Liberals (including me) hate Trump. We look at what he says, his fallacies, inconsistencies, morals, the people he chooses, the processes he uses. But liberals fail to look at his amazingly successful achievements – what he does. He is on his way to being one of the most successful, influential US Presidents of all time, rather in the way that Reagan influenced world economics and politics for over 20 years.Trump’s Successes
So let’s focus on what Trump has already done. He has:
– Appointed one (shortly two) Supreme Court justices, making the Court clearly conservative for possibly the next 20+ years. Women’s rights (including abortion), minority rights and freedom of speech will be curtailed.
– Sidelined the democratic processes of the House and Senate through use of Executive Orders and Secretarial appointments. Votes don’t count much any more.
– Pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement
– Pulled the US out of the Trans Pacific Partnership (frankly I’m glad he did – this favoured US big business)
– Pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear control program (and threatened sanctions against any firm that does business in Iran)
– Started several major trade wars with China, the EU and even Canada. The outcomes of this will be significant and negative for many people and countries.
– Forced the EU to fund its own defence through NATO more equally (he’s right here)
– Changed US tax law to favour large corporations and rich individuals. (An interesting unexpected outcome is that US global companies are now paying more tax for earnings overseas!)
– Allowed mining in US national parks
– Decreased the size of US national parks and marine reserves
– Banned immigration from several random Arabic countries
– Reintroduced US troops into the Syrian war
– Pulled the US out of the UN Human Rights Commission
– Allowed his family to conduct their own/his own business from within the White House, against all the codes of ethics
– Completely changed the nature of diplomatic language by direct, blunt, abusive, lying tweets to the world (compare this to the softly, softly diplomatic non-speak we endure)
– Changed the nature of political leadership communications from press conferences (which the press can tailor to suit their own biases) to direct-to-the-people tweets
– Undercut the credibility of reliable news sources by simply repeating lies and fake news as if they were true. People struggle, in the confusion, to understand what is ‘true’ and what is ‘not true’.
He is also working on:
– Resolving/changing the politics of the Korean Peninsula (in truth, President Moon has been driving the attempt to sign a peace agreement and resume normal relations. Trump is more concerned with nuclear power…but not at all worried that the US itself has that nuclear power and is stationed in Korea!!)
– Renegotiating NAFTA
– Stopping illegal immigration into the US (just as Australia has done and the EU is struggling with/trying to do)
This is an amazing list of successful actions, whether you like them or not (and liberals don’t like virtually any of them…). And this is only what my anecdotal observation can recall. No doubt some of you will add many other changes, particularly those living in the US, who are closer to the details.
What to Do?
The point is this. Ignore what Trump says. Focus on what he does.
So much media time and energy is spent showing he speaks inconsistently, incoherently, irrationally, is sexist, racist, immoral and more. Normally that’s entertaining. But this is serious.
Forget it. Focus on how to stop him.
And here’s the next point. There is no obvious alternative in the US, despite elections coming in November. There is no consensus on the Democratic side, no philosophy, no integrating movement. Similarly on the Republican side, there is a split between those enjoying the ride of power despite their misgivings, those in favour of Trump and those opposed to him (few speak out). And, unlike in the EU, there are no third party movements – no anti-political, anti-corruption, pro-democracy, pro-people or other movements – proposing to change the whole process.
I made the point when Trump was elected – white women, what have you done? Now the issue is: Americans, can you regain control of your (till recently) admired political system before Trump smashes it? Real actions by real people are required. Can a new consensus be formed?
Trump is dangerous because he is successful, not because of what he says (which changes daily). This is not TV or office entertainment. This is serious. He is very competent and he is changing the political system before our eyes.