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

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 …

Khar’s experimentation with Himalayan nettle brings recognition (downtoearth)

Nature never fails to surprise us. In many parts of the world, natural resources are the only source of livelihood opportunities available to people. They can be in the form of wild shrubs like Daphne papyracea and Daphne bholua (paper plant) that are used to make paper or Gossypium spp (cotton) that forms the backbone of the textile industry.

Nothing can compete with the dynamism of biological resources. Recently, Girardinia diversifolia (Himalayan nettle), a fibre-yielding plant, has become an important livelihood option for people living in the remote mountainous villages of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

There is a community in Khar, a hamlet in Darchula district in far-western Nepal, which produces fabrics from Himalayan nettle. The fabric and the things made from it are sold in local as well as national and international markets as high-end products.

A Himalayan nettle value chain development initiative implemented by the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiati…

NGT terminates chairmen of pollution control boards in 10 states (downtoearth,)

Cracking the whip on 10 State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) for ad-hoc appointments, the National Green Tribunal has ordered the termination of Chairpersons of these regulatory authorities. The concerned states are Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Rajasthan, Telangana, Haryana, Maharashtra and Manipur. The order was given last week by the principal bench of the NGT, chaired by Justice Swatanter Kumar.

The recent order of June 8, 2017, comes as a follow-up to an NGT judgment given in August 2016. In that judgment, the NGT had issued directions on appointments of Chairmen and Member Secretaries of the SPCBs, emphasising on crucial roles they have in pollution control and abatement. It then specified required qualifications as well as tenure of the authorities. States were required to act on the orders within three months and frame Rules for appointment [See Box: Highlights of the NGT judgment of 2016 on criteria for SPCB chairperson appointment].

Having fai…