What will America’s 45th president do after he assumes office?
Donald Trump is America’s 45th president. The much-hyped polls leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential elections were wrong in predicting the next incumbent. The three pre-election debates with opponent Hillary Clinton—which he lost—were also misleading. His populism scored a bull’s eye. He won by a fair margin in the Electoral College—a projected 306 votes to Clinton’s 232—despite losing the popular vote. It really wasn’t a close run contest. Both parties were vulnerable to populism as evidenced by Clinton being marginally damaged by her own party’s challenger, “socialist” Bernie Sanders.
Trump won because a majority of the voters wanted immigration stopped, wanted more jobs for workers victimized by globalization, higher wages, and removal of the threat they felt from Islam. Trump fulminated against money thrown by America at the Cold War defense arrangement outside America. He said he would cut America’s financial role in NATO and for that planned to “normalize” with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. He also planned a pullback from expensive military missions abroad such as the one in South Korea. He resonated with voters on the wall he pledged between U.S. and Mexico to stop Latino refugees.
Trump hedged bets by being pro-Israel, which might mean he is going to abandon the security America provides to Arabs while still supporting Israel. He is opposed to President Obama’s deal with Iran and wants the current Washington policy in Syria against Islamic State changed. He is expected to be tough on Pakistan and challenge it directly on terrorists Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar and put Muslims living in America under tougher profiling.
Will he do all he has threatened? He has already rung the South Koreans to say he didn’t mean to pull out from the peninsula. He will likewise tone down his threats about Iran because the deal was not strictly between America and Iran but involved the five “permanents” of the U.N. Security Council too, including China and Russia.
Trump will, however, likely cut the high tax rate and might scrap the controversial healthcare program called Obamacare. But bucking the current globalized international trade will be hard to do. He might resort to more protectionism to revive jobs in the mid-West but will have to listen to his economists soon enough. America’s largely liberal media is in shock for opposing his rightwing dogma but will seek adjustment in the coming days. The ratings bonanza he provided them throughout the campaign may not be over just yet.