Special for the Armenian Weekly
Finally, it’s over…
After 18 months of an unprecedented, contentious, full-of-controversies, huge sums of money spent on political ads and counter ads, nasty primaries in both parties, and party Conventions that lacked any meaningful, realistic, and achievable platforms, on Dec. 19, the Electoral College, as per the U.S. Constitution, confirmed that Donald Trump is the President-Elect.
The election of Trump was a huge unexpected and unforeseen upset. All the major pollsters, national newspapers, pundits, and news networks were wrong in their prediction that Trump will lose big and with his loss the Republican party will lose its majority in the senate and have its majority in the House reduced dramatically.
Last ditch efforts to derail the ascendance of Trump to the Presidency failed. All the efforts to negate or change the Electoral College votes were unsuccessful. It is important to realize that the Electoral College is included in the U.S. Constitution.
Changes to the system requires a Constitutional Amendment-Article V- not a referendum or any other process, which is highly unlikely to occur.
Now, we have a large number of newspaper articles, editorials, supposed pundits, politicians, various personalities from all circles, who appear on television and radio commenting on a Trump Presidency. It is a lot of noise and highly confusing simply because nobody really knows what Trump will do other than Trump himself.
In all this punditry noise and confusion, certain assumptions or predictions can be made reliably on what can be accomplished realistically or not…
In the Senate, it takes 60 votes to move most bills. The Republicans will start the year with 52 votes. The democrats can block many of the bills by voting against it and or filibustering it . Without some democratic votes bills will die in the Senate just as it happened when Obama was president.
The Republican party is not fully unified. Some openly opposed him.
Some in both parties will support him or oppose him in his big plans, such as building a wall along the U.S. border, deporting illegal immigrants with criminal records, trying to renegotiate or cancel global trade agreements, having a softer tone with Russia, and curbing refugee immigration from countries or areas where ISIS and Al Qaida are active.
Trump probably will have some successes on his first 100 days. Tax Reform which is direly needed, through cutting or reducing deficits, will not be an easy task. The national debt stands at 20 trillion dollars and is not sustainable .
Trump has made huge promises to increase infrastructure spending, military growth, and entitlement spending, while reducing taxes on corporations and individuals. Passage of a Budget Bill, that has reasonable and sensible balance between revenues and spending in the House will be a huge and difficult task.
Questions arise about changes to provisions of Obamacare. Will it be totally repealed, replaced, or amended? Obamacare, though not working properly and facing many problems, has increased the number of medically insured. Moreover it includes provisions, such as requiring insurers to cover existing conditions and keeping their children on their policies longer, that have been beneficial and have the support of members on both sides of the aisle.
It is expected that Trump will be successful in passing legislation that will favor more domestic oil, gas, and coal production by loosening environmental regulations.
With the passing of Justice Scalia and possible other vacancies during his tenure, Trump will have the opportunity to tilt the Supreme court to the right. However, Democrats will resist and fight it just as the Republicans sat on the nomination by Obama of Merrick Garland keeping a 4-4 deadlock on the bench.
Finally there are several complicated and thorny geo-political issues that can have serious consequences on the U.S. and the world.
The Iran Nuclear Deal. Will Trump rip it up and will he introduce new sanctions?
What will be our relations with NATO during Trump’s presidency? He has raised questions about it and suggested that NATO members should contribute more money to their defenses.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership has already been dead in the water as all the candidates, including Mrs. Clinton and Bernie Sanders were opposed to it. What will be NAFTA’s fate?
How softer the relations with Russia will be? This will be a major disagreement with the European allies who have recently renewed sanctions of their own against Russia.
And last but not least, we have absolutely no idea what Trump’s or his administration’s policy and stance will be towards Armenian causes, whether it relates to the recognition of the Genocide or a fair and just resolution to the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh/NKR) conflict.
The elections are finally over but now on Jan. 20, 2017, the real governing starts.