Saturday, January 21, 2017

My take on President Trump.

Yesterday, the people of the US elected as their 45th President a most unusual man. It's not possible to make even a reasonable guess at what sort of a President, Donald John Trump will turn out to be. Up to now I've held a negative opinion of Mr Trump. I thought the way he approached his election campaign was utterly dreadful. I also thought his Inauguration Speech a worrying rant and a threat to the world economy in particular. But it's over. The Donald is now the President. He won. We had all best get used to it.

There have been protests in many coutries, sometimes degenerating into violence. All fair enough (without the violence) but it won't make much difference. He won. We should give him a chance. Let us see what he delivers, rather than focus on what he has said. And let us in the UK look to work with him in the interests of the world, the US and  our self interest. I can understand why some are disappointed. But the publicity challenging the decision of voters never works. It will just reinforces support for the President.

The main reason we should be worried about Donald Trump is his rhetoric about protectionism and apparent antipathy to work trade. I've no problem with his challenge to world's liberal elite, or to orthodoxies that are ruled out of debate, or to his demand that other NATO members pay their way. But his championing of protectionism is a real worry. Putting up economic barriers will not bring prosperity or jobs back to the US. Just as impediments to trade in Europe as the UK leaves the EU will damage the economies of all. It may be a glorious opportunity for Theresa May to become the Western world's 'free trade' leader. But we need the US President on board as well.

The other big worry is his seemingly high regard for Mr Putin. Again it's not unreasonable to talk about wanting to make an accommodation with Russia, but it will need a very watchful eye. Putin is not Gorbechev. All European states are going to have to take security a bit more serously. First duty of any government is to protect its citizens. Mr Trump is likely to make clear that it will be no use looking to the US to carry more than it's share of the burden.

But back to the theme of thus blog post. What's gone is gone. Donald Trump won. Move on. Give him a chance to show us he can be a successful President.

No comments: