appointments include Betsy DeVos as the Education Secretary, a person who is superbly underqualified for her position unless, of course, you count being a member of one of Michigan’s richest families as a qualifying criterion. Betsy herself suggested as much previously:

I have decided, however, to stop taking offence at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect some things in return.

The complaints about Trumps staff have gone to such extremes that Fox News has had to defend them from awkward comparisons:

And no, that is not a photoshopped image.

It seems American liberals are not ready to ‘normalise’ Trump and are willing to hold his staff under keen scrutiny. A good tactical move (look how it neutered Obama) but motivated for all the wrong reasons.

 

The Ban-nanza

Getting a ban instituted on an American minority is possible (look at Japanese internment) but Trump thankfully lacks the political wherewithal to do it. Instead he threw out an executive order as though it was a royal decree. Trump was beaten in court by the ACLU and the order was blocked embarrassingly by federal judges leaving the new President looking weak. His own tweets were used as evidence against the ban.

Trump’s tweets have left some of his staff in an uncomfortable position. Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, suggested that extreme vetting of some Muslim countries was not a ban. When the press questioned him on this he suggested that the press invented the ban terminology even though it originated from Trump’s own twitter account.

The seven countries listed in Trump’s travel ban are:

  • Syria
  • Iraq
  • Iran
  • Libya
  • Sudan
  • Yemen
  • Somali

None of these countries were involved in 9/11 or have committed any terrorist atrocity in America since. The list itself was the same one used by Obama back in 2015 where he set out parameters for visits from their citizens sensibly.

Trump’s order itself is poorly written and clearly rushed through with little thought of it’s consequences. Does it apply to dual citizens or green card holders? The government wasn’t even sure itself and gave mixed responses when questioned. It reeked of unprofessionalism.

Trump using the same list as Obama felt like a weaselly political move, the sort of thing that you wouldn’t normally associate with him. Coincidentally the ban does not affect any of the middle eastern countries where Donald Trump currently does business.

 

The Highjacking of Fake News

One of Trump’s few victories has been the swift hijacking of the Fake News concept. During the election, news aggregators and social media outlets were accused of allowing right wing news sources to spread blatantly fake stories (like stating the Pope supported Trump). Since this, Trump has co-opted the term and accused anyone standing against him of being a fake news source.

 

The Yakla Raid

On the 19th of January, America led a Trump approved raid on Yakla in Yemen. Their aim was to gather intelligence on al Qaeda and target the regional leader Qasim al-Raymi.

The raid went wrong fast as the local group became aware of the American forces before they reached Yakla and were hence, ready to repel them.

Three Navy Seal operatives were wounded and one was killed in the raid. 14 al Qaeda fighters have been reported dead as well as between 16 and 59 civilians, including 7 children. Once again civilian casualties outnumber enemy combatants on a mission. This has sadly become commonplace with American forces.

An American Yemeni civilian Nawar al-Awlaki was also killed in the raid.

The 8 year old was shot through the neck and died of blood loss two hours later. It has been reported that she attempted to calm her mother even as she died.

Don’t cry mama, I’m fine, I’m fine.

Her brother (also an American Yemeni) Anwar al-Awlaki was killed by an Obama authorised airstrike back in 2010. Trump nor his press secretary has made no comment on the death Nawar which stands in stark contrast to Anwar. Then White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, suggested:

Maybe he should’ve had a more responsible father,

in response to Anwar’s death.

So it seems the lack of humanity in the White House continues under the new administration.

 

The Wall!

Normally companies go through a public tendering process before receiving a government contract. This is done to ensure fairness and the absence of nepotism. In an extraordinary break from the norm, Donald Trump went behind everyone’s back to offer the job of building his wall to Jorge ‘Condo King’ Perez. To make matters worse for the president, Jorge Perez went on to mock him publically:

The wall is the most idiotic thing I’ve ever seen or heard in my life…. A wall for what? You think a wall is going to stop people that are hungry? Good employment in Mexico, economic growth in Mexico, equality is going to stop people from coming over the border.

 

International Politics

At an international level, Trump is even weaker. Theresa May quickly used him as her ‘Trump card’ against the European Union. Holding hands and standing close to him to push for a better Brexit deal. Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto had historic low approval ratings with severe economic problems and publicised government corruption. How did he risen back up the polls? Picked a public fight with Trump. International politics is a chess game and America has elected a pawn.

 

In Summary

So far Trump appears to be a president so concerned with his own ego that he has become ineffectual. He sees every statement on his presidency and any statistic or fact as being either attacking or supporting him. He then returns fire even when doing so harms his position and because of this he is struggling. No surer example of this can be seen by Trump delegitimising his own election by making accusations of vote rigging.

Trump’s political inexperience is showing with most of his demands and actions falling on death ears. His office looks weak which might be lucky for the rest of the world.

Remember when presidents used to be badasses?

A lot of people believed Trump would mellow out after his election but other than, “draining the swamp”, he has gone after each of his campaign promises. I question if he does this, because he believes in the promises or because being seen as another lying politician would shatter an ego already closing in on its breaking point.

 

 

Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this article are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Please don’t sue me.

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