It is obviously far too earlier to say how history will judge President Donald J. Trump (R-New York) but we have learned a few things from the man’s first year in office.
There are three big lessons we can learn from the pattern of behavior demonstrated by Trump’s first year in office:
“America First” is Nothing but a Slogan
Trump ran on the tired and controversial “America First” slogan in 2016, which implied his policies would be based on U.S. national interests. During his first year in office, the Donald’s actions on foreign policy have been completely against America’s national interests.
The most visible foreign policy focus; at least from the perspective of American television viewers have been the attempts to “denuclearize” North Korea. This threatens to involve America in an unnecessary war, and invite conflict with an important ally namely China. That is hardly in our national interest.
Nor is it just North Korea, Trump has done everything in his power to escalate an unnecessary conflict with Iran. To that end he and information minister; excuse me Ambassador, Nikki Haley have turned the United Nations into a propaganda forum. The most embarrassing example of this was Haley’s use of a wrecked missile to spread Saudi Arabian anti-Iranian agitprop at the UN.
Trump has also escalated America’s war in Afghanistan, by sending 3,000 more troops. That is hardly in our national interest, and history demonstrates it will do nothing to protect America or its allies from terrorism.
Worst of all was Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. All 14 other members of the UN Security Council opposed that move. This made the US a pariah at the body, 128 other nations voted against it including all of the major powers and all of America’s top allies. How is putting the interests of Israel ahead of those of the United States America First?
This move even puts Americans in danger at home. On 22 December 2017, the FBI arrested a man named Everitt Aaron Jameson and alleged he was plotting a terrorist atrocity in San Francisco. One of justifications Jameson gave for his evil plans was to punish America for the embassy move.
To add insult to injury the Donald then threatened to pull U.S. funds from countries that opposed his embassy move. Haley then proved which half of Dumb and Dumber she is by threatening to defund the United Nations. The only country that will benefit is China; which can simply step in and take over America’s role as benefactor. Such moves lend credence to the suspicion that Trump and Haley are Chinese agents.
Finally, Trump has withdrawn from a number of international efforts including a compact on immigration, UNESCO, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, and the treaty on climate change. How is one supposed to put America First, if Uncle Sam is not even in the building? Wouldn’t a better policy be staying to fight for American interests at those organizations?
The only beneficiary from that will be the People’s Republic of China. Perhaps Trump’s policy should be relabeled “China First.” The Donald is proving that he is a Chinese patriot.
Trump Does not Care about Immigration
The pullout from the UN global migration pact proves the Donald does not care about immigration issues.
Since he has been in office, Trump’s few moves on immigration have been symbolic, announcing bans on travelers from some countries, and plans to build the wall. The wall like the rest of Trump’s tough immigration policy has been exposed as a fantasy. Congress has not appropriated any funds for the border barrier or even discussed it seriously.
All Trump has apparently done on racism was deliver a racist rant in June. The New York Times alleged that the Donald grumbled about Nigerians living in huts and Haitians having AIDS in a White House meeting.
Note: since The Times quoted “anonymous sources” there is no way to verify these allegations. We do not even know if Trump actually discussed immigration in the Oval Office. There is a strong possibility, Trump has not discussed or reviewed immigration issues since he was elected.
Trump does not Care about Trade and Jobs
Even though trade was the issue that elected Trump last year, he has done nothing about it in office.
The only action on trade that Trump took was to pull America out of the Trans Pacific Partnership, a proposed trade agreement shortly after taking office. That partnership exists and might become reality without America, effectively shutting US goods out of many markets. Such behavior is hardly putting America First, and will ultimately make the U.S. more dependent on China, by closing access to alternative markets.
Since then I cannot recall the Donald discussing trade or taking any action on it. Early on Trump promoted a “border adjustment tax” which would have raised $1 trillion by taxing imports. That idea died quietly in July, and it was not part of the vaunted Republican tax reform bill Trump signed on 22 December.
Instead that bill was a package of tax cuts designed to benefit big business and the rich. The one provision of that tax package intended to “create jobs;” lowering corporate income taxes to 21%, is just as likely to increase unemployment. Companies are likely to use the money they save; or bring in from offshore, to buy robots and other technology that will kill jobs.
All this demonstrates that Trump does not care about trade, jobs, or working-class Americans. The talk about protecting American jobs by reforming trade and keeping out imports was nothing but campaign trail bullshit designed to get working-class votes.
Trump only cares about the Rich
There is one final conclusion we can make here, Trump only cares about servicing wealthy campaign donors and big business.
Most of what he has done since taking office has been designed to help big business. Examples of that include the tax bill, gutting the EPA, and regulatory reforms that help businesses. All this demonstrates that Trump is a callous and cold-hearted liar that does not care about his country, or the people who voted for him.
Donald J. Trump’s big challenge in the next few years will be proving that he really means “America First” and cares about the working class. If the Donald fails to demonstrate he believes in “America First;” or do anything about trade or immigration, he is doomed to defeat in 2020.