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The State of Trump

Published on 25th January 2019

By Sara Høyrup

ANALYSIS – While we have been waiting for the American President to snap out of his tantrum, get on with the tedious toiling of administrating, and thus be allowed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives to inform the world of the State of the Union, we have taken stock of the first half of Donald Trump’s tenure.

”Trump’s behavior, actions, and declarations have exceeded the worst expectations. We expected a bull in a chinashop lacking any experience relevant for a statesman; we got a pathological liar at the end of the most powerful table on Earth,” evaluates communications specialist Nina Skyum-Nielsen.

”Day in and day out, we witness the on-going construction of an alternative reality particular to the President. Shocked experts exclaimed that ’he is not quite well’ during Trump’s first months in power. Perhaps it is far worse than that: it might be that Trump knows exactly what he is doing, and does not give a hoot that he sounds like a loony.”

The compromised President

North-American conference interpreter Deborah Shields, who has returned to the United States after half a life abroad, is not impressed either:

“I think he is a pathological narcissist and liar who only ran for office as a publicity stunt. It must have been the shock of his life when he won. He only won due to a confluence of events and circumstances: our hopeless, non-representative electoral system that gives the rural areas much more power than their population warrants; Russian manipulation of social media and public opinion; and an increasingly poorly educated populace.”

“It is likely that Putin has some kind of komprimat on him, and he knows little about much of anything. He is not at all interested in learning, nor does he take advice. He has no honor or shame.”

The man who hates women

Skyum-Nielsen describes a sociopath: ”Time and again, Trump has demonstrated that not even his wife makes any emotional impact on him. He has managed to refer to Melanie as being absent, while she was standing right next to him. He is unable to perform a simple symbol of love like holding his wife’s hand.”

”The utter lack of feeling and acknowledgment of women as equal partners makes the incumbent American President come across as a thoroughly old-fashioned bully and male chauvinist. This –combined with his general narcissism and objectification of his intimate relationships– makes Trump the quintessential Man Who Hates Women. A true misogynist who cannot hide his contempt or think of a useful strategy in his current clash with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, possibly the sharpest and most unimpressed woman he has ever come across.”

Women’s rights for sale

In the same vein, Editor-in-Chief at POV International, Anne-Grethe Rasmussen reminded us in Dannerstiftelsen’s magazine before the Midterm elections that President Trump is an unprincipled populist accused of sexual harrasment. This journalist based in Washington points out that the rolling back of women’s rights is often not very catchy news, and enumerates some of Trump’s reactionary gender politics at home and in the American aid policy abroad.

Rasmussen believes that out of this retrograde pressure, counterpressure emerges. She finds hope in the new grassroot movements that are blooming under the dark skies, such as the enormous Women’s Marches in both the US and abroad when Donald Trump was invested President. (An inspiration, surely, for the recent Spanish marches against dubious gang-rape convictions and the new Spanish right’s stand on abortion and partner violence).

However, many groups lose rights with Trump, stresses Rasmussen: not just the women unprotected by inherited wealth and power like Trump’s propped-up daughter Ivanka, but the families, the workers, the ethnic minorities, and the poor. Someone is happy though: the Americans who voted Trump to power with less than half the cast votes got what they came for. They long back to the past, believe Rasmussen and many with her, because globalization corners them, and the Liberal focus on minorities’ rights feels like an attack on their rights.

The profiting President

So how have things gone, all in all, for the Republican Trump and the American nation since he took over from the Democrat Barack Obama? Deborah Shields says: “I must admit I do not care how things have gone for him, although I will note he was close to bankruptcy before taking office and that has apparently now changed. This is no doubt due to the fact that he is actually profiting from his presidency.”

This high-end professional continues: “However, I am mostly concerned about the effect he is having on my country. He is doing a great deal of damage to our institutions, to the environment, to the presidency and to what we expect from our government. He is deregulating sectors that badly need regulating and placing into power corrupt people who are only interested in bleeding and manipulating the system for their own gain.”

Fake crises and a pending recession

What will the future bring? ”I hope for impeachment or removal under the 25th Amendment. The best outcome would be indictment on the basis of the evidence in the Mueller report: money laundering, campaign funding felonies, acting as a foreign agent: there must be something indictable in there.”

And for America? “Certainly he will be voted out of office in two years, if nothing else. Unfortunately, with him continuing to polarize the country over his fake crises (‘Immigrants on the southern border!’), the way he is tearing the country apart may create permanent damage. I believe there is a recession coming also: who knows how the populace will react. My biggest hope is he either dies, or that his name is permanently damaged and he becomes a pariah.”

Thus speaks an otherwise soft-spoken woman who, by nature and profession, normally minces her words. Halfway through his mandate, Trump is clearly not everyone’s President.///