I haven’t been able to come up with a blog for days because I felt unable to contribute to an understanding of global or national events. How do you make sense of the Trump era? How do you shed light on a black hole so bottomless and impenetrable?
Trump pledged during his campaign to turn the ship of state completely around, and the voters handed him the rudder. But in modern times, the ship of state is more like a train, a long, long train. Turning it around is going to be complicated. And risky.
In global affairs, Americans have long accepted the role of a big brother ready to extend a helping hand to less prosperous nations, the champion of progress, democracy and freedom. Trump vowed to change that role, to become a predator rather than a protector, to pursue unabashed “America first” policies.
I wonder how the rest of the world will react to that switch? I wonder whether other countries might retaliate with trade restrictions and even dump the US dollar as the global reserve currency?
At home, his vision seems to be a return to white privilege, male dominance and religious bigotry, where some Americans will prosper from oppression of other Americans. Has this society come so far only to be turned completely around now? I doubt it.
I thought there might be a chance Trump was just running one of his scams – the biggest and most audacious scam yet – that he would not dare to implement the policies he promised. But the people he is picking for his administration seem to indicate that’s a forlorn hope.
If he succeeds, even partially, in changing America as he has promised, the implications would be too far reaching to predict. And if he fails, as I am convinced he will, the mess he leaves behind will be horrific.