Likability In Politics and Government, A Reflection On The Government Shutdown Over Border Wall Funding
The US government shutdown over border wall funding has been a major source of political drama for the end of 2018 that will continue to define government relations into the 2019 New Year. Despite the fact the shutdown takes place at a time when most Americans are preoccupied with the Holiday Season and their winter vacations, the foreboding uncertainty of the shutdown fuels anxiety in those whose livelihoods depend on the flow of federal dollars. It is certainly a reminder that partisans have turned modern government into a source of a societal woes rather than a catalyst for solutions to social issues. It is also a reminder of the hypocrisy that has become such a innate characteristic among the managers of American society. Despite reneging on a variety of campaign promises, President Donald Trump has been willing to shutdown the government over a relatively trivial issue. Despite supporting border wall funding in the past, Senate Minority Leader and other Democrats now oppose Trump’s wall. A variety of reasons can be used to rationalize their opposition, but the primary reason is the fact they just do not like Donald Trump. It is a truth that provides powerful insights into the nature of politics and government.
Under Trump, Foreign Policy, Scientific Funding, And Other Aspirational Policies Are Threatened: What Can Be Done?
The Trump Administration has proven to be a threat to public policy initiatives rooted in aspirational goals. President Donald Trump’s decision to immediately withdraw from Syria serves as a prime example of how the failure of foreign policy experts to thoroughly justify US engagement in a foreign land can result in an unexpected foreign policy pivot by a President indifferent to the broader consequences of his decisions. Tertiary threats to the United States like that posed by the Islamic State may help support US engagement in places like Syria, but the basis for US engagement in the region, ultimately, centers on ill-defined “vital national interests.” For those who see the world in terms of an international community fueled by global commerce, the need to maintain security and stability around the globe is enough of a vital national interest for all world powers to intervene in foreign conflicts. For those who believe in world peace, human rights, and human progress, the humanitarian cost of war is enough to justify international intervention. For more traditional, more nationalistic thinkers, however, there is rarely justification for the US to go to war outside of self-preservation. The failure of the President’s foreign policy advisers to convince him of the aspirational objectives behind US foreign policy is what ended US intervention in Syria.
Trump’s Business Intuition And Why Foreign Policy Experts Are To Blame For Trump’s Decision to Withdraw From Syria
Donald Trump and his decisions baffle political insiders. Domestically, he often appears tone deaf to the political fallout of his most controversial positions, yet he also obsessively tries to control the political message via his social media accounts. Internationally, he acts on what he feels is best for US interests while refusing to recognize his lack of expertise in foreign affairs and embracing the advice of his expert advisers. The seemingly impromptu decision to pullout of Syria serves as a bold example of how the President completely baffles the so-called experts. Donald Trump is, of course, not the only US President to do this. Unlike his predecessors, whose controversial foreign policies could largely be retroactively rationalized within a traditional foreign policy framework, George W. Bush acted more on emotion and instinct than intellectual deliberation. His Presidency compelled political scientists to study the psychological of leaders instead of assuming all leaders are rationale state actors. In the case of Donald Trump, he too is motivated by instinct, but he also injects his business intuition into his public policies.
In December of 2013, the infamous Ethan Couch was able to find a psychologist and a judge willing to support an “affluenza defense” in order to justify his poor decisions, which happened to kill four people. Although millions of teens choose to engage in similar destructive, impulsive, and ill-considered behavior, particularly when it comes to alcohol, driving, and sex, neither they nor Couch are victims of a psychological disorder. “The affluenza defense” is, however, a powerful symbol of the growing social and cultural problems faced by modern society. The use of “affluenza” as a defense, instead of just an explanation for someone’s misdeeds, demonstrates that the problems described by affluenza are only getting worse. Not only are more and more people increasingly selfish, short-sighted and impulsive, there is a growing sense of entitlement. There appears to be an affluenza epidemic that needs tackled.
President Donald Trump has added another chapter in the erratic history of US foreign policy by abruptly ordering a full and rapid withdrawal of US troops from Syria as well as a partial drawdown of US forces in Afghanistan. Where details on the sporadically-decided Syria withdrawal have yet to be solidified, the Afghanistan drawdown will involve approximately half the number of US troops fighting in the nearly two decades long conflict. It will likely pave the way for a full withdrawal. Both decisions were apparently made by the President with little input from his advisers and against their advice. Experts from across the political spectrum fear disorderly and hastily arranged withdrawals will lead to a resurgence of the Islamic State in Syria as well as a resurgence of the Taliban insurgency and terrorists factions like Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Such developments could, in turn, further destabilize the entire region, create a massive safehaven for violent extremists, and open a corridor to the world dominated by terrorists. At the very least, it means the US is ceding direct influence over critical geopolitical issues and global security.
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