This Friday marks one whole year since the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States. In an election result which shocked the world the previous November, the tycoon had vowed to “Make America Great Again” and thus won the support of enough disillusioned blue collar Americans to win via the electoral vote. After a campaign which was filled with inflammatory rhetoric and unapologetic racism, the warning signs were all there. Anyone with an ounce of sense was concerned as to what might come of a Trump Presidency, but, there was also a minuscule hope that the pressure, expectations and demands of such an elite office would “moderate” his behaviour accordingly…
It didn’t. One year on, the Trump administration has been very much as bad as people feared. The repulsiveness and moral ineptitude which shaped his hugely controversial campaign has continued unabated as the standard bearer of his premiership, all without a shred of self-consciousness, decency or humility to go along with it. Only in the campaign itself did President Obama speak out against Trump, noting that the Presidency of the United States “was not a Reality TV show“. As much as that term may be too generous to describe the present situation, without a doubt Donald’s swelling ego-centrism and childlike tendency to be the centre of all attention has turned the White House into a sour, twisted joke.
Except, it isn’t funny. Trump’s actions and decisions as President have been nothing short of abysmal, perhaps even disgraceful. The race baiting jibes which magnetized his base were unapologetically shoved into the fabric of policymaking itself. Opporunistic travel bans, the branding of entire regions of the world with repulsive language unfit for a President, the endorsement of fascist groups in his allied states, the endorsement of pro-segregation candidates in elections (Roy Moore) and the failure to confront violent white supremacy are but a few of ever the growing mountain of incidences excrementally pouring out of the oval office. Time and time again, the President has shamelessly and willingly utilized racist sentiments to set his narratives and reach out to his “base”.
But that isn’t the end of it. He’s setting off on a rampage of environmental desolation, withdrawing from the most comprehensive climate change in History, now the only country in the world to reject it; he’s piling up a bombfire of Obama era environmental regulations on coal, oil and carbon emissions, some which came in the aftermath of the gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. Beyond that, he is a diplomatic disaster and a danger on the world stage. He has reduced the horrors of nuclear war to the gratification of his own ego, threatening it casually, recklessly and ignorantly in defiance of norms which have long opposed their usage. He has insulted countries, peoples and leaders around the world on a whim, alienating and taunting even his closest allies.
His every achievement has been based on outright lies, hysterical exaggeration and misinformation. On an almost daily basis he claims credit for the rising stock market on twitter, despite that it has been concurrently rising for years. He takes unreserved credence for the U.S economic recovery too, despite the fact it was well in the wings before he came along, never mind that the very nature of the Presidency itself has very little direct power in how to direct the American economy… unless of course it is signing off tax cuts for the ultra wealthy. When has been criticized, he has simply tried to say his predecessor Obama, or “loser” Hilary Clinton are worse. Everything unfavorable to him has been dismissed haughtily as “fake news”, a term he has tweeted statistically once every three days… thus at least over 100 times in a single year. He has emphatically and enthusiastically rejected the truth itself, bolstering the attitude that no legitimate criticism of him is authorized to exist.
So what can be concluded? For all America is globally popular for its iconic culture, films, entertainment, technology and food, Trump, on the other hand stands as the physical embodiment of its “ugly side”, the America the world has despised, than adored. He is a manifestation of the country’s lingering racism and prejudices, the appalling ignorance that persists in some areas of its society, the injustices that continue to drive a country built on “justice”, and of course, the ugly Republican politics which thrives on these morbid sentiments. There should be no doubts amongst any critically minded person that the Trump Presidency is a walking, moral catastrophe with no redeeming features whatsoever. It is ultimately likely as the term progresses, the administration will can grow in its its vulgarity, its detachment from reality and its determination to plague America and the world with a nastier, cheaper and ill-fitted form of politics which will damage the country’s global image for years to come.