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  • Published in Opinion
Donald Trump New Hampshire Town Hall on August 19th, 2015. Photo: Wikimedia

Donald Trump New Hampshire Town Hall on August 19th, 2015. Photo: Wikimedia

Donald Trump was elected just over a year ago. In that time, he has wreaked havoc

We probably all recall the feelings of disbelief and dread waking up on November 9th 2016 to learn that a narcissistic right-wing braggart had been elected 45th President of the US. Many predicted that the Trump Presidency would turn out to be one of - if not the worst - of the modern era. His first year in power has certainly set him up to earn that unwanted accolade.

In some policy areas, the hysterical rhetoric of his campaign has, regrettably, been fulfilled; while in others, he has run into opposition, either from other parts
of the political establishment or from popular resistance from below.

Destruction

Future generations will definitely not thank Trump for jeopardising the planet by sticking to his campaign pledge to withdraw the US from the Paris climate change deal. Similarly, he implemented the threatened ban on Muslims immigration, sparking scenes of mass protests at American airports. The ban has been watered down by federal judges but remains a significant deterrent to travel to the US for many from Middle East states. 

Obama’s rapprochement with Cuba has been revoked, sending relations between the two countries back to the bad old days of the Cold War. Iran has also seen its diplomatic thaw under Obama reset by Trump‘s intention to cancel the nuclear deal between Tehran and Western states. Most brazenly, Trump has threatened to rain down apocalyptic ‘fire and fury’ on the 25 million people of North Korea.

Other commitments from Trump’s blow-hard 2016 campaign have run into the sand.

Two of his flagship policies-erecting a wall on the Mexican border and repealing Obamacare-have been stymied by Congress; in the case of the former due to the estimated $21 billion price tag, and with the latter because 24 million Americans would probably lose out on health insurance.

Re-energised

The threat of impeachment continues to hang over the Trump White House with two members of his campaign team arrested by the FBI in connection with alleged Russian interference with last year’s election. Trump’s tumultuous first year as Chief Executive has intensified the sense of crisis in the world’s most powerful capitalist state.

The polarising right-wing rhetoric that characterised his campaign has given the green light to the forces of the far right such as those who congregated at Charlottesville in August. The consolation for those who long for real change in the US is that those reactionary forces were over-powered by a re-energised anti-racist movement that may yet take down the Orange Abomination himself.  

Sean Ledwith

Sean Ledwith

Sean Ledwith is Lecturer in History and Politics at York College, where he is also UCU branch chair. He is a member of Counterfire and York People's Assembly. Sean is also a regular contributor to Marx and Philosophy Review of Books and Reviews in History.

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