All we are saying is give Trump a chance

It used to be said that American leaders campaign in poetry and govern in prose. If Donald Trump was campaigning in poetry the prose is going to be a blast. In some areas the pointers are good: Brexit and Israel, for example. On others, let's just give Trump a chance

President Trump
the commentator
On 20 January 2017 05:11

So, here we go. Obama is out, and Trump is in. Polite society is aghast, and those of us who find it impolite to be called part of polite society, well we don't really know. Free thinking people are left with only one sensible option -- to think freely.

With particular reference to Barack Obama, it used to be said that American leaders campaign in poetry and govern in prose. If Donald Trump was campaigning in poetry the prose is going to be one heck of a ride.

The truth is that we only have the vaguest pointers about how President Trump will govern. That said, there are hopeful indications on a couple of matters.

He knows that the European Union is a sinking ship, and his backing for Brexit shows that his thinking is more intelligently framed than many, including Barack Obama's.

He also looks likely to drop some of the inane prejudice over the State of Israel.

He has said he will move America's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Actually having America's representatives based in the Jewish state's capital city should not really be a matter for applause. But Israel is not treated like other countries by the rest of the world. Good on Trump for having the courage to do the right thing.

On Russia he needs to be careful. Recent American presidents have a track record of messing it up when it comes to dealings with Moscow. A fresh look at the relationship is not a bad idea. But Putin is a ruthless and unprincipled autocrat. Trump needs to see that clearly and not throw caution to the wind.

He's right to tell European countries to do more to pay for their defence, but NATO still has an important role to play. It is the most successful military alliance in history. He should proceed cautiously and avoid the risk of doing irreparable damage to an alliance that has served us well.

On trade, he is, of course, well within his rights to look at existing deals and see if they make sense. In doing so, he should be wary of the short term attractions of the kind of protectionism that is usually associated with the political Left. If handled properly, free trade makes everyone better off. A sober and far-sighted approach is the best way to go.

And then there's immigration. It's going to be a lot more complicated than the campaign rhetoric suggested. Yes, by all means, secure the borders and deport criminals. But some kind of amnesty, especially for law abiding descendants of illegals who came to America long ago and may now be at university,  is probably inevitable.

He'll spin it using different language. "Amnesty" is a toxic word in Republic circles. But reality will sink in soon enough. That's our bet.

Overall, people of good will only really have one sensible approach at this stage: wait and see, and give Trump a chance.

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