[Global Times Reporter Lin Ri, Aoki, Xin Bin, Bai Yunyi, Li Sikun, Liang Bingbing, Wang Huicong] Editor’s words: On January 20 local time, Biden will be sworn in and officially become the 46th President of the United States, and the “Trump era” of “the most unusual and eventful” came to an end. The debate over Trump and his policies has not stopped for the past four years.
For his supporters, Trump has written many successes on the “achievement book”; in the eyes of opponents, he is not suitable for being the President of the United States at all, and the Capitol Hill shock on January 6 pushed the condemnation against him for “democracy” to an unprecedented height.
Commentary: Trump said in his inaugural speech four years ago that he wanted to end the “American catastrophe”, and now his term ends with the “American catastrophe” on Capitol Hill. The Financial Times said Biden has said that he will solve four major crises early in office: the coronavirus crisis, the economic crisis, the climate crisis and the immigration crisis. Each one by one will subvert Trump’s direction of governance, and the underlying problem behind these crises is the division of the United States.” The United States is witnessing a live broadcast of political and social reconstruction, as described by Axios, the American political analysis website, as the change brought about by “Trump’s four years”.
“Highlight Moment” and “Worst Moment”
The British Daily Telegraph said on the 18th that the past four years have been one of the most unusual and “into-doing” U.S. President of the United States. Trump has “forwards a difficult time” with his unique leadership style, and his words and deeds sometimes make the “most sophisticated” Washington journalists feel “tifficult”. According to CNN, this has been a four-year “exhausted” for Americans.
Now, the people “can finally breathe easily again and be liberated from the political shadow of his strongman”. German TV One described on the 19th that Trump left a “America in a deep identity crisis”, and he opened a rift among the people and left a deep distrust.
The Daily Telegraph summed up Trump’s “highlight” and “worst moments”. The former included his state visit to the United Kingdom; talks with Kim Jong-un in the demilitarized zone of Vietnam and North and South Korea; the U.S. Senate refused to impeach Trump early last year, and then he waved a Washington Post with the headline “Trump was acquitted” to celebrate; after recovering from the novel coronavirus, he Express “Don’t let it control you”.
In addition to the recent shock on the Capitol Hill, which shocked the world, the “worst moment” also includes Trump signing a travel ban against Muslims and triggering criticism from many countries within a week of swearing in office; announcing his withdrawal from the Paris Agreement to combat climate change in 2017; and refusing to condemn domestic extremist groups on several occasions.
Body; During the pandemic, numerous “disrespectful” actions were made, including calling the coronavirus a “Chinese virus”, claiming that disinfectant could be injected into the human body as a treatment, and advocating at rallies that the virus “actually affects no one”, despite the 200,000 deaths in the United States at that time.
The U.S. National Interest magazine said on the 19th that the debate about Trump has been going on for the past four years. Supporters believe that he has done a lot of good things about immigration, workers’ wages, and does not advocate launching a stupid war.
But in the eyes of opponents, he is a conspiracy theorist, whose words and deeds are potentially dangerous and not suitable for president.
The mainstream media in the West is almost unwilling to discuss Trump’s achievements in power in the whole, but more of this affirmation in his condemnation.
For example, Richard Haas, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the American think tank, recently wrote that Trump did do something useful: introducing tax cuts at home and relaxing some excessively cumbersome regulations, which will help economic growth; and persuading Congress to ratify the US-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement and carrying out the original agreement to the United States.
Changes in profit. But Trump’s achievements pale too far in comparison to the mistakes.” History will judge that Trump is a pivotal U.S. president, because he has brought great changes to the United States and the world. He will also be regarded as one of the worst people in history.”
“Bever-sal” and “especially outstanding”
When talking about Trump’s achievements in office, the economy is often mentioned first. The Wall Street Journal said that before March last year, the U.S. economy set a historic record in jobs, income and the stock market.
While it is debatable whether this period will be the “best stage” of the American economy, as Trump said, they have benefited millions of Americans.
Objectively speaking, the U.S. economy was relatively stable before the outbreak of COVID-19 and was in a positive situation.” Diao Daming, an associate professor at the School of International Relations of Renmin University of China, told the Global Times that Trump has not solved the trend of hollowing out the real economy in the past four years.
After “returning” to the United States, many capital has not entered the real economy, but become profits and separated by the rich. “Trump used to be the United States. The vision of the country has not been realized.
With the COVID-19 epidemic ravaging, the U.S. economy has also reached “unprece in history”, leaving the United States with a mountain of debt. According to conservative estimates, the GDP of the United States fell 4.3% in 2020.
CNN believes that Trump’s economic performance is “mixed at best”. Of the 13 presidents since the end of World War II, Trump is the only one who left the White House with fewer jobs than when he took office, and economic output under his administration has grown more slowly. The pandemic destroyed his economic performance in the last year of Trump’s term.
The Wall Street Journal also mentioned that trade is gradually becoming a “baggage” to the U.S. economy, and the growth rate of U.S. exports slowed down as Trump began to intensify the tariff war in 2018.
The trade deficit increased to $577 billion in 2019, from $481 billion in 2016.” The tariff war has not given the United States any practical benefits.” Xin Qiang, deputy director of the American Research Center of Fudan University, told the Global Times that the division of labor system under globalization has naturally taken shape and is not dependent on human will, while the economic vitality and innovation of the United States itself have been harmed by the rise of exclusionary consciousness.
Haas, chairman of the U.S. Committee on Foreign Relations, summarized Trump’s three failures that were “especially prominent”: incompetence and slow response to the epidemic; foreign policy characterized by “America First”; and the destruction of democracy.
He said that the performance of the United States in fighting the epidemic has caused the governments and people of other countries around the world to lose respect for the United States. Ironically, Trump fears that prioritizing the fight against the epidemic will weaken the economy and destroy his chances for re-election. In fact, it was his failure to meet this challenge that led to his election defeat.
“The lights went out during Trump’s reality TV presidency, but the dark legacy is still there.” The Guardian said that Trump’s mistakes over the past four years are countless, including the coronavirus pandemic being a crisis he can’t dispel with words.
Four years ago, he was sworn in that “the American catastrophe is over at this moment” and promised to end the disaster caused by urban slums, rusty factories, dilapidated schools, and criminal gangs and drugs. But he didn’t keep his promise and ended up with a “havoc” for America: about 400,000 Americans died from COVID-19, the country experienced its worst year of employment since World War II, and democracy under the worst stress test since the Civil War.” This is not only physical catastrophe, but also psychological, spiritual and emotional catastrophe.
“This is the last way I want to see it remembered by history, but that’s how he [Trump] is remembered by history,” said Moe Villa, a former White House official.
On the diplomatic front, the Swiss newspaper New Zurich summarized several of Trump’s policy heritages on the 19th: changing the route to China; entering the “ice age” of relations with Russia; shaking transatlantic alliance relations; and creating a “new reality” in the Middle East – both “peace” and dispute with Iran.
“The transatlantic relationship has never been so bad. There is no longer trust between Europe and the United States. It can be fixed but… I’m not sure it will be the same as before.” Reuters once quoted a European diplomat as saying.
The memories left by Trump will remain and in part cause anxiety about the policies that the future president of the United States may adopt.” Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution said that this phenomenon is called “allied PTSD”.
U.S. Foreign Policy believes that not all Trump’s “foreign policy adventures” have failed. Even if it is damaged, the United States’ ally system still exists. Some people said that he had some success on China and the Middle East.
However, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post said on the 19th that Trump’s policy towards China is too confrontational, lacks diplomatic means and counterproductive for critics and countries involved in the showdown.
Foreign Policy said that interviews with more than a dozen experts showed that the evaluation of Trump’s foreign policy was not clear. He and his supporters can point out “all diplomatic victories”, but some analysts insist that the impact of losses, missed opportunities and collateral damage is much greater.
“With a mix of “America First” nationalism, unilateralism and isolationism, Trump did everything he could to undermine many international agreements and multilateral cooperation arrangements, and did not bring them anything better.” He believes that it is difficult for the United States to repair such damage in the short term.
Despite the increasing chaos of the world and the decline of American influence, Trump has greatly accelerated both trends, “he is handing over a country and a world much worse than when he succeeded”.
“Rotten to the Root” and Political Reconstruction
Trump’s presidency is already controversial, and the Capitol Hill shock on January 6 pushed his “democracy” and “divisive” campaign to an unprecedented height.
The British Economist said, “There is no doubt that Trump was the initiator of this deadly attack on the core of American democracy. His lies fueled discontent, his disregard for the Constitution focused on Congress, and his incitement ignited the fuse.”
Haas said that the Capitol Hill incident contained many Trump’s improper words and deeds, including demonizing the media, violating norms, spreading lies, questioning the authority of the courts and rejecting the results of the presidential election, and that “inciting and abetting illegal activities and violence are the last straw to crush him”.
“For millions of Americans, Trump has fueled their long-standing distrust of U.S. government agencies—which could have an invisible and devastating impact in the coming years, or even decades.” USA Today commented on the 19th that Trump took advantage of the distrust, polarization and disappointment that already existed in the United States and made all these things worse through his own words.
According to the analysis of the Associated Press, after four years of Trump’s administration, the government departments that may be less trusted by the American people include the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigating “Russia”, the “insufficient” Supreme Court, and the “disobedient” Pentagon.
In addition, after his defeat, Trump repeatedly criticized the “fraud” of the U.S. electoral system and repeatedly sent misleading information that mail-in ballots may lead to the theft of the election results, which is more likely to have a lasting impact on people’s confidence in the American political system.
“Rot to the root?” Fukuyama, a Japanese-American political scholar, recently wrote an article analyzing why American politics accelerated its decline in the Trump era.
He said that during the Trump era, political parties have been replaced by political tribes, which is particularly obvious in the Republican Party. Trump easily made the Republican Party and its voters abandon the core principles of free trade, support for global democracy and opposition to dictatorship.
In the past four years, one has become a Republican because of his loyalty to Trump: if you have a slightest disagreement with anything he says or does, you will be kicked out. That’s why wearing masks and their simple actions to seriously respond to the pandemic have become a sharp partisan issue. Fukuyama believes that Trump sent other countries a “gift”: a divided United States that focuses on domestic affairs and contradicts its own democratic ideals.
Xin Qiang told the Global Times that four years ago, Trump entered the White House under the slogan of “drying up Washington’s swamps”, which was the most straightforward manifestation of the American people’s bitterness against Washington’s political and partisan fighting.
However, after taking power, he not only failed to make any positive changes in Washington politics, but also abused his power and unchecked more than any other U.S. president of the United States, and caused unprecedented damage to the political order and basic political ethics of the United States.
“When Trump enters Washington in an anti-establishment way of ‘draining the swamps in Washington,’ he himself became part of the swamp.” In an interview with the Global Times on the 19th, Diao Daming said, “Worse, four years after Trump took office, the United States seems to have entered another highly intense and violent and volatile period of political participation.”
The Washington Post said, “Trump’s ruthless attacks on civil institutions, creating racial and social divisions, trampling on political norms, slamming press freedom, and criticizing international allies all raise profound questions about the governance of the United States and the values that the country has always claimed to cherish.” 74 million people asked important questions for Trump to vote for reflectors: “What does it mean to be an American?” said Matthew Dallek, political historian at George Washington University.
What does it mean to live in what many consider the world’s greatest democratic experiment, but end up discovering that it is unimaginably fragile?”
“The United States is witnessing a live broadcast of political and social reconstruction,” said the Axios website. “This moment – and our decision at this moment – will be left to our children and grandchildren to study in detail.”
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