Did voters expect President Trump to make or break deals? Let’s count the agreements he made and kept versus those he broke. He said it would be easy to make deals with politicians. Let’s see how he did it.
1. Executive decrees. President Trump eagerly signed executive orders at public events in the Oval Office to overturn Obama’s policies. Republicans in Congress had complained when President Obama addressed issues they were unwilling to address by signing executive orders that were labeled illegal and even tyrannical. The same Republicans are now applauding this president for executive actions on issues they would rather not have to vote on.
2. Tax reform. Calling it a tax cut for the middle class, President Trump celebrated a bill that rewarded wealthy donors and big business as it inflated the national debt. Republicans in Congress saw this as a major achievement that they had worked for for many years.
3. The budget. A national budget was adopted with the support of the Democrats. Republicans who opposed the cost of items Democrats wanted are now backing President Trump by suspending spending – in other words, by not following through on a deal.
Broken promises and offers.
1. Repeal and replace Obamacare. Candidate Trump has vowed to replace Obamacare with better, cheaper, all-inclusive healthcare. Once in power, it became clear that there was no replacement plan. The inability to develop a replacement played a role in the failure of legislative repeal efforts. Today, Obamacare is slowly being undermined in many ways, each of which hurts thousands of Americans without providing any alternatives that will help them.
2. Political agreements. In a meeting with the top four leaders of Congress, President Trump struck a deal with Democrats for a “clean” DACA bill, to the amazement of Republicans at the meeting. Soon after, he reneged, blaming Democrats. He later moderated a televised discussion with several members of Congress, promising to support any bipartisan bill proposed by the group as long as it represented a “love bill.” When a bipartisan group of senators presented him with a compromise, the president shouted it out and insulted African countries.
3. Multilateral agreements. President Trump has made NATO allies uncomfortable with his insults, his reluctance to assert the defense commitment that holds the alliance together, and even expressed reservations about defending the threatened Baltic states. by Russia. The Paris climate accord and the deal with Iran were rejected even though they were important internationally supported achievements that have worked. Traditional peaceful relations with Canada and Mexico have been disrupted by attacks on NAFTA and petty comments directed at friendly neighbors. The refusal to join a Pacific trade deal has also broken commitments to Asian trading partners, leaving them at the mercy of China’s economic power.
4. Defense of the Pacific. The only clear achievement of the summit with North Korea in Singapore was a betrayal of the defense agreements with South Korea and Japan. Two previous administrations have engaged in denuclearization talks with North Korea and obtained specific written commitments at an early stage requiring verification. At an advanced stage, North Korea was reluctant to implement the agreements. The previous American administrations had negotiated with the participation of our South Korean and Japanese allies and had not granted military concessions much desired by China and North Korea.
But President Trump believes that making a deal with North Korea isn’t that difficult. He kicked off the diplomatic process by meeting personally with Kim Jong Un. The summit included a private discussion between the leaders with only translators present so that no one could make a transcript of their conversation. The files were not necessary, according to President Trump, due to his fabulous memory of everything that would be discussed. The outcome of the summit was a brief statement less precise than any previous diplomatic agreement with North Korea.
At a press conference at the end, the president announced his commitment to stop military exercises and ultimately withdraw US troops from North Korea. It was all based on Kim Jong Un’s verbal assurances that North Korea would eliminate nuclear weapons and hand over the bodies of American victims of the Korean War.
Without consultation with South Korea and Japan, and also without specific written agreements, including verification, President Trump compromised defense agreements with allies and announced, based on his personal trust in Kim Jong Un , that the nuclear weapons problem in North Korea had been resolved.
After a year and a half in office, President Trump broke political agreements, withdrew from multilateral agreements, and threatened multilateral trade and defense treaties. Why has the dealmaker turned into such a deal destroyer?
The answer is demonstrated in front of the American public every day of his tenure. If Trump hasn’t made the deal, it’s worthless. Multilateral agreements involving equality and give and take between the parties fall short of Trumpian standards. As we see in other situations, everything always revolves around him. Instead of multilateral pacts based on equity, all participants in the agreements must now revolve around a Trumpian sun. A secret conversation with Kim Jong Un solved the North Korea issue even though the allies and the world saw no hard evidence of what had been agreed. We have to trust Trump, who swears we can now trust Kim Jong Un. If Trump makes the deal, we have to believe it is good.
Finally, dear voter, look at what American bankers and those involved in business said during the presidential campaign: He does not pay his bills. Trump bragged about taking advantage of bankruptcy to get ahead in business. Donald Trump’s real specialty is breaking deals in ways that benefit him individually, no matter who is hurt. If the North Korean and Russian propaganda media sing Donald Trump’s praises, he believes America is finally gaining respect, no matter how much damage our allies or global democracy may be.