jueves, 1 de febrero de 2018

Same old Trump | The Indian Express

Same old Trump | The Indian Express

Same old Trump

Despite cosmetic attempts at a conciliatory tone, US president’s State of the Union address was in keeping with his story so far.

By: Editorials | Published: February 1, 2018 12:15 am
Same old Trump
After a year of unprecedented polarisation, US president Donald Trump is making an attempt to play the statesman.

There are two ways to look at US President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address to American legislators. His invocation of a “new American moment” and call to “set aside our differences, to seek common ground… to deliver for the people we were elected to serve” holds out the hope that the weight of his office has led him to temper his divisive agenda and that he may yet grow into the role he was elected to. On the other hand, Trump attacked, once again, his predecessor and made exaggerated claims about his successes, particularly on the economic front.
On domestic policy, behind a conciliatory tone, Trump reiterated his maximalist position on arguably the most partisan issue in the US — immigration. He proposed a compromise between Democrats and Republicans by promising nearly two million “Dreamers” (children brought to America by illegal immigrants) legal status in return for funding for the infamous “wall”.
Trump said precious little about foreign policy: A predictable, if subdued denunciation of North Korea; boasts about having “liberated” Iraq and Syria from ISIS; and “tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela”; and the promise to keep the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay open. Perhaps the most worrying sign was Trump’s request that Congress stop aid to countries that are “not America’s friends” for voting in the UN against his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
After a year of unprecedented polarisation, the US president is making an attempt to play the statesman. Unfortunately, Trump is caught in the demagogue’s trap. For him, the past is miserable — he attacked his predecessor’s healthcare law as well as the diplomatic outreach to Iran. The future is uncertain among enemies without and within, and an insular approach is the only way to protect citizens’ interests. Despite some cosmetic attempts at overcoming this narrative, built during his campaign, Trump largely stuck to what he knows best.
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