Donald Trump sent shock waves through the political sphere last week when he accepted the congratulatory call of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. This is the first call a US President has had with Taiwan since Jimmy Carter agreed to the “One China” policy in 1979, specifying a set of protocols for US-China relations, including that Taiwan not be recognized as an independent state. This call has left ordinary Americans across the country in a state of shock, and seriously questioning whether their President-elect truly is up to the job. China is our most valuable trading partner, and further tensions between our countries could have devastating consequences for our economy.
This is not the first time Trump has stepped on the toes of some of our key allies and trading partners. Trump also mentioned during his campaign that he would remain ‘neutral’ on the Israel-Palestine conflict, which outraged many Jewish Americans who depend on the United States to protect their homeland. Israel is also a key ally in the war on terror, and if Trump damages this relationship he could seriously compromize our foreign policy objectives in the Middle East such as liberating Syria.
Trump also mentioned that if Saudi Arabia didn’t treat him with respect and reverence by rolling out a red carpet on his arrival, as they refused to do for Obama, he would tell the pilot to head back home. This greatly upset Saudi Arabia, who are also a key ally in the war on terror and a key trading partner in the weapons industry, further compromizing our trade and foreign policy in the Middle East. In addition Trump has threatened to abolish or completely change the purpose of NATO, an organization essential to combating Russian aggression and expansionism.
Every-day Americans are starting to worry about Trump’s willingness to challenge long-standing allies of the United States and tear up long-held agreements such as the “Once China” policy, and what this signifies about his ability to lead this country professionally and responsibly. This may signal the beginning of Trump’s meltdown, and he hasn’t even assumed office yet. No doubt, ordinary citizens across the country will be closely following CNN and MSNBC to see how this plays out, and their judgement of Trump’s legacy could well be harsh and unforgiving.