Free When Donald Trump’s candidacy began making waves one and a half years ago, they said he would tone down if he wanted the moderate Republican vote to secure his party’s nomination. When he secured the nomination, they said he would shift towards the centre if he wanted the undecided vote. When he won the presidential election, they said he would become more presidential by the time he walked into the Oval Office. When they heard his speech at the inauguration, they said he would never bring his outlandish and supposedly immoral promises to life. ‘They’ will never learn.
Trump is implementing the outlandish and supposedly immoral promises he made within his first week as the president.
Some perceive Trump through the same lenses they use for other politicians. Whether it is because they are outright stupid or because they hate him and cannot think clearly at the moment, this is an obvious mistake. If Trump’s career is anything to go by- business, television, politics- the only constant is that he understands how to strike a chord. From the time he threw his hat in the ring till now, he knew exactly what the people wanted. And he will give the people what they want. Nothing at all- political correctness, pressure, precedence- nothing will stop him from carrying out their will. One of democracy’s ironies is that both the autocrat and the populist are branded as dictators.
In less than a week, the president of the United States has taken more radical and far-reaching decisions than the eight years that preceded his term. Strong-arming big ticket CEOs, exiting unfavourable agreements and announcing major projects- his job-creation thrust is in full swing. Ramping up border security, starting work on the much-touted wall, withholding funds from sanctuary cities and engaging in a major diplomatic faceoff with Mexico- his agenda for the borders and the immigrants is seeing the light of day. On the day of the inauguration, several surveys declared that he was entering office with the lowest approval ratings in recent memory. In less than a week, his approval ratings have surpassed those of his predecessor.
Perhaps the most controversial of Trump’s proposals, a proposal which many perceived as a travesty, is also materialising. During the election cycle, Trump had announced a temporary ban on Muslims from entering the United States. This was touted as bigoted, xenophobic and racist. Many believed it was a cheap campaign ploy. Some of Trump’s supporters too believed that he would desist from pursuing this line after he got elected. But it did not stop when he was the president-elect, it did not stop during his inauguration when he singled out radical Islam and vowed to eradicate it from the face of the earth, and it hasn’t stopped now that he’s settled into the Oval Office. It’s high time we understood this new brand of politics. Trump will stop at nothing, he WILL give the people what they want. He will do his level best to uphold every promise he made.
In the case of the ban in question though, Trump stated in an interview that it wasn’t as much a Muslim ban as it was a ban on people from countries with tremendous terror.
According to the executive order he passed, refugees from war-torn Syria have been banned indefinitely. The United States’ refugee admission program will be suspended for a hundred and twenty days while visa applications from countries considered to harbour terrorism- Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen- will be halted for thirty days.
The refugee issue has always been a double-edged sword. There is the argument that these are men, women and children fleeing from war and barbarity, and require help. Several experts believe though that a large portion of those passing off as refugees aren’t refugees at all. It is unlikely that people are escaping from the clutches of Islamic State and Boko Haram by the thousands on a daily basis. One can go on about how the vetting processes requires enhancement, but in most cases there is zero scope of vetting anyway. Moreover, Europe is undergoing a catastrophe after it opened its doors. It is one thing for people without skills and opportunity to indulge in crime every now and then to make ends meet, and quite another to export medieval ideas along with themselves, with the intention of imposing them on those who have been nice enough to take them in.
A visa ban on some of the citizens of certain countries that harbour terror, is for several reasons an unintelligent way of dealing with the situation. To begin with, the list of countries seems flawed. Pakistan for instance is as big on terrorism as any other country in the world, but does not find a mention. The mention of Iran on the list warrants unnecessary conflict that the United States could well have done without at the moment. The fundamental problems that many have with the creation of such a list are the following: that not everybody belonging to these countries is a terrorist or a radical, and that if terrorists want to attack the United States they would find a way around the ban in any case.
But hey! The necessity of such a ban might in fact just be to prove a point. It might be like the wall that Trump wants the Mexicans to pay for at the border. The illegal immigrants can find a way around it, but it will be a symbol of who the king is and what the king can do if things go out of hand. Just like the tariffs imposed on the Mexicans after they refused to pay for the wall and the wall itself when it is built will remind the Mexican administration to keep a check on illegal immigration, a Muslim ban may serve to remind the power centres of the middle-east that the world has had enough of their medieval thinking and is ready to make outcasts of them if necessary. This is probably why the Keystone pipeline is so important in Trump’s scheme of things. Apart from creating thousands of jobs, it would raise America’s energy-independence massively. More energy independence means less tolerance to the antics of the Muslim world.
Will such alienation help, and will it even take place to begin with? At least Donald Trump is thinking out of the box instead of using the same old approaches that sound sophisticated but make matters worse. Will there be adverse repercussions? A reporter asked Trump if he was concerned about the widespread anger such a ban would cause in the Muslim World. Trump responded, “Can there be any more anger?”