President Trump and his World View
Now that Donald Trump has become the President of the United States, it is being thought that the new president will impose his radical thinking on many internal policies impacting the life of the average American. At the same time, the president is perceived to be somewhat of a novice where US foreign policy is concerned.
Though in the days before the run-up to his taking oath of office on January 20, 2017, the president-elect must have been put through a crash course regarding US foreign policy but obviously there must have been so much to take in that it must have become a herculean task for the gentleman. He is known to be a brilliant and successful businessman and, some would say, a charismatic reality TV host, but he has never held any government or state office and, until the time when he won the US elections, he had probably never imagined that he would one day become the world’s most powerful man and hold the job of the President of the United States.
Perhaps it was his limited world view that failed to prevent him from issuing an executive order banning the nationals of seven Muslim countries and refugees from Syria to travel to the USA and wait edgily in their home countries for a process called ‘extreme vetting.’ The order provoked a very negative reaction from around the world as well as from within the United States where thousands took to the streets to protest against Trump’s decision and to find novel ways to express their anger. The unfortunate fallout was that many people in the seven Muslim countries were left stranded at airports and were unable to unite with their families in the USA or travel to the country for a host of other reasons. Now there is even more confusion as legal battles between the Trump administration and the US judiciary have erupted. Perhaps Mr. Trump’s vision did not stretch beyond what came to be known as the ‘Muslim Ban’ and reflected his abhorrence of the entire Muslim world as they were generally categorized by him as ‘Islamic Terrorists.’
In stark contrast to this approach was that of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, who has always considered the 10 million Canadian Muslims as his very own people and the doors of whose country are always open to legal immigrants as well as those refugees from war-torn Muslim states who are now not even welcome in Europe. The massacre of Muslims praying in a mosque in Quebec has been a time of great sorrow for the young Canadian Prime Minister and he has extended all support to his Muslim countrymen. He has cried with them and laughed with them with sentiments that reflect his deep humane qualities.
It is clear President Trump has failed to recognize that one, he is President of the entire United States and not only those predominantly white Americans who hate the Muslims and the people of Mexico and other similar countries and, two, the United States of America is at present the world’s sole superpower and that it must hold on to this status not only by word but also by deed. Over the years and through many administrations, the USA has played a very vital role in world affairs and has enjoyed the support of most nations on the globe, whether Muslim or otherwise. It has led many alliances and initiatives, whether these were of a military, civilian or humanitarian nature. It may have been commended for its role or otherwise but it has continued to lead the world in the true spirit of a superpower.
The underlying theme of American policy has always been peace and aid and, to this end, it has made all its sources available and has gone out of its way to give billions of dollars for such causes. Of course, the USA’s own motives have also driven this approach but that is why it is a superpower. It must also not be forgotten that both the USA and Canada are what they are today because they are nations comprising immigrants from all corners of the world. In the beginning, migrant populations from England and the rest of Europe came to the North American continent and that is why this part of the world has a predominantly white population. But over the years, the immigrants have become more diverse and provide a distinct multiplicity.
President Trump needs to revise his own views about the USA and start thinking in global terms. He must not only pay attention to various problems within America but also to the strategic global position of the USA and, instead of looking inwards, he should make efforts to further expand America’s world influence. If that does not happen, before Mr. Trump realizes it, China and Russia will have overtaken the USA both economically and militarily.