16:26 GMT24 November 2020
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    US President Donald Trump's image as a strong and decisive leader that fulfills his promises has started to fade after two months of his presidency. Speaking to Sputnik, American political commentator Stephen Ebert unveiled why Trump has failed to deliver on his election promises.

    As time goes by, an increasingly smaller number of Americans believe that US President Donald Trump will deliver on his election promises.

    "President Donald Trump's image among Americans as someone who keeps his promises has faded in the first two months of his presidency, falling from 62% in February to 45%," Gallup opinion poll reported April 17.

    ​According to Gallup, Americans are also less likely to see him as a "strong and decisive leader," as someone who "can bring about the changes this country needs" or as "honest and trustworthy."

    Indeed, Trump's pledge to repeal Obamacare, build a wall along the border with Mexico, to respect "the right of all nations to put their own interests first" and not to meddle into other countries' domestic affairs have turned out to be hot air.

    Sputnik asked Stephen Ebert, a US political commentator and expert at the Agency for Strategic Communications (ASK), what lies at the root of Donald Trump's failure to deliver on his promises.

    Why did Trump fail to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law?

    "Both Trump and the Republicans misjudged public sentiment," Ebert told Sputnik, "A telling point: early on, when asked during random street polls, 'What do you think about Obamacare'? many said 'hate it, horrible'. When asked 'what about the American Care Act' (the exact same thing), many said 'love it, don't you dare touch it'. Once the Republicans in Congress unveiled their hastily, cobbled together behind closed doors plans, a large, vocal majority, said 'No!'. That is, sure the ACA had flaws, but these should have been addressed by tweaking — as it's always the case with such major legislation… anywhere in the world."

    The US political commentator called attention to the fact that "the overall process showed a stunning lack of understanding within the White House of how all this gets done."

    "Bannon seemed to be the 'leader' here, pushing the President to 'force' Congress to pass this, and now Bannon is on his way out. Partly for this, partly for objecting to Trump's return to 'global hegemony' with the Syria strikes," Ebert underscored.

    Likewise, it is highly doubtful that Trump's other grand promise — to build a border wall between the US and Mexico — will come to fruition, he believes.

    "I think it is very unlikely. They are having a hard time finding the first 'down payment' — $1 billion, with a final cost of likely not $10-20 billion, but more like $40 billion. As I have only partly joked, the only way to build it for less would be to use 'Mexican' cement, and illegal Mexican workers," Ebert remarked.

    However, this is just the tip of the iceberg, according to the political commentator. What prompts real concerns is Trump's sudden shift from non-interventionism and isolationism to an assertive military policy abroad.

    The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the Pacific Ocean January 30, 2017
    © REUTERS / U.S. Navy
    The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the Pacific Ocean January 30, 2017

    Did Trump forget about his vow to stop overseas wars and regime change operations? Why did he attack Syria on false pretenses and start testing North Korea?

    "I believe a lot of this can be tied to his failures on the domestic front — travel ban struck down by courts, health care failed in the legislative branch," Ebert responded.

    "Trump is at the end of the day not just a 'CEO', but one who as head of a private company, was not beholden to anyone — not the public, not shareholders, no one. I think it has come as a shock to him that he cannot simply rule by fiat — i.e. 'executive orders'," the political commentator told Sputnik.

    "Given this, he has turned to his current 'initiatives' internationally where he can largely do as he wants," Ebert continued, "Ever since the end of WWII, the President has in fact acted unilaterally to engage in various wars — from Korea, to Vietnam, to Iraq — and other "minor" military engagements (Yugoslavia, Libya, Afghanistan, and now Syria…). And sadly, the public, by a slim margin, supports him, sees him as a decisive leader."

    Ebert noted that even Democrats in Congress, widely held as Trump's bitterest enemies, applaud his recent "bold moves."

    "Clearly, he also sought to bolster his terrible ratings — 36% approval — and deflect attention away from the ongoing 'Russia' investigations," the political commentator suggested.

    Nonetheless, this is indeed very worrisome with regards to North Korea, according to Ebert.

    "Regardless of one's views of Kim Jung Un, one can see how the latest US actions can be provocative, with the Syria and Afghanistan actions confirming the view there of the US as a threat," he highlighted.

    Why did Trump fail to conduct his political strategy, articulated during the election campaign, or did he in fact have not any?

    "I have long said that he in fact has very few real strategies — no real vision," Ebert answered.

    What is more worrisome, however, is that at least half of Trump's supporters do not feel confused over his unexpected political maneuvers.

    "As we know, his hard core supporters, perhaps 50% of those who voted for him, do not actually care about all his major 'flips' — on intervention, on China (no longer a 'currency manipulator'), NATO — was obsolete, now it is not…and many, many others. In fact, almost all major ones," the commentator told Sputnik.

    Is Trump an independent politician or has the "swamp" drained him?

    "Technically he is in fact if not 'independent', he is, and always was a creature of neither party, rather, he used both for his own gains while being simply a 'businessman'," Ebert said.

    "As for the swamp, based on his appointments, the only draining that occurred was luring people out of the swamp to 'serve' in his administration, which is comprised of mainly billionaires, including many folks from the evil Wall Street, or generals," he pointed out.

    President-elect Donald Trump meets with Wilbur Ross at the clubhouse of Trump National Golf Club November 20, 2016 in Bedminster, New Jersey.
    © AFP 2020 / Don EMMERT
    President-elect Donald Trump meets with Wilbur Ross at the clubhouse of Trump National Golf Club November 20, 2016 in Bedminster, New Jersey.

    "I fear we have in fact traded the silly Obama 'exceptional American values' for 'Trump values', and these seem to be a focus on making money, and continued efforts to make the rich richer at the expense of the middle-class and poor," he added.

    According to Ebert it is hard to say whether or not Hillary Clinton would have been a "lesser" evil compared to Trump.

    However, Trump's "unpredictability" threatens to complicate US foreign policy.

    "As it turns out, Trump in fact loves chaos, and not the kind of 'manageable' chaos some in Russia have accused the US of conducting in foreign policy. You see, while unpredictability may be good for dealing with enemies, reliability and steadfastness is what stands behind long-term, meaningful relations," Ebert concluded.

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.


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