Well, it sure looks as if Trump might pull it off and win the Presidency, sad as I am about that. ( and I, in all seriousness, invite Trump supporter friends to send me words of encouragement to help me feel better about this and reassure me that this wont be a major catastrophe for America) . I will let the experts determine why HRC lost. Now.. in case I am wrong and HRC wins, I have also included a section on what she needs to do right at the beginning.
That being said, here are my thoughts on what Trump will need to address immediately after assuming office.Po
- He has to bring the county together. It must not be forgotten that the name of the nation is the United States of America. There will be a lot of lingering anger and bitterness over this election, which I think everyone will agree reached a new level in acrimony, rancor, and just plain animosity. Trump has to realize that there a lot of people out there who hate him to the depths of their souls, and will never give him an inch. That hatred will linger, and go on. A lot of people will be holding grudges. It is this group that he has to reach out to and try and bring together. If he wants to accomplish anything, he will need greater support than just those who voted for him. This country, as of now is divided like I’ve never seen it, and in my opinion, there is a potential for a ersatz civil war if he doesn’t try and calm down the frayed nerves that the nation has right now. If he doesn’t, his 4 years in the White House could be living hell for him. There will be opposing rallies, protests and of course, that brings forth the possibility (or probability?) protests and major forms of civil unrest. Comes down to this. There are a lot of people out there who hate him. How will he bring them together? Only time will tell.
- His reputation. Closely related, he has to change his persona. He is perceived as as an angry, racist, sexist bigot who thinks that everything he want to do he can. From his making fun of the disabled reporter to his tape about groping females, whatever he has done or said has set off a storm of controversy. At one point, the House of Commons in the UK debated a bill that would prevent him from entering Great Britain. His reputation around the world is not very flattering. And among his opponents, it is even worse. Even members of the Republican Party rejected him. He will have to show that he is not what he appears to be. He will need to prove that he is even-tempered, respectful and not what his campaign showed him to be. Huey Long, probably the greatest political genius that this country ever produced, had the ability to play directly to his audience. If speaking to a rural constituency, he dressed in mis-matched, outrageously colored wardrobes, spoke broken, back-country English and made the audience feel like he was one of them. If he was speaking at a university graduation or professional convention of some sort, he dressed in conservative dark suits and spoke perfect English. Is Trump maybe doing the same thing here? There is no doubt he has touched an anger in the country that everyone underestimated, and he is playing to it as much as is possible. Is this, like Huey Long, a show so he can get elected? Maybe. Maybe not. But if it is a show, he has put on such a masterful performance that no matter what he does, he may be “typecast” for his entire term. He definitely has a long road to tread to rehabilitate that reputation. Of course, he may not care. For the domestic audience, that may be fine, but internationally, it will definitely hurt him.
- Allies. He has to convince our allies such as the UK, Germany, Japan, South Korea that the US is still a reliable ally, and can be counted on. In a similar vein, he has to let Nato know, and quickly, where his administration will stand on mutual defense. His remarks during the campaign raised a lot of eyebrows and caused a lot of uncertainty around the world. The British House of Commons even debated a bill banning Trump from being allowed in. His talk about the US possibly not defending NATO member Balkan nations really stirred deep concern in Europe. Feeling was that he was giving Russia Carte Blanche to attack nations whenever they wanted to. And of course, there is the suspicion that Trump and Vladimir Putin are soulmates and are in cahoots. There is real concern that Trump may break away from what as been traditional US Policy, regardless of the party in power. He also raised eyebrows and fear in Asia by saying he could withdraw troops from Japan and South Korea. If he is interested in keeping the alliances intact, he will have to reassure our allies that there will be no major changes. A key element of that will be who he selects as Secretary of State. If he chooses someone with a deep foreign affairs background, that will certainly help. If he chooses someone who is a loose cannon or has no foreign policy experience, then that could very well keep the uncertainty alive. Trump must take this very seriously
- Asia-Asia is a real hot spot right now, and he will have to address it immediately. The main hotbeds are:
- North Korea-Kim Jong Un is a madman who is a real threat to the world. He is quickly developing a nuclear arsenal, test firing missiles, threatening every nation out there, and in addition, has a history of sinking South Korean Navy vessels and attacking the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong. In addition, he is starving his own countrymen, throwing people into gulags on a whim, and executes his government officials (even his own family members) if they sneeze the wrong way. He doesn’t care about UN Sanctions, as he keeps doing what he likes regardless of the impact it has on his citizens. As I see it, the world has not taken this guy seriously enough and will, sooner than later, have to pay the price. Trump will have to pay attention to this situation, as Kim would not think twice about attacking US interests, along with Seoul or Japan. As isolationist as Trump is, he will not be able to avoid the situation with Kim. The lesson of Munich applies here very strongly.
- China-The situation with China goes every which way. Closely allied with North Korea, Trump (and the rest of the world) will need them to try and reign in Kim. They have expressed their displeasure with North Korea, previously, but apparently to no avail. I don’t think the PRC will pull away from North Korea because they want to save face. At the same time though, China is bullying their way into the South China Sea, making overt threats to nations in that area by their increased military presence in that area. The US has expressed it’s concern over this, but to no avail. Additionally, the PRC has apparently been playing cyber-security games and technology theft. For example, they just came out with a passenger airplane that looks suspiciously like a Boeing 787. All the time, they keep saying they are out for peace and keep signing trade agreements with nations. In my opinion, they seem to want their cake and eat it too. They say they want trade, good relations, etc but at the same time commit acts that contradict what they say. Call it being two-faced or what have you, but that is what it appears to be. So, Trump will need China to help pull in North Korea, but at the same time challenge them regarding the South China Sea, technology theft and so forth. A very tricky situation, and Trump will have to play a very fine balancing act. Closely related is ,
- Philippines-Philippine president Duterty is as populist as they come. He will say anything regardless of diplomatic protocol or courtesies. He relishes in the reactions he gets when he calls people names and insults other nations. He loves pushing buttons. And he is just loving picking a fight with the US. Thing is, he pretty much is holding the trump card (no pun intended) because he is getting cuddly with China, and has threatened to kick the US military forces out. In March of this year, the Philippine government and the US signed an agreement called the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. This allowed the US military access to 5 bases in the Philippines along with the Philippine military. This was in response to tensions with China over their increased presence in the South China Sea. But now Duterty is getting closer to China. Carrot and Stick scenario? Is he just playing mind games with the State Department? Trump will have to figure that out. And tread lightly.
- Syria/ISIS-Terrorism is now just the cost of living a daily life. No matter WHO is in office, if someone wants to pull and act like the Boston Marathon, or the San Bernardino massacre, they can and will. Organized attacks like 9/11 may happen, but I dont think so. I think ISIS has found that lone wolf attacks are easier and more efficient than massive attacks. Until we can find out the reason for the anti-western attitudes, military action will still be required. At the same time though, the coalition is trying to get rid of Bashar Al-Assad at the same time. Sounds to me like the old story of fighting a two front war. Maybe take things one at a time.. ie; get rid of all the ISIS strongholds as much as can be done, and after that, then get rid of Assad. I don’t know if that will happen, but Trump will just have to accept the fact that there will be attacks on his watch.
- European Union-EU is not only fighting the UK and Brexit, it also looks like they are looking for a trade war with America. The World Trade Organization recently ruled against the EU in a case Boeing filed claiming that the EU subsidized Airbus, causing unfair competition in the commercial aircraft industry. The EU has also consistently put restrictions on US tech companies such as Google, Microsoft et al in favor of European IT companies.
- Russia-He needs to make plain and without question his exact relationship with Vladimir Putin. It very much looks like that they are very close, to the point where there are questions as to whether Trump is buying off Putin to hack government I.T systems, even going so far as to having have Putin to interfere with the election process. This put into question the integrity of the whole election, the value of the individual votes, and having an asterisk hang over whoever won. The appearance of complicity of Putin is damning, this is a valid question, and he will need to answer it as soon as possible, or else when he runs for re-election, the whole issue will arise again.
There you have it. These are what I feel are what are the most important issues that Trump will have to face in the early stage of his presidency. Only time will tell if he can, or is willing to face these issues.
Now.. I have talked about Trump, what if I am wrong and Clinton wins? What will she have to face right away?
- Her credibility. Simply put, she is as hated by Trump supporters as Trump is by Clinton supporters. She has no credibility among Trump voters and probably not much among those who did vote for her. Even though the FBI just recently cleared her of any criminal activity in the email scandal, it is apparent to me that she was at the very least reckless with the protocols in place. It will be a very difficult task at hand to try and make her opponents believe her when she says trust me, if possible at all.
- Russia-she will have to have a showdown with Putin and force him to stop bullying our armed forces, hacking our IT systems and forcing Russia on the rest of the world. She will also have to find a way ensuring that if Russia plays games, the US has the capability of playing “tit-for-tat”.
- The Asian situation-Not rehashing what I have mentioned before, the issues in Asia apply to Clinton as well, and will be as much a tricky path as it is for Trump. North Korea, China and the Philippines; they all apply.
- Syria /ISIS– Same as I mentioned before. Based on her experience as Secretary of State, she may have an easier time dealing with coalition members.
- European Union-She will have to react to the trade war, keeping in mind that they are engaged in a war of words with the UK over Brexit, which may impact free trade and tariffs.
CONCLUSION (yes, I know , finally)
It looks to me like the country is going to be divided for a long time. Both Trump and Clinton have reputations among their opponents that are unfixable. Despite both talking about unity and togetherness, I can’t see any of that happening. The divisions are just too great. Neither Trump or Clinton are, or will ever be, accepted by those who oppose them. Depending on the Congressional elections, Congress could be a real stumbling bloc. There are enough enemies, in both parties, of both Trump and Clinton to obstruct anything they want. The selection of Justice Antonin Scalia and the hearings should be VERY interesting, if not almost as vicious as the presidential election. In my view, the parties could have come up with better candidates; candidates who had integrity were above all the personal hatred. This is one time where it is possible democracy just didn’t work. Politics has to change it’s reputation of being just a way of settling personal scores to a position of service, a higher calling of being of service to the country and the world. If both parties ever come back to that meaning, then maybe, just maybe, it will attract a higher caliber of people than were forced down our throats this year
So there you go. I tried to be as objective as possible on this, but like everything written, I am sure some some of my views made their way in. At least, I hope I was respectful to both sides. If you read this, I hope I didn’t bore you too much and I invite your comments.
In closing, I just want to say that I was always interested in and followed politics all my life. Always tried to look at the game from a few steps back to take an objective look at it. This campaign though, was really different. It was so hostile, so angry, so vicious that it sure seems like the scars are going to last for an indefinate period. I can’t help but feel that this campaign has really damaged the fabric of the American family. Regardless of who was in power, in a crisis, we could always count on all of America coming together as one. After this election, will that be the case? I don’t think so. Will I continue to follow the political scene? I dont know. I can’t answer that now, Maybe someday, maybe never. Only time will tell.
Thanks for reading.