Saturday, July 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

A Trumped America

Sahar Mahmood writes about the future of America after the shocking US election results.

On the 9th of November the world saw the United States of America elect Donald Trump their 45th president. With a campaign marred with statements of bigotry, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, racism and hatred, Trump made his way comfortably to the White House. But what does an America with Trump as president actually look like?

Trump has promised amongst many things to deport immigrants and build a wall between Mexico and the United states. The first 100 days in office are extremely significant for any president to cement the public’s faith in their ability to deliver on the promises they have made. So here’s what Trump has vowed to do in his first 100 days in office.

Immigration has been a key issue within his campaign. Trump initially promising to deport all 11 million immigrants from the United States settled on the promise of deporting 2 million illegal immigrants with criminal records in the first hours of his presidency. At a campaign rally in Arizona, Trump promised that on “Day 1, my first hour in office, those people are gone”. In reality the figure is much closer to 168,000 individuals according to the New York Times. In addition, he plans to introduce vetting and plans to suspend immigration from countries that are “terror-prone” because “vetting cannot safely occur”. And not to mention, Trump still plans on building his wall between Mexico and the United States and insists that he “will make Mexico pay” for it. All of this is extremely dependent on having the right expertise, resources and time. Whether any of this is practical or possible in his first 100 days is therefore completely unlikely.

On other issues such as trade, Trump has promised to impose a set of policies that will close America’s economic borders. He wishes to advance new trade agreements with Canada and Mexico and wants to scrap plans to become part of the Trans Pacific Partnership, which sees 12 countries including Japan building greater ties and reducing trade tariffs massively to advance growth. On foreign policy, Trump has advocated for a recall of American support overseas. He proposed that the US would only provide protection and offer help to NATO countries that have met the alliances’ obligations. This view, according to the Telegraph, is the “first time in [a] post-World War Two era” that a candidate running for office has put limitations on the support America would offer to its allies. The surrounding rhetoric of these policies seems to be shading heavily into isolationism and into a dangerous, dark and unstable future. It is a wonder how any country could prosper if we didn’t all communicate and have an open dialogue. But the promise of all this in the first 100 days in office is a bit of a stretch.

Worryingly, on the extremely important issue of the environment, Trump who frequently claims it is a “Chinese hoax” has promised to stop millions of dollars of funding to various United Nation climate change programmes. He also promises to put a stop to the newly agreed Paris Agreement on climate change which was seen as one of the most important agreements to ever have been reached at such a global scale. Trump also wishes to make way for the controversial Keystone Pipeline which is said to put at risk fragile ecosystems. This issue has motivated many environmental activists and raises the question of ‘don’t we all have a greater responsibility to take care of the world we live in?’.

These are only some of the many issues which Trump has promised to advance when in office and they have thrown millions of individuals in America and around the world into doubt of the future of the United States and the world under a Trump presidency. Truly and honestly, the nature of the campaign he ran and the policies he promoted do sincerely give rise to the feeling that America has seriously been ‘trumped’ out of a better future for all.