Wednesday 26 October 2016

Putin, Iraq, climate change - The Donald will straighten it all out

Laurence Arnold in New York

Published 17/06/2015 | 02:30

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Ever since his 1987 visit to New Hampshire to savour an early "Draft Trump" movement, Donald Trump has circled American presidential campaigns like a comet whose orbit is tied to election cycles.

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Having ceded the CEO-as-politician role to Ross Perot in 1992, and after limiting himself to hosting a fundraiser for Bob Dole in 1996, Trump has spent the past 16 years teasing us with the notion of a president who would scold world leaders to their faces, praise the power of unfettered free enterprise with nary a reference to his own brushes with bankruptcy, and sell naming rights to the White House. (To himself, naturally.)

Don't hold it against Trump that he's flirted with running for president in every election since 2000. It can take a while for the right man and the right moment to find each other.

And what a moment this is for a 'President Trump' to face down Vladimir Putin, to heal racially divided cities and to stop this nonsense about the need for hard decisions on federal spending.

"I could straighten out this country," Trump told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News in March. "I could make it great again. I could make this country so prosperous you wouldn't have to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid."

Ms Van Susteren didn't ask how he'd do that. She didn't need to. This is Trump. He's got people. "It'll get done." 

On Iraq, perhaps only Trump had the foresight to recognise the folly in expecting that US troops would ever leave.

"I would take the oil," he told the 'Wall Street Journal's' Kelly Evans in 2011.

So, keep troops there?

"You heard me, I would take the oil."

Then there's the hullabaloo about global warming. With his outside-the-Beltway perspective, Trump recognised that it still got wintry this winter.

"Record low temperatures and massive amounts of snow," he tweeted in February. "Where the hell is GLOBAL WARMING?"

With Trump in the White House, and James Inhofe running point in the Senate, this whole climate change thing will be wrapped up and filed away within days.

Which will leave time for Trump to explain to Janet Yellen how the Federal Reserve has been acting on woefully uninformed information.

"Our real employment rate, you know that's not 5.6pc," Trump told New Hampshire Republicans in April. "It's really probably 19pc to 21pc." This comes straight from Trump's gut.

"When I'm building buildings every time I go to a job and people know I'm there, I have hundreds of people at the street, they want to see me, they want to be part of it," he said.

"They want to know, can they get a job? That's not 5pc and 5.6pc. The real number is astronomical."

Trump, making his case that America is failing, likes to say that other nations such as "China, Mexico, Russia laugh at us."

With him in the race, will the laughter stop?

Irish Independent

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