Donald Trump is struggling to move from campaign to government with rhetoric of hate
Since his election, Donald Trump seems to be developing into a must-watch reality show. Or maybe that should be must switch off.
It looks like he and his team are struggling to move from campaign mode to government.
The big question is: Will Trump stick to his election pledges?
At last week’s climate change conference in Morocco, I was with politicians from 196 other countries thinking the same thing.
After all our hard work to get a deal, would Trump see through his threat of pulling out of the Paris Agreement?
Luckily we have some breathing space. A clause in the agreement that Barack Obama signed would prevent the US from withdrawing for three years. Though I’m sure Trump will try to ignore it.
The businessman also promised to build a wall across the US-Mexico border and make the Mexicans pay for it, rip up trade deals and questioned the role of NATO .
Now he’s President-elect, Trump’s started to wind down the rhetoric as he takes in the enormity of what’s happened.
The Mexican wall will now mostly be a fence, and not as many illegal immigrants will be forcibly removed.
We still don’t know what he’ll do on climate change or existing trade deals, but I reckon that reality will trump the rhetoric.
What is clear is that getting a new trade deal with the UK isn’t a big priority for The Donald.
Trump called the world leaders of nine other countries before he got round to speaking to Theresa
May. She is now desperate to meet Trump as soon as possible because she needs to say she has some sort of deal in place.
The remarkable thing is that while she tries to be like Thatcher, May’s actually behaving like a campaigning Trump.
Expelling migrants and building further restrictions of controls? May brought us Go Home poster vans.
Breaking trade agreements? May wants us out of the EU Single European Market and its customs union.
“Make our country great again”? If the Trump caps fits, she’ll wear it!
But Europe’s political response to the election of Trump has been just as hysterical as May’s.
EU foreign ministers holding an emergency meeting over a democratic decision shows how out of touch they’ve become.
It looked like a collection of cold war warriors, military and political, demanding no change to the NATO operation.
And it’s on this point that I think Trump is on to something. Why should we continue to place more British troops as hostages to fortune in Poland and other Eastern European countries as part of our NATO commitment? Is Russia really a threat to world peace? I’d argue the most dangerous country wasn’t led by Putin but George W Bush.
I’m not Trump’s biggest fan but at least he wants to move away from military intervention, said the Iraq War is wrong and now questions the future of America’s role in NATO.
And it’s not just militarily where Trump’s identified problems that need fixing. He rightly highlights how globalisation didn’t help working men and women, and pointed out the corrosive relationship between governments, banks and corporate companies that annually attended the Davos Conference. That cosy consensus led to the global economic collapse of 2008.
Trump is questioning many of the global institutions that are largely based on Western interests and values, such as the World Trade Organisation, the IMF and NATO.
Look how the West responded to Trump winning.
They gave a qualified welcome but insisted he uphold western values like freedom, democracy, human dignity and the rule of law.
China and Russia just called for sustainable dialogue, co-operation and ending conflict.
We face a great opportunity to work with a new US President who won’t rush to war like his predecessors and wants a new economic settlement that works for people, not profits.
Trump’s a businessman.
Let’s work with him, influence him to do the right thing and try to get the best deal we can.