So this happened:

Trump agreed the system was unfair four years ago, although I’m not quite sure what his reasoning was.

And this is what else he had to say back then:

The cartoonists made a few predictions before the election about what they thought a Trump presidency would look like:

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bernie-1I should be a bit wary of making predictions given how badly I got it on the election. At least I wasn’t a lone voice – most pundits thought similar things to me. Even texts to CNN political reporters from Trump insiders on election night were apparently saying things like, “It’ll be a miracle if we win.” It sounds like even they didn’t expect a Trump victory.

In the swing states, there were 90 electoral college votes that went to Trump that would have gone to Clinton if third party voters had chosen her. Bill Weld (the Libertarian VP nominee) openly stated in interviews that he considered that Trump was unqualified to be president and Clinton was the preferable choice of the two. I’ve no doubt Green party voters would prefer Clinton to Trump as well. He is a climate change denier, who has even said that he thinks climate change science is a conspiracy theory:

Here’s a list of some of the things Trump said he’d do on his first day in office:

1. On 7 January in Burlington, Vermont, Trump said:

I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools, you have to, and on military bases; my first day it gets signed, okay. My first day. There’s no more gun free zones.

Perhaps commenters could help me here, but I’m not sure Trump can keep his promise to make schools and everywhere else places where guns are allowed. Does the president actually have the power to sign a bit of paper that forbids gun-free zones throughout the country, including on military bases? In many cases aren’t these state laws, and the last thing Republicans want is a president telling them what to do in their states.

Further, contrary to what many seem to think, it was not President Obama who decided soldiers on bases shouldn’t have their weapons on them at all times, but military leaders. I think they would be horrified if President Trump overrode them in this way.

2. On 28 June in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, he said that on Day One he would notify Canada and Mexico that NAFTA had to be renegotiated:

I’m going tell our NAFTA partners that I intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal – by a lot, not just a little, by a lot – for our workers And if they do not agree to a renegotiation – which they might not, because they’re so used to having their own way. Not with Trump: They won’t have their own way – then I will submit notice under Article 2205 of the NAFTA agreement that America intends to withdraw from the deal.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has preempted Donald Trump on this issue already, announcing the day after the election:

Canada has no closer friend, partner, and ally than the United States. We look forward to working very closely with president-elect Trump, his administration, and with the United States Congress in the years ahead, including on issues such as trade, investment, and international peace and security.

Canada is very vulnerable in relation to trade with the United States because they are by far their biggest trading partner though some provinces are more vulnerable than others. Ontario send over 80% of their exports to the United States for example, while the figure for British Columbia is closer to 50%. However, if Donald Trump starts slapping tariffs on exports to the US, the damage could be severe.

Trudeau is eminently sensible to preempt this, and also to mention “international peace and security” in his statement. Trump doesn’t yet appear to realize that not everything is about money. Once he starts getting proper security briefings he’ll hopefully appreciate that he needs Canada in other ways such as the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.

Trump is also yet to realize that he’s far better off maintaining a positive relationship with Mexico’s leadership. His failure to recognize the value of soft power and friendly diplomatic relations is symptomatic of his ignorance and the reason people like me worry about his ability to lead the most powerful nation on earth. Perhaps someone could at least explain to him that the maintenance of of international friendships actually saves money too – surely that point at least would get his attention.

Further, it is better for the US to facilitate economic growth in countries like Mexico, because it makes people more likely to choose to stay home rather than make the dangerous journey north.

I must say though that what he and President Obama discussed in their first meeting on 10 November seems to have subdued Trump. He came out of that meeting appearing to have at least a small awareness of the awesome responsibility that would soon be his. That’s positive, but it doesn’t make me feel any better about the quality of his judgment.

3. On 27 August in Des Moines, Iowa he said he’d begin the process of removing the “gangs of thugs” within one hour of taking office.

The first piece of paper that I’m gonna sign is we gonna get rid of these people … we’re gonna get rid of them Day One. We start Day One.

I understand where he’s coming from on this one. The only reason I have a problem with Trump here is that the way he speaks about the issue. For example, on the last day of the Republican convention he said:

Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens.

“Criminal records” here includes every conceivable crime from jay-walking to serial rapist and murder. Most of the 180,000 are no threat to US citizens whatsoever.

4. On 31 August in Phoenix, Arizona he said:

On Day One we will begin working on an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall.

And some of Trump’s supporters are looking forward to that wall in a unique way:

https://twitter.com/ShaunKing/status/796550312215646209?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

This is the problem with the way Trump has been talking about the immigration issue. He has rightly identified that there are a lot of citizens in the country who feel that their problems have been ignored and they have not been seen as people.

However, there are a lot of citizens that Trump seemingly doesn’t recognize as people if the way he speaks about them is any indication. His rhetoric encourages the bullying instincts of many, and a lot of people are now genuinely scared because of a nasty underbelly that now feels able to express itself in the same way he did.

This is happening because of the way Trump ran his campaign:

(Source: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/11/how-the-polls-gave-us-president-trump )

 

5. Also on 31 August in Phoenix, he promised to repeal all of Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders.

He’s actually given himself an “out” there with the use of the word “unconstitutional.” Any complaints about him not repealing an executive order and he can just day it was “constitutional,” which most of them were. The point also needs to be made that Obama felt the need to use executive orders to try and get things done because Congress was consistently deliberately obstructionist.

6. And again on 31 August in Phoenix, he vowed to suspend the immigration of refugees from Syria and Libya.

I don’t know whether Trump understands the difference between immigrants and UNHCR refugees. If he doesn’t, he’s demonstrating an ignorance a president shouldn’t have. If he does, which is actually more likely because he’s not stupid, that means he’s lying and fearmongering by deliberately conflating the two to get support.

And more hate as a result:

hate-tweet

7. On 6 September in Greenvile, North Carolina made the ridiculous but popular statement:

I’m gonna convene my top generals and give them a simple instruction. They will have thirty days to submit to the oval office a plan for soundly and quickly defeating ISIS.

Well good luck to him. But does he really think that if this was possible, the generals wouldn’t have already done this? Does he think that Obama wants DAESH to survive?

The problem is that he doesn’t seem to understand that killing those fighting for the caliphate in Iraq and Syria are not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is the ideology, and you can’t get rid of that by killing people, especially if you do it the way Trump says he wants to – by torturing as well as killing the jihadists, killing their families, and stealing the oil of the country they happen to be occupying.

8. Also 6 September in Greenvile, North Carolina he said this, making it sound like it was the easiest thing in the world to do:

I’m gonna ask Congress to send me a Bill to repeal and replace, finally, Obamacare. It’s a disaster. Under Senate rules that Bill can be passed with 51 votes … meaning a Republican Congress and a Republican president can save American from this disaster in a single afternoon.

Dismantling Obamacare is going to take time, and there’s a lot of preparatory work to do. It’ll likely be a couple of years at least before it’s done.

I’ve written at length what I think the United States needs to do about healthcare provision, and my suggestion beats no resemblance to that of the Republican party. I actually think Trump would like my ideas better given that he’s praised the systems of Scotland and Canada, so let’s see whether he stands up for his principles of folds to the party.

Because Trump has also said he won’t touch Social Security or Medicare, but I saw an interview with House Speaker Paul Ryan today, who was very upbeat about his meeting with Trump. And Ryan said reforming (i.e. cutting) Social Security and Medicare were necessary as part of repealing Obamacare.

9. On 20 September in Williamsburg, Virginia, Mike Pence made the statement:

… and lastly on Day One of this Administration we’re gonna end the War on Coal once and for all.

This is the stupidest thing Trump and Pence have said in their economic arguments. Trump has stated that he’s going to get the coal mines working again. How is he going to do that? Force coal mines to re-open and run at a loss? Subsidize the industry?

Clinton had a good plan on how to deal with the issue of miners who were out of work. (Bernie Sanders did as well, but hers was even better.) It involved investing billions over several years retraining the workers in jobs in other related industries and helping develop those industries. It was part of her strategy of making the United States a leader in green energy and making the country self-sufficient in energy.

(I’ll leave most of the things to do with foreign relations to a later post.)

That’s a lot of things to do on his first day, or even in his first 100 days.

skin-1He’s also going to have to make his first pick from that list of potential SCOTUS justices to take the place of the late Antonin Scalia, which will immediately reestablish the 5-4 conservative-liberal balance on the court.

He’s also got 4,000 plus people to appoint to his administration by 20 January 2017, so they’re in place and ready to help him with all of the above.

Then there’s all the women who accused him of sexual harassment that he said he was going to sue for slander “after the election.” He didn’t, of course, say which election.

Apparently he’s considering the following:

Newt Gingrich – Secretary of State
Rudi Giuliani – Attorney General
Ben Carson (who’s an evolution denier) – health or education
Sheriff David Clarke – Homeland Security (see here)
Jared Kushner (Ivanka’s husband) – Chief of Staff
Kellyanne Conway – Press Secretary

Since his election, Trump has been outwardly making all the right moves. But it’s only been two days, and we all know he can’t keep it up. The pressure of the presidency is intense and unlike other presidents elect, he’s facing several court cases as well. The first major one is Trump University. Will the United States soon have a convicted fraudster as president?

The next four years will be a rocky ride.

 

 


 

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