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Donald Trump: The Great Hyperbole

 

“I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” This is a quote from Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America.  It seems like a strange thing for the President of a powerful country to say, especially when it concerns an ally located just south of the American border. But, as has quickly become apparent, Donald Trump is not above making odd, controversial and downright weird statements. His fondness for Twitter tirades is well known, his fondness for tirades in general is well known often those who are not part of the inner circle or even part of the cult of ‘The Donald’ are left wondering why he does this. Indeed, it seems to have become a par for course for many on both the left and right to discuss what exactly the President means when he goes off on one.

There does not seem to be a clear explanation for this, but there do seem to be various theories circling around. Some such as Jaimeson, believe that Trump’s language is a hang up from his days as a businessman: ‘‘He’s telling you that the Trump brand is a good brand, that everyone likes the Trump brand.’’  Given that Trump has not yet made a clear break from his actual business affiliations, this is perhaps not that strange, after all, there is a common saying that when in unusual situations, we stick to what we know, and after a lifetime in business, what would Trump know better than business? Others such as Baugh believe that his speech patterns and the harsh and abrasive language he uses, are a sign of his upbringing. ‘‘There is a style of speaking that’s associated with tough New Yorkers, the stereotype of men in New York and we typically associate this with working-class men. They’re not only plain-spoken but they’re tough guys.’’ Considering Trump’s upbringing in New York in the  50s and 60s, when there generally was a trend toward certain hyperbolic tendencies, this might not come as too much of a surprise either.

Trump has been called unique by many political commentators, for often making a lot of statements and seemingly important political decisions over the social media platform Twitter. When he announced the ban on Transgender persons serving in the military, he did so over Twitter.  When he announces big statements such as a reduction in immigration figures, he does so over Twitter, when he launches scathing attacks on members of his own party, he does so over Twitter. This could suggest that he wants to get his message across directly to his core support base, without the potential for dilution or addition that could come from other sources within the media. Given his fondness for labelling anyone who does not support him ‘Fake News’ this does not surprise. It instead suggests that Trump either incredibly smart, or incredibly foolish. A tweet can be deleted, but once it is out there in an unpolished form, everyone can see it, unless they are blocked from viewing your account. A tweet cannot be edited or shaped and crafted in such a manner as to appear professional, given the limited characters available. Thus, Trump is either trying to bypass the mainstream media, and communicate in this unfiltered manner, so as to seem more genuine, or he is an impulsive man, given to his most destructive impulses. His attacks on Mitch McConnell, leader of the Republicans in the Senate, and on the Republicans in general, are quite harmful, and could do more harm than good for both Trump and the Republicans in the long term, but that does not seem to be a major thought for Trump.

Instead, it seems Donald Trump prefers to focus on himself. Trump formed his own network under the Fox branch to report ‘real news’ news which mainly focuses on how ‘well’ the US is doing under its current president, and which ignores any criticism of him, be it legitimate or otherwise.  This would be worrying in itself, given that it would add to the already growing cohort who believe Donald Trump can do no wrong, but with recent news that the President only receives positive briefings about what the press reports about him, suggests a man who cannot take criticism, does not want to face anything that is not a pat on the back. This is not a good indication of the man, who sits in the Oval Office. It suggests that he never quite grew up beyond the part of life where a child is rewarded with applause. And with his recent actions in regards to North Korea this merely increases concerns about how suitable he is for his role.

Donald Trump is a man with a great many quirks and habits that make him an interesting person to observe. They do not however, make him a good president, nor one that should be getting the sort of attention that he receives. Consequently, the choice facing all is whether to focus more on him, or to ignore him and risk missing something that could make the petulant child he often comes across as being, making a decision that damages all of the world.

 

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Will Donald Trump Make Or Break Europe?

Europe, the continent is an old one. The birthplace of a great many empires, and the home of two of the bloodiest wars in human history. Europe has a rich and detailed history, and it has its fair share of alliances, rivalries and plain confusion. The countries in Europe have some of the longest histories known to man, and they have always been at the forefront of developments in technology and science. However, Europe is not one single entity, despite what many might wish it to be. Europe, as we know it today is a continent, made up not of the twenty-seven nations of the European Union, but of the forty-eight nations that reside within the geographical boundaries of the continent.  This essay will seek to convince the reader that Donald Trump’s role in making of Europe, relies on already existing feeling within Europe.

Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States, coming hot off the heels of Britain voting to leave the European Union (Brexit) came as a shock to many. Trump was in the simplest of terms, a rank outsider, he had no political experience and he said things many mainstream politicians were loath to say. He was in short a populist, and to many the head of the movement. His victory encouraged Marie Le Pen the leader of the far-right Front National in France. As well as Geert Wilders, the far-right leader in the Netherlands. They hoped that like Trump, they could capitalise on fears over immigration and jobs, and the refugee crisis to win elections.

Both Le Pen and Wilders. had been around long before he emerged onto the political scene. They, like Nigel Farage and UKIP in Britain and Beppe Grillo of the Fiver Star Movement in Italy, are firm Euro Sceptics, they take a hard line on immigration, and they believe Globalisation has not brought the benefits it promised.  Whilst previously they have not had much electoral success, Farage and UKIP achieved Britain’s exit from the European Union-something many did not think would happen- Le Pen is predicted to cruise into the second round of the French Presidential elections, and Grillo is a favourite for Italian President in 2018. Only Wilders failed to make the expected impact, but his presence has spread awareness, and has forced mainstream Dutch politicians to address issues they would otherwise ignore.

Their impact is now only being truly felt, because the mainstream is listening to them. Something that can be accredited to Trump’s election and the shock of Brexit. Now Theresa May in the UK has stuck hard and fast to ensuring a hard exit for Britain from the European Union, to ensure continued support for her Conservative Party against a divided Labour party. The Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte, arguably won the most seats in the recent election, because he took on some of Wilders’ positions in immigrants and Islam, and moderated them with his other proposals to ensure a wide base of support.

The rise of populism, and its ties to Trump and his provocative statements, provoked fear in Europeans who were of a more centre political view. Mainstream politicians are aware of this and have attempted to phrase the concerns of fringe voters in a way that makes sense to their core voter base. By doing this, they are trying to avoid giving into radical demands, but are not ignoring the serious issues.  Europe has faced the problems of unfiltered populism before, and if the current trend is any example, they have learned from it and are acting on it. Instead of division and censorship, you have discussions being held, debate and arguments, protests, all things healthy toward democracy.

By adopting a populist stance, Trump has shaken Europe and her leaders awake. Seeing the threat of uncontrolled populism, politicians across the continent are working hard to ensure that the concerns of voters are truly addressed, whilst trying to avoid giving into the more radical elements of the fringe vote. Trump’s apparent disdain for NATO, has forced European leaders to consider increasing military expenditure, to counter act a growing Russia. The desire for effective protection against outside threats has necessitated deep and thoughtful plans being laid out within each European nation. No longer is complacency or the status quo being accepted. Europe as a continent seems unwilling to slouch behind The United States anymore, and that can only be a good thing, with a highly unpredictable President in the White House.

To conclude, Trump might be a danger to himself and others as President of the United States, but his election and his subsequent actions as President could well make Europe. If not into the single entity that the European Union wants, then certainly into a continent of nations not to be trifled with. Political leaders are listening to the electorate, and military preparedness is no longer being ignored. Europe is preparing, and that can only be a good thing. All of this would not have been possible without Trump and his bold pronouncements that shake the status quo.