As the presidency slides further into the hands of Trump, we can only hope that he will be sensible enough to accept leadership from below

 

Just when we weren’t sure if Clinton had completely turned the U.S. away from the Democrats, she goes and insults her public. In case her scripted appearance, false smiles and volatile political CV wasn’t enough of a turn off, she recently made the accurate but questionable decision to label Trump backers ‘deplorables‘.

Clinton is not wrong with her comments. Trump has ‘lifted up’ the xenophobes, the Islamophobes, the homophobes, and the racists. Nevertheless, this is a brazen and uncharacteristic move that could cost her dearly in the polls.

‘Basket of deplorables’

As Clinton’s chances of securing the presidency grow dimmer, the reality of Trump securing the White House cautions that we run through some of his promises and hope, really hope, that his outward rhetoric stays just that.

‘Build the wall! Build the wall!’

This has perhaps been the biggest promise of the Trump campaign, which recently turned from mere rhetoric to actually offering blueprinted plans. And if he does get the presidency, this is one promise he really won’t be able to back down from.

It seems therefore that the $25 billion barrier is imminent. The wall will be built in true Trump fashion and it will cost around $750 million per year in upkeep. Trump’s largest task is making Mexico pay — clearly forgetting the co-dependency existing between the two countries.

‘Illegal immigrants are getting out and getting out fast’

Trump and his supporters seem quite literally out for blood with illegal immigration. And yet, except for his promise of a ‘Deportation Force’, he has remained quite coy on the logistics of his ‘plans’. Is there going to be forced repatriation? Is it going to be done with immediate effect? Will people have a chance to gradually make their way out of the U.S.? As things stand, it all remains rather vague.

The vagueness, fortunately, provides those not leaning to the far-right with a glimmer of hope. A hope that someone more level-headed will lead from below on illegal immigration. This is a prickly issue that is of definite concern to Americans and one that must not be dealt with in a Nazi-like fashion.

‘Ban all Muslims’

Trump’s proposal is a temporary ban on the 100,000 Muslim migrants that come into the U.S. every year. Moving on more recently from primarily targeting Muslims, he now aims at any religion or culture with a ‘history of terrorism’.

Such a policy will be difficult to realise. It’s one thing to introduce a stricter, religion-centred immigration policy and another to simply ban a culture entirely — which could prove to be a logistical nightmare. Again, a hope amongst the more centre-leaning of us, when policy workers get their hands on the case, an inevitable ‘trimming’ of the plan may follow.

A curtain call for NATO?

As far as Trump and international institutions go, the future is looking sadly rocky for NATO. Although there should hopefully be a way around a hostile U.S. administration, Trump has made it quite clear that the brunt of NATO’s responsibility, both materially and financially, rests on U.S. shoulders. And that this, under his premiership, will be significantly rethought.

If Trump goes all the way and cuts U.S. funding as well as backing for collective security and other elements, NATO could face a real struggle for survival.

One person alone however, never dictates U.S. foreign policy. Countless departments and advisory committees are behind a president’s outlook. Hopefully, if and when the Trump years get underway he will have the sense to listen to those with experience around him. Cutting funding for NATO will be a huge Westphalian regression for the world; one that is, given today’s volatile climate, quite reckless.

‘The most straight-talking candidate since Ronald Reagan’

Trump’s prospective vice president, Mike Pence, may have hit the nail right on the head with this comparison. Reagan was a puppet, and it can only be hoped that Trump becomes a puppet to those with policy experience and government credentials. Although some of these officials in charge of pulling the strings may not have the best intentions, they certainly have more of an idea of the realities of the political arena compared to Trump — let’s be optimistic and hope it all works out.

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