Thursday, 26 January 2017

Is it America's time to reclaim their "greatness"?

Is it America's time to reclaim their "greatness"?

Notes on Trump's first few days 
as President of the United States
And the discontent that still surrounds him

It seems that the newly elected president of the United States is trying to reverse everything especially when Donald Trump is promising "big changes" particularly to America's economy, welfare system, as well as foreign policy.

From his inaugural speech that calls for an "American First" policy, it leaves the world in jitters if not making Americans in doubt knowing that the billionaire businessman and celebrity is also the first commander in chief who never to have served in public office or the military; who enters the White House with historically low favorability ratings; who won an election despite losing the popular vote, and a man known for his islamophobic statements and saber rattling against "rouge states" such as Iran and People's China.

However, what made people focus more are the policies that the new American President created a reversal of sorts. That Trump seems set to keep his word on replacing "Obamacare" with his own brand of health care services; of removing most of Obama’s gun control laws, in which gun enthusiasts described as a "great thing" and "hoping that it’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his actions concerning gun rights"; of removing pages such as a "Spanish Language" portion and those concerning LGBTs in the White House website; and even clearly putting all his weight behind running proven to be extremely dangerous oil pipelines across America. 

But "the best of all", as others may say, is that unless Trump is being completely deceitful (since some of his advisers are neoconservatives if not neoliberals), his foreign policy is a "million times better than what Clinton" had offered to his constituents which others may think as necessary. For according to Trump himself, he wanted to:

"Advance America's core national interests, promote regional stability, and produce an easing of tensions in the world. Work with Congress to fully repeal the defense sequester and submit a new budget to rebuild our depleted military."

But all in all, despite using different terminologies and mellowing down of strategies, Trump's statements and actions somehow reminds of its predecessors both Republican and Democrat, of both neocon and neolib hidden behind palaeocon view. And sorry to say so but Trump's form of change is more of reversal especially in economic affairs like replacing "Obamacare" to those of pushing further the Pipeline affecting Indian communities, while trying to retain its predecessors' foreign policies especially towards "rouge states" with new terminologies; and thus makes one quite doubtful if not worth criticisable especially that in a government whose policies involves interventionism in foreign affairs and policies favourable to "1%", would promise in front of its constituents a semblance of "normalcy" in a guise of "American First" policy.
And in these makes one would think how Trump's acts are rather similar to Reagan's yet trying to be like Coolidge's or Harding's; also knowing that having an "American First" policy has more to do with prioritising America, especially in resolving economic and social matters and meddling less in foreign issues, it also means consolidation of interests especially those of its Military-Industrial complex trying to insist its relevance on both Foreign as well as Domestic policy, both as its "world police" and "enforcer of free market" as basis for a "free world". 

But then in fairness, since Trump seemed to act "straightforward" in his actions, then marry this to his commitment to remove the government’s already halfhearted attempts be it in "ensuring the welfare of its constituents" to those of fighting global warming, all knowing that despite his populist appeal, he is in bed with the dirtiest of capitalists. And could care less about the environment, which is one of the few things in America worth saving.

Otherwise, it is a series of contradictions especially when Trump promised to return troops home while at the same time afforded to saber rattling against China; or even promising to bring jobs home yet most companies from Carrier to those producing Trump ties and shirts still outsourced in cheap labour-rich countries like China and Mexico!

Anyway, unlike liberals who threatened to move to Canada (and not one left), there are those who chose to remain and perhaps even struggle out as possible, knowing that the fight is more than just Trump versus the Democrats, of Conservatives versus Liberals, but the people against the system. Trump may insist that his policies can "make America great", but given the situations ranging from his connivance to capitalists and the people expressing disgust, on which direction will the United States of America going?

Meanwhile in Manila, a still need for self-determination

Meanwhile, Filipinos both in Mainland and in the United States have different opinions in regards to Trump's first few days as US president. Some did agree to his views, especially those who think that it smacks of Reagan, Harding, and even the "typical" Filipino's conservatism; yet on the other, there are those who oppose Trump, especially after his controversial views be it his islamophobia, economic policy, or himself being representative of an order meant to be dismantle.

And like Americans, Filipinos tried much to weigh on Trump's statements although mostmost rather end up driven by emotions especially those who oppose his moves as president, especially after listening to his statements as a presidentiable such as having the Philippines in the list of "terrorist nations"; while on the other praised for not joining the "Trans Pacific Partnership" that may also affect Filipino affairs in trade and in consumer rights, if not describing Trump's idea of "protectionism" meant bringing jobs to average Americans (including Filipino-Americans) despite most companies outsourced its technical aspect to abroad such as China or Mexico.
Strange but for an average Filipino who heard Trump's controversial statements and even America's unjust policies over the Philippines, isn't it that a time to reconsider the United States of America as its top priority as its main foreign investor the way the Philippines has to reorganise out of its desire for national development? For sure one would remember if not trying to shrug the idea that in every Uncle Sam's sneeze comes Mang Juan's pneumonia!

Perhaps, it is the time for the Filipino to be themselves as a nation if not to accept the fact that Uncle Sam has less to do with national improvement regardless of its press releases; sounds repetitive as well as annoying, but that age old message asserting political and economic independence is im fact a serious chance to gain self-dignity and respect as a rising nation.

For the fact that it is the age old aspiration be it from 1870 all down to 1986, of creoles demanding self-rule to the common tao demanding socio-national justice amidst foreign and domestic impunities and injustices. And the United States knows and perhaps even tremble that the Filipino's struggle for self-determination means their end in keeping their stronghold in the Pacific, especially if agrarian reform been succeeded, industrialisation commenced further, and a swift modernisation and improvement that benefits most if not all sectors of society: a setting that imperialism cannot accept as such especially from its once third world vassal.

And since Trump won as the United States president and Filipinos has its own Duterte and his hard-headed straightforward kind of rulership, then why not let the Filipinos get serious in its patriotism, in its assertion of socio-national justice its predecessors insisted? Remember, Trump, regardless of his rhetorics, may still represent a system synonymous with vested interests.

And stubbornly retaining it also means popular disgust, discontent that may still surrounds him and his administration.

That's all for now.