Saturday 6 August 2016


- Bibhu Krishna Talukdar.

With the US Presidential elections just around the corner, we take a look at the pros and cons of the Republican Party nominee Donald Trump.

On June 16, 2015, when Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States , not many would have thought he would make it this far, let alone becoming the Republican Party nominee. The billionaire and business tycoon surely didn't have it easy. Even though constantly criticized by the media for his bold comments, he surely has touched a nerve among certain sections of society, particularly the middle class. This stems from the fact of losing many jobs to China and the developing world, and the governments' inability to tackle terrorism properly.

With many polls suggesting the election to be close fought, below we take a look and try to analyze the pros and cons of a Donald Trump presidency.

  1. Despite much criticism, Trump is a successful business man. He is known for his   lobbying skills which may prove to be very handy. His business experience involves negotiating with many business leaders and governments around the world. It is a testimony to his negotiating skills that he has convinced the City of New York to give him absurdly long periods without taxes on real estate. Selling well is a great skill for a President to have, especially while negotiating with the Congress.
  2. He promises to bring more jobs to America. He states that he would bring back the jobs lost to the developing world , like to China and Mexico. Trump believes China to be a big abuser of the free trade agreement and claims to turn around the US-China trade deficit. He says that he would bring the reeling economy back to its feet and reinforce Americas' status as the worlds' economic superpower.
  3. Trump promises to tackle terrorism effectively. He plans to do it by beefing up the military, stopping illegal immigration, and by eliminating ISIS. Many Americans lament Obamas' inability to counter terrorism during his reign. The withdrawal of troops from Iraq by the US is considered a blunder by many. Trumps' bold position to counter terrorism by whatever means possible appeals to many voters especially at a time when the world is reeling from constant terror attacks.
  4. Illegal immigration is considered one of the biggest problem of America. It is now a bigger threat, especially after the terrorist attacks in France and Germany. Trump promises to stop this illegal infiltration. He says other countries are using this illegal immigration to export their crime and poverty into America and claims he will put an end to it. He states that he will allow immigration but only with proper documentation. In view of the recent attacks in Europe, many Americans are starting to support his views on the immigration policy.
  5. Trump has confidence and a powerful personality, that, like it or not, tend to work well in politics, and make it far less likely that he would become beholden too strongly to this or that external influencer. The people of America often complain about their leader being in the pocket of lobbyists and special interests, but with Trump there is less probability of him being dominated or manipulated by others. Moreover, with Trump, one can be rest assured that he would put America first in all his policies. 

  1. Many of his comments have racial undertones , like asserting that the Blacks and Latinos commit the most violent crimes in major cities, questioning Obamas' birth and whether he's a Muslim, and others. His presidency may lead to alienation of large sections of American society, like the African-Americans, Latinos, gays, and other legal immigrants from across the world.
  2. How Trump will fare in diplomacy is uncertain. He has been criticized by many for his loud outbursts. His call to put a ban on Muslim immigration has certainly not gone down with the Muslim world. The controversial billionaire has stated that he would tear up the nuclear deal with Iran. The Tehran nuclear deal is considered a landmark achievement of the US and UN, and the fact that he is supporting its dissolution will have won him few friends overseas. As of this moment, perhaps Russia remains the only major country backing his presidency.
  3. While Trump has made many bold comments about many issues ranging from reforming the economy to reducing unemployment to re-negotiating the trade agreements with China, the details of how he plans to do all those are still not very clear. While his claim to 'Make America Great Again' catches more and more media attention, he needs to explain to the people the basis for at least some of his highly ambitious claims, to gain legitimacy among the voters.
  4. He has famously planned to build a wall along Mexican border and make Mexico pay for it. One can only tell how that will affect the diplomatic relationship between the two countries. Although US and Mexico share a 2000 mile long border, Trump claims that building a wall covering only 1000 miles of the border would suffice as the natural terrain along the other 1000 miles would serve as a ready-made wall.. Even if Trump somehow manages to make Mexico shell out the estimated $10-15 billion required for the wall, which seems highly unlikely, the US government would have to shell out a hefty sum to pay for its protection and maintenance. Another thing is that although the wall would stop illegal immigration, it would not do much to stop the smuggling of drugs, which is done mainly by submersibles and semi-submersibles, and even drones.
  5. Trump's financial behavior has not always been successful with his hotel and casino business having filed for bankruptcy 4 times, for which he openly admits manipulating bankruptcy laws at the cost of the government and banks. Although his business acumen is unquestionable, how he plans to run a country $ 19.3 trillion in debt remains to be seen.

The presidential elections on the 8th of November promises to be an exciting affair. As for the effect of Trumps' presidency on India is concerned, more co-operation between the 2 countries is expected in defense and trade to counter China's dominance. With Trump recently using the slogan "Abki baar Trump Sarkar", he reiterated his stand that Indians and Hindus will find a true friend in him. However, with Trump toughening his stance on granting of H-1B visas and a general rise in racial incidents expected if he becomes President, Indians looking to move to the US and those staying there are expected to face some problems.

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