As I had blogged before, I think Trump is unfit for this job but now that he is already taken the job we will learn to make the best of it in a world which he is about to diminish.
Well they say "God bless America" but we in South East Asia and in particular Singapore that would be "May God help us"
The message sent to by Pope Francis via an official Telegram (so cannot be faked eh?) is relevant and to the point.
The Honorable Donald TrumpPresident of the United States of AmericaThe White HouseWashingtonUpon your inauguration as the forty-fifth President of the United States of America, I offer you my cordial good wishes and the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high office. At a time when our human family is beset by grave humanitarian crises demanding far-sighted and united political responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by the rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people and your nation’s commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide. Under your leadership, may America’s stature continue to be measured above all by its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door. With these sentiments, I ask the Lord to grant you and your family, and all the beloved American people, his blessings of peace, concord and every material and spiritual prosperity.FRANCISCUS PP.
As a matter of degree depending where you live what Pope Francis said about America is true but I am afraid is disappearing beginning with the rapid decline of America's soft power.
I see America as always struggling for faith to have the courage to live by its values in a mix of triumphs and failures, idealism versus cynicism in constant conflict. With Trump as president that will change unless he is stopped not by anyone by rank and file Americans.
Because an America first approach consigns this exceptional power to the unexceptional. America will become like the hated imperial powers of history, and in this paradigm the Chinese would be the least bad power which was the most enlightened power until America was invented.
Yes, when every country is looking after themselves first it can easily over a long time be seen that Americans are suckers and taken for a ride by others. That is easy for the average voter to understand. On the other hand America enjoys huge surpluses and benefits which are often not easily seen in the numbers. Take for example the dominance of the US dollar. It is an exorbitant privilege, expensive to us and a privilege for America which she freely spends and the rest of the world pay. If the world faith and confidence in the USD is weakened because America though still big is unexceptional, those unseen good numbers will become true pain for America.
The global system underwritten by America is unfortunately also akin to riding a hungry dragon. You are safe as long as you ride it, if you get off you will get eaten. Then that frightened dragon would run around eating others as well not because it wants to but it has no choice. That dragon is China and without plugging into the US led system it could not maintain internal stability. So China will be forced to destabilize others in order to maintain its own stability.
Eight years ago the world was fed unrealistic hope and change in Barack Obama. Now we are probably fearing more than necessary since people are filling their imagination with worst case scenarios. My wish is that the stupid things Trump is going to do receive their backlash pretty swiftly. That is the way to learn lessons quickly. Smart people rehearse the potential bad results in their minds and avoid making those decisions. Dumb fools, prejudiced and irrational learn the hard way. The sooner it happens the safer we are.
What I am most afraid of is stubborn ideology. Ideologues never give up and keep wasting and destroying lives and wealth until they succeed which is never. Fortunately that is a GOP and not a Trump weakness.
Update: Jan 22 11:25 pm
None too soon!