President Trump is coming up on one year since he was inaugurated. With no sign of change in his overbearing political approach, one cannot possibly hope for stability in his administration. His haphazard policy decisions are pulling Americans apart in confusion, and the friction Trump has generated with the international community has accelerated the decline of the United States’ position in the world. One cannot help but prepare for even more turmoil in the second year of his administration.
Trump used reckless lies to win the election. It was believed that once in office, he would become reality-oriented. A year ago, I often heard this kind of optimism, which has since been completely unrealized. There was a drastic cut in the corporate tax rate, and there have been results that could have value, such as relief from excessive regulations. However, the negatives exceed the positives.
Trump’s racist speech, with which he repeatedly tried to buy the favor of poor white supporters, has ruined the cooperation inherent in multicultural harmony and spoiled the unity of the nation for which previous administrations fought. Even after the Trump administration is gone, the aftereffects of what it does will continue for a long time.
More importantly, Trump has shaken the international order. Every country has its national interests. However, if countries insist on those interests, it increases antagonism and can trigger war. Getting to the root of a dispute through negotiation and compromise should be a fundamental rule in a post-World War II society.
Economic loss is not the only result of the United States’ withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris climate agreement. These withdrawals have forced the world back to the time when survival of the fittest was the rule, and have justified China and Russia’s plans for expansion.
The United States has not led the world by military power alone. Universal values such as respect for human rights, democracy and market economy have been the main source of America’s dominance. Trump has left these values behind.
At this point, it appears that the conflict inside the White House has deepened. As a result of actions by former chief strategist Stephen Bannon who broke relations with Trump, it is possible that the “Russiagate” problem will rapidly escalate, and that Trump will be forced to face a difficult choice. Trump is expending all the more effort in criticizing the American media in order to divert Americans’ attention from the situation. Unfortunately, he may be greatly surprised.
The interactions with North Korea are frightening. Exerting pressure on North Korea by imposing economic sanctions is a way to restrain development of nuclear missiles. We absolutely cannot just move toward war because of secret speculation.