Trump’s America First: New world order

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Manan Dwivedi
Some international relations observers have argued that the “inward-looking foreign policy approach” of Donald Trump will leave a power vacuum in the Asian space, especially in the South Asian and South East Asian regions. India can benefit from an American withdrawal is one such argument
The results of the Hillary-Trump contest have reinforced the American Dream of inclusiveness and national interest-oriented thought. The American Dream reflects all that is bright and sunny about the United States. The spectacular nature of the American dream is inclusive in nature. Since earlier times, US Presidential elections have been primarily driven – like any other electoral event – by the theatricals, histrionics and the ground reality of public opinion and its framers in the form of the Fourth Estate coverage.
Internal developments and domestic configurations have always led to a churning and impactful consequence on the dynamics of the 2016 campaign issues and post-election scenarios. Republican candidate Donald Trump appeared symbolically dressed in smart loose dark suits, a sparkling red tie with handsome hair and a power pout at a shooting range, in order to oppose the toothless and “Regular” nature of the responses by President Obama.
Trump’s campaign pitch was that Obama did not succeed in containing the entry of Islamic terrorism and the element of “the other,” in the American homeland. Trump, during the early days of the campaign, commented that because of “these illegals, Texas and Florida could be gone.”
The US myth has always believed in the idea of xenophobia and the “threat of the other” as part of the founding story of the nation which is still called the land of milk and honey, comprising inclusion.
This stands true despite the societal challenges of gun-violence, police hardships and law enforcement tinged with racial bias, as commented by the Democrats and the Liberals during the Presidential campaign. Thus, a threatened and a challenged nation voted Trump’s way.
Trump has succeeded in evading the anger of immigrants and ethnic communities in the country. The United States comprises around 11 million odd undocumented aliens and non-citizens which might harm the dynamics of the homeland security and the larger inclusivity of the country. Not everyone can rise to a strong position after hopping on to a boat from Italy in the films such as Scarface. US Bureau of Labor Statics informs about the Alaska natives, native Hawaiins, and other Pacific islanders. Five new ethnic immigrant categories – Salvadoran, Other Central American, South American, Dominican and other Hispanic or Latino – were included in the 2014 report, apart from the settlers of Cuban, Mexican and Puerto Rican origin.
Among the race and ethnicity groups, native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders (67.6 per cent) and Hispanics (66.1 per cent) have the highest labour participation rates while the American Indians and the Alaska natives (60.9 per cent) and the Blacks (61.2 per cent) had the lowest participation rates in the entire gamut of ethnic composition in America. Thus, Hispanics and the South Americans account for an undocumented but still a largely productive section of the American population. China and India too are slotted be the prime contenders in the productivity dynamics of the American nation.
The Washington Post reported that in 2015, President Obama declared his intention to legalise 2.25 per cent undocumented aliens as part of a nationally unifying plan. This further included the benefits of social security, medicare and tax cuts.
The new Presidential programme was called as the, “Deferred Action Plan” which cancelled deportation and extending immigrant work permits, to complete their employment obligations in the United States. This is contrary to the psychological and ideological checks which were propagated by Trump under the guidance of the ex-Mayor of New York, Rudi Guilliani. The inward looking and protectionist programme of candidate Trump would have been largely rejected by the White population and even some sections of the American college-going youth, who, normally are known to tilt the Democrat way.
Still, the result is a surprise and serves as a strong rejoinder to the Democrats-liberals.
Now, the series of protests, mostly ill attended, are a late response by the political opposition in the United States. There is not much data-based and statistical evidence that voters supporting racial segregation are the same as the section of voters which supported Trump.
The speech by Democrat hopeful Hillary Clinton calling the Trump supporters as “the masses of deplorables” also did not cut much ice with the population. Trump’s stress on his anti-establishment and outsider’s image also helped his electoral cause. Trump was demonised as a capitalist rent-seeker and as being a real estate baron, but he was able to identify with the voters as a rank outsider while Hillary was castigated as being a part of the “rigged and corrupt” system. Trump’s insistence on being an entrepreneur had a hidden appeal for the people, especially, with those in the rust belt states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and others, which traditionally comprise Hillary’s strong states.
Trump benefited heavily in enemy territory and thus garnering the all significant and impressive rust belt advantage.
His propagation of himself being a “victim” despite being in a White Christian country had an impact on the election’s outcome.
Trump has come up with the agenda of reforming the lobbying system in the nation.
He has managed to pass on the message rather effectively that retired and ex-Government servants cannot be allowed to become part of energy, climate change and non-proliferation lobbies, which include monetary benefits. Trump’s standard position on “choice” remains similar to the traditional Republican stand against abortion.
Thus, the Republican base was not completely changed by candidate Trump and he built on personally from then on. It was the grand neglect being felt by the Middle America which made Trump to innovate the idea of “America First” with a bunch of proposed tax, employment and foreign policy reforms. His non-interventionism in foreign policy issues also won the hearts of the voters.
Some international relations observers have argued that the “inward-looking foreign policy approach” of Donald Trump will leave a power vacuum in the Asian space, especially in the South Asian and South East Asian regions. India can benefit from an American withdrawal is one such argument.
This might not have much stream as candidate Trump was another curry while President Trump will be a completely different ball game altogether as the Executive responsibility comes with its own limitations. Even under President Trump, US national interests might inspire the same set of foreign policy approaches. Though dissimilar to his campaign pitch, which was criticised as being “divisive”, Trump in his first address after his victory gave a unifying call to a polarised electorate and talked of himself as being “their President”. Trump might not actually end up following his standpoints during his campaign, but, even a partial following of what he has promised, might change what “America does and stands for”.

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