Trump Resists

The first year of the president of the United States produces indignation and bewilderment

In the first year since the inauguration of Donald Trump, the world is still disconcerted by the capacity of resistance in the office of a president who, despite his obvious lack of appropriateness for the performance of that charge, not only remains in it, but strengthens himself every day against his rivals and enemies, inside and outside of his ranks.

Trump has broken every pattern and defied all uses and practices. Those who thought that, once in the Oval Office, the multi-millionaire New Yorker would become aware of the responsibility that he holds, moderate his manners and give a different tone to his words and actions have no choice but to recognize that they were wrong. But Trump has been faithful to his style, spreading confusion and outrage among individuals, social sectors and entire countries.

American society is today more divided than ever while the world order suffers from the unilateralism practiced by Trump. Within the United States, Trump has deepened the gap between those who support him and those who criticize his management, creating a dangerous friend-enemy dynamic that populism takes so much advantage of. He has placed 11 million illegal immigrants in the spotlight, also using them as a permanent scapegoat for ills that he, as the president, has the responsibility to fight, such as terrorism or crime.

His economic measures, although they have encouraged the economy and the creation of employment, far from helping the impoverished classes that believed his promises, have increased even more the disparity with rich people and dismantled the draft of the welfare state that Barack Obama had begun to build with universal health care. His insults on Twitter to journalists, politicians, actors and whoever has got within range of him have been constant, giving a lesson of irresponsibility in the use of social networks. Finally, the permanent confusion between his private activities and his position, the irregular role played in the administration by his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law, and the remarkable disagreements and ruptures with his collaborators have made the White House a nest of rumors rather than a stable and predictable governing body.

Outside the United States, Trump´s mark has not been better. The insults to his neighbors, from Mexico, as a country of rapists and drug dealers, to El Salvador and Haiti, as “shithole countries,” the bravado with which he has managed crises such as the North Korea or Iran ones, have been accompanied by a deliberate effort to weaken the multilateral order built after the end of World War II. His abandonment or announcement of abandonment of the Paris climate agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and UNESCO, and his withdrawal of funds for the U.N. are causing extremely serious damage to the international prestige of the United States and the relations with its allies. However, this firmness has evaporated when dealing with Russian authoritarianism − whose role in Trump´s election is proved − with China, or Saudi Arabia. The balance cannot be worse, but nothing seems to indicate that Trump, and with him, the others, has hit rock bottom.

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