Negative Impact of ‘Trumpism’ on the US and the World
By Sajjad Shaukat
Since Donald Trump became the president of the United States, his emotional, contradictory and extremist policies have resulted into negative impact on the US and world. Taking note of his flawed internal and external policies, some Americans call him a stick man, while some call him a mad man.
However, America is witnessing an unusual cataclysm under unbridled unleashing of “Trumpism”. President Donald Trump’s erratic behavior has continued unabated with discourteous questions like “Is President a crazy person?—are flooding some sections of international media.
While, President Trump’s approval rating generally lagged well behind his predecessors with NBC News, Wall Street Journal poll, indicating him at 43 percent with 53 percent continue to disapprove Trump’s performance.
On the moral front, the American media has been unreservedly commenting about the colorful personality of the President Trump. In this regard, a wider coverage was extended to fifteen women alleging Donald Trump for sexual harassment. According to another story, an adult movie star Stormy Daniels (who reportedly had an affair with Trump before he ascended to the US presidency) filed a lawsuit against Trump, alleging that he and his attorney Michael Cohen “aggressively sought to silence” her when she planned to make her story public in late 2016. In a very fresh sensation, Karen McDougal (former model) filed a lawsuit to get out of her 2016 non-disclosure agreement, becoming the second woman accusing the president or his allies of trying to bury news about a Trump extramarital affair.
On the administrative front, after the unceremonious exit of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and elevation of John R. Bolton as National Security Advisor; the list of resigned or fired White House staff is burgeoning with the names of stalwarts like Mike Flynn (National Security Adviser), Sally Yates (Acting US Attorney General) , Walter Shaub (head of US Office of Government Ethics), John McEntee (President’s Personal Aide), Michael Dubke (White House Communications Director), Reince Priebus (Chief of Staff), Sean Spicer (White House Press Secretary), Michael Short (Senor White House Assistant Press Secretary), Anthony Scaramucci (White House Communications Director), Steve Bannon (Chief Strategist), Sebastian Gorka (Deputy Assistant to President), Tom Price (Health Secretary), Ms. Omarosa Manigault (Senior African American Aides), James Comey (FBI Director), Andrew McCabe (FBI Deputy Dir), Rob Porter (White House Staff Secretary), David Sorenson (White House Speechwriter), Ms. Hope Hicks (White House Communication Director and one of Trump’s most trusted and longest-serving aides), Ms. Dina Powell (Deputy National Security Adviser), Gary Cohn (Top Economic Adviser), Steven Goldstein (Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs), Rick Dearborn (Deputy Chief of Staff), Ezra Cohen-Watnick (Senior Director for Intelligence programs, National Security Council) etc. American media is full of buzz about similar fate for Robert Mueller (American Attorney). In nutshell, the American administration is virtually “hired, exploited and fired” as “The Trump Organization” employees.
Besides, due to the fanatic and racist statements of the President Donald statements, domestic terrorism has rapidly increased in the US.
In this respect, CNN reported on August 17, 2017, “White nationalist and neo-Nazi hate groups have made headlines over…the violent clashes in Virginia, but what does their influence look like outside of Charlottesville? President Donald Trump denounced violence “on many sides” after protesters and counterprotesters clashed. But the President faced bipartisan criticism for failing to call out the racist and white supremacist views of those who had traveled from across the country for the event…The number of hate groups in the United States has ticked up since the 2016 presidential campaign began…Meanwhile, the number anti-Muslim groups skyrocketed and other types of white nationalist, neo-Nazi and neo-Confederate groups reversed their pattern of decline to tick upward…The number of total hate groups has risen 17% since 2014, to 917 organizations, according to data from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC specifically pointed to a “presidential campaign that flirted heavily with extremist ideas” for the recent uptick in these groups.”
Citing Alt-America, under the caption, “The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump” by Dan Neiwert, The Guardian wrote in November 26, 2017, “Domestic terrorism in America–acts that are plotted and executed on American soil, directed at US citizens, by actors based here–spiked dramatically…The large majority of these crimes were committed by rightwing extremists–some 115 in all, compared to 63 cases of Islamist-inspired domestic terror, and 19 cases of leftwing-extremist terrorism. Rightwing extremist terrorism was more often deadly than Islamist extremism…For at least a generation; rightwing homegrown extremists have been far and away the largest source of terrorism in the United States.”
Despite it, the fundamentalist President Donald Trump has continued criticizing CIA, FBI, judiciary, media and some other key institutions. For example, in the recent past President Trump has alleged CIA for interference with his agendas and termed its officers as “Sick People.”
In America, CIA, FBI and Department of Homeland Security which are working as “a state within a state” or “shadow Government” or “Deep state means,” are also clandestinely working against one another. They do not respond to the civilian political leadership-the President and the Congressmen who are also fighting a war of nerves against each other.
On the external front, American performance under Trump has been viewed by intelligentsia, academia and analysts as “disastrous and preposterous”. They enumerated his various initiatives. He pulled out of international trade agreements, imposed travel ban on the Muslims, battled NATO over money, pulled out of Paris climate accord, threatened nuclear war with North Korea, repudiated the Iran nuclear deal, recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ordered missile strike on Syria twice.
Notably, in the modern era of interdependence of world’s countries and interaction of people in various field, like his other political follies, President Trump’s announcement of the ‘trade wars’ by planning to impose a 25 percent tariff on all steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on all aluminum imports into the USA on March 1, this year has started a new debate in the world regarding a prospective global trade war in wake of EU-US differences over WTO, including other trade issues and tough laws for the immigrants. China, EU and Japan have rejected Trump’s trade wars-strategy. Especially, in response, Beijing and EU member states also announced the measures against the imports from the US.
Some analysts feel that Trump does not really believe in much beyond his own awesomeness. Some believe Trump has been utterly incompetent. He is said to have refused to disclose tax returns, as every president has done more than 40 years.
With regard to Pakistan, Trump had adopted a threatening posture using queer tweets and frequent “do more” mantra to supplicate strategic “coup de foudre” with India. As the conflict in Afghanistan drags on, Trump has increased the number of US troops to 14,000 and cut off aid to Pakistan, pressurizing the latter, if it does not do more to support the US plan meant for Afghanistan.
It is quite strange that Pakistan’s contribution in the Global War on Terror and successes in the military operations “Zarb-e-Azb” and “Radd-u-Fassad” are acknowledged by the American military commanders in Afghanistan, however, they frequently use the “do more” phrase. Particularly, President Trump’s tweet on the eve of the New Year, followed by “do more” rhetoric and visits of the American top officials to Islamabad, indicate that American leadership is unwilling to lose Islamabad—strangulating approach in near future.
In this connection, Pakistan’s media must generate a debate over Pak-American bumpy relations with focus on Pakistan’s sacrifices in relation to War on Terror, and country’s endeavours—accommodative attempts to bring peace in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan. On prolonged Afghan conflict, international community needs to be conveyed that if the US-led military alliance of 46 countries could not stem the tide of insurgency in Afghanistan after spending almost one trillion dollars over a period of 16 years, what do they expect from Pakistan?
Pakistani media should also come forward to support Islamabad’s position on Afghanistan, as unfortunately some quarters would remain biased and play on tunes of their foreign sponsors; there is a need to build a strong national narrative and convey to international community that Pakistan should not be treated as a escape goat and whipping boy for failure of the US policy in Afghanistan.
While discussing the Medusa role of India in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s media anchors and analysts must also give a matching response to the negative projection of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by India and America, including the same against China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative and highlight collective efforts of Pakistan and China for peace in Afghanistan.
It is mentionable that India was openly opposing the CPEC and China’s OBOR project, the US also joined New Delhi. In this context, on October 3, 2017, US Defence Secretary James Mattis told the Lawmakers, “The United States has reiterated its support for India’s opposition to China’s One Belt, One Road initiative…the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a part of which traverses Pakistan-Kashmir.”
Islamabad strongly dismissed the statement from the American defence chief that the multibillion-dollar road and rail network CPEC which is part of China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, passes through a disputed territory of Kashmir, urging the international community to focus on blatant human rights violations and ‘heinous crimes’ committed by Indian occupation forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), and reminded the US that Washington had also participated in an OBOR summit.
Earlier, a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry also dismissed Mattis’ statement, saying that the OBOR plan was backed by the United Nations and that CPEC was an economic cooperation initiative. Russia also supports the OBOR and CPEC.
Nevertheless, barring the rhetoric, current state of governance in the White House is not only disturbing, but also alarming. The global geo-strategic and geo-economics landscape is undergoing changes at a very fast pace. Although, it is in the realm of speculation, however; an open debate in the US media allegedly points to possibility of Russians getting hold of ‘Kompromat’ or compromising material on Donald Trump during his visit to Russia as chief guest in Miss Universe pageant in November 2013 held at Moscow. Russia has denied these false allegations. Nonetheless, such a baseless propaganda campaign which continues in one way or the other by Washington and their media against Moscow will determine future Russia-American relations. While the world has already been disturbed by the chaos in the White House—the instability in the decision-making of America is due to the collusion among the US President Trump, Indian Prime Minister Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, which would tend to convince the international community that it can do without waiting for a nod from America in day to day business of international relations.
We may conclude that ‘Trumpism’ which has resulted into acceleration of domestic extremism in the US, coupled with rift among America’s security agencies and key institutions, will take the US to the “state of nature” when there was a war of “all against all” in the sense of Thomas Hobbes who described, “life in such a state is too short and fraught with suffering and insecurity.” It may also envelope the entire world by dividing them on religious lines and may culminate into ‘clash of civilizations’ in the sense of Huntington, especially between the Muslim and the Christians worlds. Again, there could be a war of “all against the all” on global level.