Skip to main content

America’s era of anger(Hindu.)

Despite the belligerence and rhetoric of his campaign, some had hoped that Donald Trump, in his inaugural address, would seek to heal the wounds created by a divisive campaign. But the 45th President of the U.S. trumped those expectations with a speech that was resonant of campaign rhetoric rather than one that should have been a vision statement for a united future under his leadership. Certain omissions in the speech were stark. The humility that American Presidents usually embrace in their first address was missing. So was the historical emphasis on American values. No word of thanks for the work of his predecessor, Barack Obama. Instead, Mr. Trump continued his attacks on the Washington establishment, vowing to end the “American carnage”, put “America First” in all policy decisions and eradicate “radical Islamic terror” from the “face of the earth”. These remarks, along with his first set of decisions in the White House, offer an indication of the priorities. Mr. Trump has already issued an executive order to roll back certain aspects of Obamacare, a health-care programme which the former President fought long and hard to get passed in Congress. Pages on LGBT rights, climate change and Obamacare are already removed from the White House website. The administration is also planning a missile defence system that could trigger a nuclear arms race. Put together, the Trump team is likely to pursue a hardline social conservative agenda buttressed by economic protectionism and passionate nationalism.

This poses a new set of challenges, for the U.S. and the rest of the world. First, American liberalism faces a major crisis. The hundreds of thousands of women who thronged several cities in the U.S. on Saturday to protest against him show how divided the country is. Second, if the world’s largest economy, the main pillar of the global economic order, turns protectionist, it would have far-reaching impact on other major economies. This means the current crisis in globalisation, which in a way helped Mr. Trump’s rise, is likely to deepen. Third, Mr. Trump’s foreign policy direction, especially his disdain towards multilateralism and unfriendly approach towards China, is confrontational. He has repeatedly said he is a deal-maker and will get the “best deals” for the U.S. But in international diplomacy, his business logic may not work. Finally, how Mr. Trump is going to meet the tall promises he has made to rally supporters, largely the anxious, angered, anti-establishment white working class. He has unleashed forces of extreme nationalism which many hoped belonged to a bygone era.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cloud seeding

Demonstrating the function of the flare rack that carries silver iodide for cloud-seeding through an aircraft. 
Water is essential for life on the earth. Precipitation from the skies is the only source for it. India and the rest of Asia are dependent on the monsoons for rains. While the South West Monsoon is the main source for India as a whole, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas of South Andhra Pradesh get the benefit of the North East Monsoon, which is just a less dependable beat on the reversal of the South West Monsoon winds.

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…