How many wars has Donald Trump started with the world through exercising the most powerful and influential presidency on the planet? In a month and a half the new tenant of the White House has launched his direct or indirect attack against Mexico, Latin America, Europe, China and now Oceania with the telephone call about the refugee agreement approved by Barack Obama’s administration, which irritated the prime minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull.
Although the populist fury opens a window of opportunity for reconciliation between the U.S. and Russia, after the serious deterioration of the bilateral relations under Obama’s administrations, the links between Washington and Moscow seem neither smooth nor tense. Beyond the political will to encourage bilateral diplomacy, the United States’ national security interests will clash with the Kremlin’s geopolitical plans.
Examples of foreign policy combined with other internal policies reflect that the true war of Donald Trump lies in deconstructing the system. This bold idea finds ground in the profound anger of the citizens with the establishment, the status quo, the same continuous policies, and with asymmetric and disparate globalization that widens inequalities instead of sharing out dividends. Today we find ourselves facing a grim battle between the pro-system forces and those who look to fight, revert and crush the established order. In the words of the White House strategy chief, Steve Bannon, we have to work toward the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”
Bearing this in mind, with his favorite instrument Donald Trump governs with executive orders that allow him to evade Congress despite having a majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and reinforces his character as an “independent president.” Combined with the image of unity that the Republicans should reflect within the party, it is certain that repudiation and estrangement have taken over many legislators of the governing party. We only have to look at the case of Betsy DeVos – her confirmation as education secretary was decided by the vote of the vice president, Mike Pence.
The direct confrontation with the media is added to the list of low blows from the Republican Party – another attempt by Donald Trump to diminish the system and silence those whom he considers an “enemy of the people.” And if that is not enough, Trump has also started a war against the liberal order that has prevailed since the end of World War II, attacking the principles of freedom, equality and tolerance. Not in vain, Trump’s team is considering the withdrawal of the United State from the United Nations Human Rights Council, threatening to abandon the historic agreement made in Paris to combat climate change and intimidating the WTO by threatening to disown it if they do not favor his commercial interests.
In the Americas, the war with Mexico and relations with Cuba seem to be the two most discussed issues. For a long time Mexico ignored the Trump phenomenon in an attempt at restraint, depriving it of the silence, fear and enervation it would have caused. Mexico did not know to destroy the idea of the wall in time – an insult that has proved that knowing the hard facts and trends is useless. Trump’s demons are not new in the United States, when white men feel uncomfortable with [the fact that] their demographic position will make them a minority. The signs of racist, supremacist and xenophobic ultraconservatism present in the Tea Party did not deserve the care and trouble of Mexico investing a strategy of lobbying and public relations in Washington.
Faced with the dubious, hesitant and submissive position of Mexico to contain Donald Trump, Latin America does not have the incentive to create a common front, a position of unity that is not easily encapsulated by a Latin America divided by polar ideologies, in economic recession, corrupted, and with a crisis of representation. Yet the Trump era should encourage a general anti-Trump consensus, since the cooling of relations has triggered contempt of the agenda of developing criteria for security, and the anti-immigrant agenda that seeks to close borders and recreate new enemies and culprits.
The author is presenter and analyst of Vertrice International and series 2016: Election in the World @CanalCongreso and 360o, a global vision of Latin America @CanalIbe @SEGIBdigital.