The United States has gone rogue!


Under President Donald Trump (and his growing swamp of a government) the United States of America has now become a fully identifiable "rogue nation" that ignores basic human rights and international agreements.

While the US constitution provides protections for civil and political rights, these are often ignored when corporate and political interests are challenged. The defence of an individual's rights are often dependent on a person's cultural and racial identity or being able to afford access to legal process (and an effective legal team). The United States has been internationally criticised for its poor human rights record for some time and is worsening under Trump:
While some advances of human rights were made under President Obama (and a public presentation of being a good global citizen), Trump has blatantly and deliberately headed in the opposite direction. His "America First" approach has seen him criticise and remove the US from many multi-national agreements. While there could be some justification from pulling away from some free trade agreements that ignore workers rights and allow environmental degradation, these elements are not cited. Trump has an isolationist approach which will probably end up causing greater poverty for working people in the US and other countries.

The US has removed itself from the Paris Climate Accord (putting the US coal industry ahead of global health) and abandoned the Iran Nuclear Deal. Trump treats G7 leaders and current trade agreements with disdain. The US has just left the UN Human Rights Council, citing hypocrisy in the way the council has treated Israel compared to the likes of Cuba. This is actually hypocrisy in itself. Despite the fact that Cuba may not be a democracy and has its own human rights issues, the small country proportionally provides more humanitarian aid internationally than the US, has lower levels of poverty and a much more equitable health and education systems than the US. Cuba does not persecute people at the level that Israel oppresses Palestinians. 

The US could influence world affairs positively and the best way to do this is through diplomacy and informed and considered engagement. It now appears that the US is removing itself from past alliances with developed countries and its previously closest allies: Britain, Canada and Australia. The leaders Trump admires are autocratic ones and he is frustrated that he doesn't receive the same blind loyalty as Russia's Putin, the Philippines' President Duterte and recent mate Kim Jong-un. Trump has substantially cut the US diplomatic service in favour of using a strengthened military to bully others into submission. Like other dictators he wants public displays of military might to assert his global authority. He only pulled back from the idea of dropping some big ones on North Korea's "Little Rocket Man" because Kim flattered him and he feels more comfortable dealing with a narcissistic dictator like himself than engaging with the diplomatic subtleties and intellectual detail that accompanies a G7 summit. 

More and more power is now shifting to Trump after years of the dismantling the checks and balances that constrained executive powers. The three branches of government are: Congress (the legislative branch), the Supreme Court of the United States and Federal Courts (the judicial branch) and the President (executive branch), each are supposed to be equal and no one branch was supposed to dominate any other. Trump's extreme executive orders were initially stymied by Federal Courts and Congress but he is getting around this by appointing conservative judges, sacking the Attorney General and simply ignoring the law. After 9/11 congress gave up the right to decide when to use military force and the President now has that unilateral power as Trump used when he ordered the bombing in Syria.

The US also used to be the standard bearer for a Free Press, which could generally be relied on to expose corruption and poor behaviour from a President (Nixon, Reagan, Clinton), this is no longer the case under Trump. The current President calls legitimate news outlets that hold him to account "fake news". He constantly tweets disinformation and favours partisan journalists and outlets such as Fox News. A Republican congressional candidate was even able to be elected after body-slamming a journalist he didn't like. In a media environment where there is such a fervent level of partisan reporting, they effectively cancel each other out. When there is a greater use of social media for accessing "news", it is harder for the US public to identify legitimate and factual reporting.

At first it seemed as though Trump's approval rate was plummeting and many thought that it was unlikely he would last his full term. However, despite revelations of racism, fraud, sexual harassment, dishonesty, blatant narcissism, nepotism and conflicts of interest, Trump's popularity is on the rise. The most immoral and corrupt US President to ever be elected is now commander in chief of the world's most powerful military force. This ignorant, climate denying narcissist has successfully surrounded himself with sycophants and has shaped the US into a rogue nation where future allies may be smarter dictators who will stroke his ego for their own advantage. The steady trickle of people leaving the US to escape Trump is likely to grow and this will no doubt increase his support.

Some people may follow Trump's career with morbid amusement, but this President poses a real risk to the future of our planet and all who live on it. A very considered and united response is needed.

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