Sidra Khan |
When Donald Trump announced his intention to run for the office of the President of the United States in late 2015, which resulted in a barrage of satire directed towards him. Everyone from mainstream celebrities to late night TV show hosts to senior politicians (of both the Democratic and Republican parties) to the average citizens felt that this was another one of old Donald’s famous publicity stunts.
A man known for being a spectacular showman was pulling off yet another masquerade. By February however, he had won over the support of many Republican senators while the early favorites Senator Ted Cruz and Florida Governor Jeb Bush were struggling to find single endorsements. In the Republican Primary debates, he seemed to completely bulldoze seasoned Congressional orators like Senator Marco Rubio.
The Special Attorney overseeing the investigation now has already managed to get a confession from Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and talks of a possible impeachment charge have begun to make rounds.
In the summer of 2016, nearly 6 months after he was universally mocked and ridiculed for even attempting a shot at the presidency, he was now the official Republican nominee for the 2016 elections. Even then no one expected him to actually win. Hillary Clinton had been endorsed by both Obama and her husband as being the most qualified person ever to run for office.
There was a public schism within the Republican party over Trump’s nomination…however, all that mattered little when by 9th November 2016, Donald Trump had accomplished what is now dubbed as the greatest political upset of modern times when he beat Hillary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States. And yet, if anyone thought that the subterfuge was over, the last year has doubled down on the comical presidency of Donald Trump.
He has managed to upset just about everybody with his actions, Republicans, Democrats, those at home, internationally etc. Throughout his campaign, a lot of his political rhetoric was directed at the “swamp” that he referred to when elaborating on how years and years of policy making in Washington had led the US into a fiscal deficit.
A deficit he proposed he would get a control over by severely curtailing many programs initiated by his predecessor, Barrack Obama who was also the subject of verbal jabs from the mogul. As many commentators have noted, one aspect of the Trump presidency is its absurd obsession with undoing many remnants of the Obama era.
This was a year of lukewarm demeanors for the President while also being a visible catastrophe for the US as a global diplomatic power
The Affordable Care Act, for example known also as “Obamacare”, had allowed a greater access to healthcare for many underprivileged American households. A program that has been the subject of two “repeal and replace” measures by Trump and a now Republican-majority House and Senate.
Though he failed in the first attempt, he made sure to amply paralyze the program by another measure that has gained increasing criticism from the progressive corners, the tax reform bill. Another pillar of Trump’s campaign promises was a tax relief program…and he has managed to deliver on it, rather exceeded expectations. Not in a positive way, however. The tax reform bill passed by him is expected to slash taxes imposed on mighty corporations handing them tax holidays and increasing the burden on low-income families.
The reform bill itself was a bone of contention in the House, in addition to the hasty and abrupt manner in which it was passed. Trump has been lambasted for taking advantage of this commotion by slipping in clauses that repeal funding and subsidies for many programs including the Affordable Care Act. To make matters worse, Trump spoke on National Television on how he instructed his Republican colleagues and drafters of the bill to keep mum about the clauses in order to secure their approval. In other words, Donald Trump openly admitted to obfuscating information from the House Representatives and boasted about it.
Republican senators while the early favorites Senator Ted Cruz and Florida Governor Jeb Bush were struggling to find single endorsements.
Internationally, his outlook has been even more, hard to believe, even more excruciating. From North Korea, who’s leader he has labelled as “rocket man”, to Iran, who he openly called a sponsor of terrorism, to the EU, whom he declared “lazy and inefficient” while subduing NATO as “obsolete and unnecessary” to even the UN, which he has recently threatened with budget cuts after a vote to declare the US’ decision to move their embassy to Jerusalem by recognizing it as the capital of Israel, have all been a part of Trump’s international diplomatic disasters.
The Paris Accords which were signed in the Obama era as a means to ensure that the planet’s prime polluters can get a grip over their pollution was publicly criticized and Trump bizarrely pulled out of the agreement, plunging a fresh debate over his inept understanding of the problems that face both the present and future of the planet. On a personal level, things have been gloomy too as he fired FBI Director James Comey after his alleged refusal to let off the investigation into possible links between Russia and his election victory.
Robert Mueller, the Special Attorney overseeing the investigation now has already managed to get a confession from Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and talks of a possible impeachment charge have begun to make rounds. With his relationship with the media as low as any point of his campaign to his election, this was a year of lukewarm demeanors for the President while also being a visible catastrophe for the US as a global diplomatic power. It’s hard to imagine what the next 3 years hold, but who knows if he’ll even get to complete those 3 years.
Sidra Khan is International Relations PhD Scholar and currently Lecturer at NUML university. Her area of expertise is South Asian Politics and Western Hemisphere. She has also worked at ISSRA and SVI based in Islamabad. She tweets @sidrakhan824. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.