President Donald Trump
Ok…so he’s here…he’s our president. Now what?
What can we expect? What can we really expect from Donald John Trump( a.k.a the “Donald”)
who is now the forty sixth president of the United States!
Well we have to give him a whirl and see what he can do. So much is true. We’ll see what he’s
about soon enough. His early moves do not really define him as yet. So far these moves are only
cosmetic. They are not deep rooted policy changes, which only congress can effectuate in reality.
So we are still at the point where we have to consider what is likely to come out of a Trump presidency.
But what do we really expect of him now that
he’s become “really big”, bigger than life almost?
To answer that we have to look at much of what he’s been saying, and why he’s been saying it.
Throughout his campaign Donald Trump made it clear that he was not at all happy about the way
things have turned out in the United States. It was also quite clear that a very large number of
Americans agreed with his assesment. He and his strongest supporters are obviously not very happy
campers. Something went wrong in the past thirty, forty, fifty years in the land of Milk and Honey.
Now Donald Trump is a billionaire, and it does not seem to most of us that much went wrong in his life.
But there is an edge to this man that betrays a deep dissatisfaction with the way things really are.
As if-though he achieved much in his life- something was still amiss. As if something he expected simply
didnt happen. He seems to have lost faith. Indeed, if anything can tie Donald Trump to the vast majority of
Americans, it is just that. They too have lost faith. Despite much success overall, the nation, or very large
parts of it, have in fact lost faith.
There will be some who will insist that only the disaffected voted for Trump. But this is clearly not the case.
Most small bussiness people, who are the most succesful, voted for Trump. The common thread is a loss of faith.
As if all too many people were not happy with what they were seeing America become.
The America Donald Trump expected, the America many Americans expected, just didnt happen the way they envisioned
it would happen. And frankly that will hurt, no matter what station in American life you may find yourself at. To tell the
most meaningful truth, it always hurts when you lose faith in that which you love the most. And the vast number of Americans loved their nation. They wanted desperately to believe in it. Desperately to think it orderly, just,
pre-destined for greatness, and endowed with an order, and true beauty.
So waxing poetic, I think we can pretty much see that Trump seems to be feeling what his supporters are feeling.
What even his detractors are feeling. Expectations have been dashed for quite a while. The sense of national beauty
which quite often gives us all a sense of having some role to play with destiny was slowly eroded. As powerful, rich
and influential as the United States has become, a sense of disorder and lack of integrity has seeded enormous doubt.
It is this doubt that vaulted Trump to the presidency…against all odds.
So its clear that president Donald Trump’s main objective, and mission is to get expecations back to where the American people can once again believe in their manifest destiny again. Where the destiny of a people is once again visible
to the people.
We are still poetic, I know, but this seems very much the real task that Donald Trump is going to have to manage
or fail catastropically, tragically.
There are questions about how succesful was the campaign of Donald Trump.
Donald Trump won the electorate but not the popular vote, this is true. Yet in reality Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party failed to haul in their own larger Democratic majority, otherwise they would probably have won easily. A very large number of Democratic voters were not very faithful either. They too could not believe that everything would be fine with four more years of the same as we have had-despite Obama’s seeming popularity. That’s as close to a single reason for Trump’s win as I can come up with. There was not enough faith in the way things were going for the naton on either side. Too few believed in staying the course. And they didnt! They wanted Change…that same sort of change they were promised with Barack Obama, but in the end, obviously felt they didnt really get.
In the end, it all comes down to faith. Perhaps even down to just simple esthetic attraction. Do you believe in the present state of affairs, do you believe your nation, your people, your community, your family are going in the right direction? Are they beautiful to look at, or is there an ugly side that you just cant stand to see anymore?
And even if things are not right and good now, will they be better later, and soon? Can faith be found? Can beauty emerge eventually? If the answer is no then the clamour for change will start to ring until ultimately it becomes a cacophonous roar for open revolution!
Of course, faith and beauty come mostly to those who have some money you will argue. Yet, again when we look carefully we cannot say that the poor elected Trump. By and large they actually voted for Clinton, if they voted at all. Those who didnt vote for Clinton did not as some are now suggesting, vote for Trump because they expected more. This man is a billionaire, it is unlikely he’s going to convince a large number of poor that he is generous enough to improve their
general state. No. Most Democrats who did not vote for Trump did not vote for him because they lost faith in the Democratic party. Most Republicans who did not vote for Republican presidential candidates opposing Trump did not vote
because they lost faith. They did not vote for Trump because they believed he would create jobs, but because they believed he would restore the United States to its lofty place as the primary innovator and consumer of the world. They voted more for the game plan, than the promise of a particular outcome. This was not about particular issues so much, as about where the nation as a whole was heading.
Those who did vote for particular issues..lost big on Trump. Clinton promised everyone everything. But no one bought it.
This then is how Donald Trump got to be president. And this too is why those who are still intent on undermining his presidency should think very carefuly. The game has really changed with Trump. There is a fundamental clamor for something that people can have faith in. Something they can once again believe in, and love again. And judging by Trump’s initial actions as president, he is dedicated to forcing that change in the nation’s state of mind. He wants the nation to go back to a common, national understanding about what is right, and what is not. He wants to begin to restore a rational order to the nation, no matter the personal issues that might oppose that order.
We can see clearly that there were warning signs all over the place before the election. The British exit from Europe was an evil omen for those who thought things would go on the same forever. It was clear that the British people were not happy campers either.
They did not want to see their England overrun with globalism. They were obviously angry, if even a little sneaky. Few polls predicted the Brexit victory over the establishment either. It was clear the movement was a relatively quiet movement, but as your grandma might say, its the quiet rivers you have to watch for. The quiet rivers flooded the voting booth, and Brexit happened.
By the end of the Brexit vote it was quite clear that the European Union was facing an existential threat. It was in danger of dissolving. And to this point little has changed. More than this the Globalist empire was itself under threat and to this point nothing is changed.
With the full realization pending, Donald Trump snuck into the white house though poll after poll had predicted an easy win for Hillary Clinton. In the end the electoral count was not even close. He is said to have lost the popular vote, but most of this vote was generated in a few states on the two coasts. The vast majority of states chose Trump, and it is likely that if he had campaigned for the popular vote, he would have won that too. When we consider that the Trump campaign had few big money contributions, and very little media support over all, Trump’s win was nothing less than gigantically decisive. The American people had had enough of the establishment, enough of the pernicious disorder and degeration of cultural integrity produced by an overly “liberal” establishment.
There was now a genuine wave of discontent in both the United States and Europe. There is little faith in liberal globalism left in the West.
So what can we expect Donald Trump to do?
We should understand that the first 100 days of a presidency are usually the honeymoon period. The president is usually given some leeway and a grace period to get his act together. Unfortunately for Trump, this is not going to happen this time.
Its clear that we are all ready to do battle and that there will be no honeymoon in the first hundred days. Indeed the Media has taken to actually counting Trump’s days in office, as if to emphasize the pain that people are supposed to be feeling, but which I suspect is a gimmick used to measure the Media’s own pain at the outcome of the election.
In general there is apparently a mandate for Trump which he will not be able to refuse, which he does not want to refuse. It is clearly his task to restore faith in both the American Union, and in its spiritual essence, the Constitution. Though some would argue against the latter, the truth is that anyone seeing Trump for what he is really doing will understand that Trump’s main goal is to reestablish the will of the people at the expense of the elite. This is quite clear, and there should be little doubt about it. Indeed the only ones who seem to doubt this are the elite themselves. They have all but absolutely convinced themselves that Trump was only “playing”, only pretending. Yet this does not seem likely at all.
It is clear that Donald Trump’s presidency will be judged, both by the nation, and in his own mind on how well he manages to restore the doctrine of self determination, not only in the United States, but globally. Let it be said clearly, from his early actions Trump’s intention is to restore self determination as both a national, and international principle.
Each nation must learn to run its own business, each nation must excercize the will of its own people, and each nation is to be held responsible for its acts. This is clearly Trump’s philosophy, even from his first several weeks in office we can see that he means business.
And herein lies the challenge.
We have recently heard of his tussle with China, and specifically the insistance of China that Taiwan belongs to the mainland chinese and that one day they will reclaim Taiwan the way they reclaimed Hong Kong. But even before Donald Trump assumed the presidency he made it clear that this was not American policy, nor was it part of the American credo. He accepted comment from Taiwan to China’s consternation. But this is natural and right. This is something Ronald Reagan would have wanted to see and for good reason. To Americans there is no reason why Taiwan cannot be a free nation. No Taiwan cannot dictate policy for China, it cannot claim to be China, it is not, but there is no justification for Communist China to insist that the island of Taiwan is their belonging. The Taiwanese are a free people and cannot be expected to bow to the communist party of China simply because of events that took place some ninety years ago. We will see how serious Trump is overall simply by what he does with China.
It is an important, early gesture with global implications. The American ideal of Self Determination is back on the table, and it will require some new understanding by many of our former friends, including the Chinese. It is no doubt a gesture that is quite Reaganesque and we are likely to see much more of this from Trump. There is little doubt that Reagan must have influenced Trump to a significant extent.
Reagan, like Trump believed ultimately in the constitution. He believed that all people have a right to self determination, a right to select their leaders and call their home, their own. If you look carefully you will see that Reagan started no major wars, even when at times he might have had a good excuse to do so. Reagan was more inclined to let nations settle their differences, much like Eisenhower before him, and was a lot less inclined to interfere except in as far as to prevent a cascade of chaos.
The action of Trump with Taiwan is a good introduction I think of what Trump’s policy and philosophy is likely going to be going forward. Though it would be clearly in the best interest of both China and the United States to remain on good terms both politically and economically, there will have to be some “philosophical”, and “emotional” adjustments, perhaps by both sides.
Although Trump has recently acquiesced to the “One China” policy, it is very unlikely that his stance on Taiwan is going to effectively change. Indeed when you look carefully no such change is even possible.
The United States has really no other choice than to pursue a policy of self determination around the world. It has become too expensive and too complex to police the world. In the end, the task that Trump will have before him is to convince the world that a new outlook is possible, both internationally and domestically.
We chose this example of Taiwan firstly because I think what happens with China and Taiwan is going to in large part determine what happens elsewhere. What principles are enacted in the Asian theatre are likely going to be indicative of what happens interanationally and domestically. We’re going to see what the general philosophy of Trump is in Asia being that it is immediately important to establish a policy there considering the nature of the extensive-yet relatively cordial- China US relations.
We will probably see how the more difficult issues of the Mid East, Europe, and Russia relations will develop with what attitudes and strategies are adopted early on in Asia.
Trump has repeatedly made it clear that he believes nations are responsible for themselves. The “Empire” is no longer in the business of providing sanctuary to those who do not provide for themselves. This has been made clear with NATO repeatedly. Trump has not seen any general promise or profit in paying for NATO, or for the UN since these seem not to serve the interest of Self Determination. They do not seem to serve the idea of either self determination or self support, which it is clear that Donald Trump feels are all important in a world of moral equals.
Some may think that this is all some prequel to some fantastic deal that is to be suddenly unvieled against the Russians, but the truth is that anyone looking at the reality of our world will soon see that there is no other option. Nations must support themselves-they cannot expect their neighbors to do that for them. With twenty trillion dollars of nominal debt the United States is really not in the position to support its neighbors. Only some particularly deceptive ideologist could ever hope to justify the present state of affairs.
The fundamental lesson that seems early on to guide Trump is that in trying to support the global empire we have in some way lost our own soveriegnty. This would explain the irritation that Trump seems to be feeling for some of our allies around the world. This including Europe.
That there are difficulties in Europe, it is clear. Europe has long ago run out of natural resources. Yet they continue to live the high life as best they can. Unfortunately this is going to require an increasingly efficient productivity and trade in order to be able to support themselves. Gone are the protectorates that for a long time provided luxurious living for Europeans. Success is going to require strict self reliance and self restraint. The United States is in no position to provide that for the Europeans. We have now clearly our own very serious limitations to consider.
For many years a fear of Russia, and Russia’s possible influence on Europe has for the most part been the primary motive for US policy.
Yes, it is clear that Russia is a powerful nation, with great resources, and there is only so much trust that can be handed to the Russians. But in the end it would seem natural to assume that the Europeans can take care of themselves. Indeed for the most part they have been taking care of themselves for the past seventy years after the end of World War II. There is no reason to think that Europe, the United States, and Russia cannot come to an equitable understanding when it comes to trade and much needed resources. Unless of course one side tries to destablize the other. Or take unjustifiable advantage.
Under Trump I think we can all expect a new philosophy to begin making its presence felt, and this new philosophy will stress self-reliance. There is little reason to think that Russia is in an offensive posture, or for that matter that Europe is in a defensive posture. But it is clear that Europe is in need of resources, and in the case of Natural gas Russia is able to provide for this need. But there is little concern beyond this. Nowhere is there any evidence of coercion, nor for that matter does there seem to be any need for it. There is little indication of Russia expansionism, nor any obvious need for it.
It is very clear that Donald Trump understands this, at least he has strongly implied that he does understand even if the establishment he defeated does not quite want to accept these realities.
Russian detente is not going to be an option for the United States. Why exactly the Obama administration and its managers chose this present confrontational stance with Russia is not clear to me. When we look at the hard realities on the ground in both Europe, and the Middle East, and in Asia, it is very easy to see that Russia is a necessary relationship for all involved. Neither the Russians, nor the Europeans, nor the United States can afford to not have a working relationship with each other. Its simply not possible. Again why it is that so much rancor has been made manifest is not clear(except if it is because Putin was not keen on playing to the Globalists.) But it is clear that Trump seems to want no part of it.
Russia’s aid is needed in all directions. Whether we desire a stable middle east, or stable Europe, or stable Asia, Russia’s cooperation is absolutely necessary. Even if our aim is to run a pipeline through Syria to provide alternative gas supply to Europe, still we would need the Russians to stabilize Syria and parts of the Mid East. There will be a price no doubt, but without paying some price the task is not likely to be accomplished at all. So much seems simple. I do not believe that Donald Trump will see it any other way. I dont think he can afford to see it any other way actually. Even if Hillary Clinton had won, there is little doubt that the direction would be pretty much the same in this regard. I am of the mind that even Obama and Kerry were merely setting things up for a deal to be reached.
The alternative is likely to be war. I simply dont see any profit from this to think it would be seriously pursued. Nor do I think that the Russians are likely to chicken out, though I sometimes feel that this is the general sentiment of those who choose to pursue an aggressive stance on Russia. In all cases it is likely more beneficial to have a mature, non-globalist affected relation with the Russians.
So for this reason we have to believe that Trump is going to seek a deal with the Russians. There seems little choice in the matter.
However, there are specifics.
The nature of the Ukrainian fiasco is difficult. Crimea is probably an intractable issue. I do not believe the Russians will deal in any way with Crimea. The reasons are both historic and economic. As for those who stupidly believe the Russians have an interest in expansion into Eastern Europe, I cannot in any way agree. The Russias chucked the Soviet Union because it was too expensive for them to maintain. There are few resources that the Russians need from Eastern Europe that they could not simply trade for. If anything, it is Eastern Europe that desperately needs the Russian resources. But of course we once again come back to self determination. This is something the Eastern Europeans would have to manage on their own. We can help them with this I suppose, in trying to get as good a deal as possible, but there is really only so much that can be viewed as our burden, or our own justified risk. This too is rather simple to understand I think, and is likely well understood by the new administration as well.
It is likely that the Russians would not be averse to some kind of solution to the Ukraine, excepting Crimea, but this would require cooperation from the Ukrainians. This native co-operation may not be all that easy to come by. The Ukrainians sadly have some very deep divisions. Still I do not see this as insurmountable. In the end it would seem to me that both the Russians and the US, as well as western Europe would all rather see the gas flowing than not. I think self interest would ultimately rule the day here..again assuming the Ukrainians can themselves come to an acceptable understanding.
But now we come to Syria, and the Mid East. A more difficult issue.
It is clear that a pipeline could run through Syria, but not under the proposals of the Obama administration. What the Obama administration was asking simply couldnt be done I think. The Russians have a potentially disastrous condition on their southern flank. Having Syria, and then Iran fall would probably inflame all the muslim states to the South of Russia all the way to China. This was never a possibility and it is likely that Russia would have fought to prevent this. Having Syria and Iran fall is more probably an existential threat to the Russians so there is little hope in pursuing that objective.
However a better behaved Syria and Iran are a possibility. And this is likely what the objective is going to be. With some Russian, and perhaps Chinese assurances there should be little in the way of danger for our allies in the Middle East. So much can be negotiated I think. Indeed, I dont think there are any other rational expectations. So I really dont see much else for Trump to do here.
Remember, his concern is to restore faith in the United States. This is going to be his primary task. He will not have much leeway elsewhere. Starting a hot war with Russia is not likely to do that. Besides the risks would quickly lead to a highly unstable domestic situation which Trump could not afford to see happen. Any major wars in the Mid East with a formidable power will almost certainly have severely destabilizing domestic effects.
If assurances are sufficient, a pipeline can be run into Syria, into Turkey and provide an alternative gas feed into Europe. This would probably be seen as a good deal to shoot for ultimately, and perhaps there is no one better than Secretary of State Tillerson to pursue this kind of objective, considering his background.
The Sunni problem is yet another highly complex problem. The formation of ISIS is due in large part to the destabilization of Sunni nations that were percieved by Sunnis as being authentic, or self governed quasi representative of Sunni muslim self determination. Those with strong dictatorships were at least under the control of the Sunni leaders themselves, whereas Saudi Arabia and the gulf states are not seen as such. The rallying cry around religion is probably only superficial in the end. Most of this rancor is more probably due inherently to ethnic animosity going all the way back to the Palestinian issue. This will continue until some better more generally sustainable solution is found.
Trump, along with Russia will probably center on controlling or eradicating ISIS but this will do little to quell the ethnic Sunni animosity towards foreign interference(even if that animosity is garbed in religious extremism.) It is not likely that either Saudi Arabia, certainly not Egypt, and certainly not Turkey, or Pakistan are likely to serve the Sunni faithful as authentic representatives of their nationalistic, or religious aspirations at this point. Therefore whatever Trump does, he is very unlikely to quell the unrest. For this reason he will more than likely be forced to deal with those elements that can be ameliorated for the present. These are likely to be Iran, Turkey, Egypt and even Syria. With Russia making deep inroads to these, it will probably require Trump to play the game, much to the chagrin of his allies, both in the Mid East, and in Europe.
Still, the ultimate objective that Trump will have in the Mid East is to keep the oil flowing and for as long as he can do that with minimum expenditures, it is likely he’ll be happy with the results. ISIS will be a problem, but if he manages Syria and Iran ISIS should be a minimal problem though one that is not likely to go away any time soon. It is however a problem that can only flare up to exteme condidtions if some foreign power is involved. For this reason Trump will have to seek some kind of understanding with both allies, and adversaries.
However, all this is ideal and very much dependent on a few other actors. China being major.
The Chinese problem is going to be a serious one for Trump and will have an effect in both the Mid East and in Europe. It may also affect South America and Africa. There are many reasons for saying this.
But perhaps the most significant reason is that the Chinese Communist party has essentially promised the Chinese people that it can single handedly bring China into the twenty first century of endless consumption. Unfortunately this might not have been such a wise idea. We are even now facing the limits of consumption. Resources are getting more and more expensive and harder and harder to find. Though it would appear through manipulation of exploration and production that this is not the case, we can see clearly that sooner or later there will be a rise in prices for commodities. It will become more expensive to consume. And this expense will at some point in time become a significant determinant in all theaters.
China having nearly four times the population of the United States is going to be a difficult climb into general economic prosperity. There is no question of this. She will of necessity be more inclined to support globalism than nations now more developed. Europe and the United States themselves are now facing huge trade deficits, already needing massive imports on energy and materials in order to maintain their lofty standards of living. But the requirements of these two populations would pale in comparison to what China would need if it were fully modernized-Western style. The last thing China wants to see is a tightening of markets, or rigid borders. Yet this is exactly what she is going to face for both political reasons, but perhaps more importantly for natural reasons. It is highly unlikely that the Globalist philosophy had much life left to it.
She will not be, at this point, a great fan of self determination and local insulation of the world’s economies. The promises made by the party will not make it easy for her to absorb dissapointment. Though it would not be easy for any nation to absorb some form of contraction, it is more likely that nations in Europe and the United States will find it easier to reach a higher state of efficiency than would China for the simple reason that the expectation in China is that of endless growth, and steep at that. Expectations in Europe have become more moderate after the end of World War II.
If it should become clear that present Chinese expectations are not very likely, even if economic stability is not lost(which is rather more likely) domestic political stability will come under duress. For this reason she is likely to resist any withdrawal from present globalist expectations, or operative principles.
For this reason any change in philosophy by Trump is going to have to be implemented with some grace and care. This is quite possibly the most important reason for engaging the Russians. The question for Trump is going to be how to establish a new agenda while keeping things stable and sustainable. There will be great resistance, not only from our allies, but also from emerging markets. Trump will have to find a way to establish a stable global environment even as the old unsustainable system is dissipated.
China will not be likely to cooperate on local issues either. She is not likely to see Tawain or any of her neighbors as potentially independent of her own economy or its needs. This reality will be very difficult to overcome.
In general it is safe to assume that China is going to seek its own Hegemony in Asia and this is going to be a real problem. Although we can allow nations to be themselves, it will not be possible to allow China to become a new “Empire”.
Any steps taken in that direction can become the basis for confrontation.
For as long as the emphasis was on securing the resources of nations which produced them, China could simply play the game as well as anyone else, but once that game turns to self determination, China will have the biggest problem of all. She, like Japan, and Europe are not really very well suited to self containment under the present idealogical self image. This will make things quite difficult.
Trump will have to manage this, with a little help from his newly found friends. But this is exactly why it is crucial that a good relationship exist in the West. Any instability or rancor in the West, and things will begin getting globally unstable and could spiral into chaos in a real hurry.
It should be noted that Hillary Clinton wanted to global trade the brics out of their resources.with the reasoning that this is how to contain nations like China..but that just didnt work and probably would not have down the road. The present multi national ideology was inclined to encourage the consumption of the emerging nations at the expense of the resource producers. Unfortunately the gigantic amounts of credit required make it quite clear that this system is not sustainable. It was fine for a few people to make offensive amounts of money, but we could not justify burdening billions of people with that debt when in fact these people are supposed to be a free people allowed to choose their own the course to their own destiny.
The simplest rendering of the Clinton Obama view of the world is this: An established intelligentia, established Academia, media and established economic order, globally empowered, and privately held must be supported at all costs. Even if those costs should risk all out world war. Or even if this economic order risked the freedom of the masses in democratic nations. Saddling the American people with 30 trillion dollars of nominal debt(this number including national, state and local debt) could not point to anything but economic enslavement for the vast majority of people in the western world. It is clear that the voting public understood this in both the United States and in most nations in Europe.
For this reason the old system has to go, kicking and screaming if it must.
But this will have tremendous consequences. Changes of this nature are not likely to be without great costs both domestic and global. There will be Titanic forces at work here.
We then come to the ultimate problem facing Trump: The economy, and the domestic political climate.
Its obvious from the first few weeks that President Trump is not going to be any less exciting as president than he was as candidate.
The mass protests, media temper tantrums, and division are evident everywhere. There are people mad at Trump for no particular reason it seems, as if its simply become fashionable to be mad at him. There are people overseas who likely have no clue of what Donald Trump’s real agenda might be actually taking the time to protest against him, vehemently at that. Even those who have no particular political leaning seem at times to be angry that Trump is taking so much action so quickly. As if Trump is disturbing a sleeping baby that suddenly awakens with a scream.
We are probably going to see four years of this.
All presidents since Jimmy Carter have pretty much moved with the aid of the established power base, and have enabled and enriched that power base. Under Barack Obama that power base reached its pinnacle. It has never before been as powerful as it is now. Donald Trump has ostensibly challenged that power base. Whatever he wants to do he will have to do it without the aid of that power base. He will have to stand against the establishment, where he will, and expect massive counter attacks. This is going to be hard and have cosmic repercussions. It will all depend on how much power his own base of supporters can attain. And how Donald Trump will use that power. Ultimately he will have to direct that power towards congress, and demand legislation that changes the fundamental order of the nation. This will be the ultimate test for Trump’s administration.
The establishment is not going to relent any time soon. The GOP seems inclined to want to believe that Donald Trump is after all their own creation, even if he did beat them relentlessly during the primaries. They seem to want to believe that Trump is just another billionare who will ultimately come to his sensess and see things their way. But he has repeatedly made it clear that he is not going to see things their way any time soon.
His actions on the border, and his actions with immigration are quite clear. He knows that he will not be tolerated by his own supporters if he fails to in some way shut down the borders and do something about jobs leaving the nation. Though his actions thus far are frankly superficial, they strongly point to a very different philosophy than the one that’s prevailed thus far.
As far as the Mexican border wall goes. Be certain neither the Democratic party, nor the mainstream GOP want to see such a thing built. For one it will change the voter dynamics that both have been counting on. For another it may lead to significant taxation at the border, and neither party’s sponsors will be happy about that. So its quite clear that both party hierarchies have orders to dissuade Trump from enacting anything like the Mexican border wall as it is being proposed.
However, Trump knows that this will score some big points with his own voters and he is almost certain to go through with it. For its part the wall may actually do some real good. The problem with the Mexican border is that it has facillitated a great deal of crime for centuries. This criminal activity has led to destabilization for both Mexico and the United States. While Heroin and illegal drugs and sex slaves flow north, guns and racketeering flow south. The border may actually do some real good for both nations in the end.
A tax to pay for it would also do good. The United States has lost too many jobs and too much industry south of the border. But little of this has actually benefited the majority of Mexicans. Most of this arrangement has benefited the elite few who own these businesses and who profit immensely from these arrangements(indeed most of these are actually Americans.) Little of this wealth has really found its way to either the Mexican public or the American general public. A tax on that border to pay for this wall would here tend to stop what has thus far been a destructive trend for both nations.
Still, this is going to require much more from Trump. And here we will see how honest he intends to be(or how honest he can be-as he himself has said, some promises are not deliverable due to inordinate opposition.) Still a Guest Worker Program will at some point in time be needed here. There is nothing wrong with having guest workers, as long as they remain just that, guests and do not evolve to become economic and social liabilities. All of this will heavily depend on the principles of enforcement, especially executive enforcement, and this is Trump’s responsibility for which he will want to set a standard.
Too many people think those against a lax immigration policy are simply racists. They do not understand it seems to me that most people are not necessarily going to condemn people of a different culture but are more likely to react if they feel that the general societal order is being undermined. The anger felt by most who are against illegal immigration is that it is disordering their society, making it unpredictable, and at times unmanageable(as when a person gets on the freeway and seems to have entered a giant parking lot.) The general dissent is not against particular immigrant ethnic groups(though it often targets these out of frustration) but against the disorder that illegal immigration generates. The truth of this is pretty much self evident.
A guest worker program, ripe with strict laws can be managed by Trump, indeed will have to be managed likely. But how much success he will have with this is questionable. At this point the voters have reacted and have little faith in the government being able to enforce any laws at all. Yet if some general doctrine on immigration is not enacted or at least initiated, Trump will in reality have failed to solve this problem, and it will continue to fester. He may promise more actions during his second term, this is going to be a matter of political strategy.
Besides this, the United States must make some effort to balance its trade deficit at some point in time. Starting with the Mexican border is a good idea. But this must be applied to others as well. We must do something to trade more effectively, and a border tax is a tool that has long been effective. There will be vociferous opposition to be sure. Trump will be accused of racism, isolationism, and protectionism, but in general those who supported him will more than likely accept a border tax as being in the interest of the American people if a direct benefit can be seen.
In the end Trump will have to convince people that the nation is stable, and can remain stable. Our present condition is clearly not sustainable. This will be seen quickly I think. We are expending vast amounts of energy trying to keep the dam from leaking, but it is. Fixing the dam is going to be difficult for Trump. I honestly dont know if he will, or can have success with this under the present circumstances. The tasks are daunting.
As for Trump’s Supreme court justice picks, he is going to go conservative with the first of these choices in order to replace Judge Antonin Scalia, but I would not be surprised to see him ease up somewhat on any succeeding appointment. Roe vs Wade cannot be overturned. I think Trump knows this and will not look to be making anymore enemies than he already has. I think rather that his main objective with the court is to make it less liberal than it would otherwise be and attempt to insulate it somewhat against future liberal appointees. I do not think however that Trump will be inclined to appointing extremist justices. If justice Gorsuch is approved by congress the court will go back to its original state, and that was a fairly balanced, somewhat conservative court(with extreme judges on either end.)
Trump’s greatest challenge is going to be the economy.
The economy is heavily dependent on debt right now. Jobs have been created, albeit not great jobs, but mostly on gigantic amounts of credit. It will be difficult for Trump to maintain these jobs without resorting to credit himself. For this reason I dont see Trump allowing the dollar to gain anymore strength. If indeed he wants to balance trade, and is serious about a border tax then he must have a weaker dollar. Moreover if he intends to borrow more money in order to create a fiscal stimulus then he will almost certainly have to avoid an interest rate rise. To effectuate change on the level that Trump proposes will require some economic degrees of freedom that can only come from a weaker dollar and lower interest rates.
With lower interest rates commodities are likely to rise. This would help the domestic oil, gas, and mining operations that Trump wants to support. It would also help the food industry and housing industry. So there is good reason to believe that Trump’s administration is going to be looking for a much weaker dollar and lower interest rates.
The problem with all that is inflation. I dont know why the “market” and the Fed are so fond of inflation. Inflation is almost always a killer of economic activity. Commodities have so far been kept in check, but this will not last. It has never been the case that commodity prices can be kept in check during inflationary periods. Sooner or later, there will be a tremendous explosion in commodity prices, and the primal fears will almost certainly become realities. This much control cannot be sustained by anyone.
All in all Trump is going to have to thread the needle. Should inflation rise too quickly, the economy will likely crash, too slowly and the resistance to change will become too great. The economy will be Trump’s economic achilles heal and how he manages it will determine how well he does. Even success in adding jobs could backfire if this results in too much inflation. The level of debt, private, corporate, and government will severely limit a spiral continuity. More than likely the economy will fail at the first sign of real inflation. There will be limited options.
It must be understood that each president comes in with an economic agenda and stratagem. Mostly this stratagem revolves around increasing his own power base. That is to say Bush tried to increase the fortunes of his own voter power base, centered around the production and distribution of oil, and fundamentalist Christians. Obama around his, the Black American miniority and liberal America. Clinton around his, the proffesional and tech industry, and multi-ethnic base. But in the end these three presidents managed to dramatically increase the power and wealth of the “Elite” to a far greater degree than what they promised to their voter base. As a result the nation became weaker in the process.
In the end it comes to distributing and redistributing America’s wealth to particular groups which support a particular president or politician, and his “Ideals”. There is really no way around this. If Trump wants to remain a viable candidate for 2020 he will have to manage to redistribute wealth to those who supported him, or at least give the appearence of having done so; and these having this wealth it is assumed will attract others and so Trump’s base will grow in power and numbers.
However, in the event that the fortunes of the American economy begin to decline under Trump, even for reasons which he cannot control-through no fault of his own so to speak-he will still have to distribute wealth to those who would support him, at the expense of those who dont! And this then is the real game, the money game. This is why the “establishment” so opposes him. It will likely mean that they will have to take a pay cut, as well as a consequential power cut.
And this will mean war.
The Media is going to continue attacking Trump under the direction of the present power structure-which by the way is largely private and not a “deep state” public sector to whom some attribute the strong resistance to Trump(for in the end it is a private money game that is the ultimate determinant , on the battlefield, and both Trump and his “adversaries” are well aware of this.) For this reason Trump must continue to attack the Media. This is not going to get better for Trump-unless of course Trump surrenders. There is going to be a tug of war for the mind, and wallet of Americans. Trump will have to convince the American people that something new must happen if we are to sustain our nation, even if there is some pain involved. The establishment will try to convince the American people that Trump is an inteloper, an intruder who means no good, and can do no good. An “insurgent” bent on destroying all the liberal “progress” made by Obama and Clinton. All in all its going to be a war of ideologies, but the weapons used will be monetary.
It should be understood that if Trump is really intent on shifting the power base and integral order of the nation there will be severe consequences. You cannot go from one power base to another without consequences. For this reason any changes will have to have to be precise, and efficient. The more efficient the changes, the less the pain will be.
Yet, if Trump has even minor success in the economic front, he is likely to come out the winner. This will be especially true if the Trump administration manages to divert enough wealth out to rural America, where most of Trump’s supporters are to be found. Even if the cities suffer, he is still likely to have the votes for another four years.
As far as the “People” are concerned however, it will all come down to whether or not this president can restore the integrity of the nation, or at least prove that we’re on the way to a more noble, more sustainable , more beautiful national identity. For as far as the “People” can ever be concerned it will always have to do with faith, and the sustainability of a noble ideal; for this is now, and has always been the essence of nations. Individual citizens may revel in making a quick buck, but soon the nation will wither and die if it lacks integrity, and a belief in itself and a knowledge of its own manifest destiny. In the end it still all comes down to faith in the national identity. This will never change. Trump’s ultimate success, or failure will rest solely on how much stronger is the “People’s” faith in the ideals of the United States of America.