These are dark days -- because Donald Trump appears committed to what he said he will do. Joe Stiglitz writes:
It is now clear that what Trump says and tweets must be taken seriously. After the election in November, many hoped he would abandon the extremism that defined his campaign. Surely, it was thought, this master of unreality would adopt a different persona as he assumed the responsibility of what is arguably the most powerful position in the world.
Indeed he plans to instititute "a ban on Muslim immigration, [build] a wall on the border with Mexico, [renegotiate] the North American Free Trade Agreement, repeal of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reforms, and much else that even his supporters dismissed."
Changes need to be made -- but not the kind of changes Trump envisions:
I have at times criticised particular aspects and policies of the economic and security order created in the aftermath of the second world war, based on the UNs, Nato, the EU, and a web of other institutions and relationships. But there is a big difference between attempts to reform these institutions and relationships to enable them to serve the world better, and an agenda that seeks to destroy them outright.
But, in the midst of the gloom Stiglitz sees signs of hope:
If there is a silver lining in the Trump cloud, it is a new sense of solidarity over core values such as tolerance and equality, sustained by awareness of the bigotry and misogyny, whether hidden or open, that Trump and his team embody. And this unity has gone global, with Trump and his allies facing rejection and protests throughout the democratic world.
The American Civil Liberties Union, having anticipated that Trump would quickly trample on individual rights, has shown that it is as prepared as ever to defend key constitutional principles such as due process, equal protection, and official neutrality with respect to religion. And in the past month Americans have supported the ACLU with millions of dollars in donations.
Similarly, across the country, companies’ employees and customers have expressed their concern over CEOs and board members who support Trump. Indeed US corporate leaders and investors have collectively become Trump’s enablers. At this year’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, many salivated over his promises of tax cuts and deregulation, while eagerly ignoring his bigotry – not mentioning it in a single meeting that I attended – and protectionism.
Franklin Roosevelt was accused of being a traitor to his class. It's clear that Trump plans no such mutiny. That is why, Stiglitz writes, people all over the world must "be vigilant and resist at every turn."
Image: Speedy Buttons