Fits and Starts

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

I have to ask whether Donald Trump is presidential material or a man child. I found it laughable that his press secretary would get into an argument about the numbers of people who were, or who were not, at the president’s inauguration. Couldn’t we just move on from this? I found it ominous that the White House had taken down its Spanish language version of news and information from the White House website. It apparently does not concern the new Trump White House that 37 million people in America speak Spanish, and that the United States has the second largest number of Spanish speakers in the world only after Mexico (strangely enough, we have more Spanish speakers than does Spain!).

Just as curious is the fact that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a major Freedom of Information Act case trying to find out Trump’s assets and whether these might be used against Trump for blackmail by foreign governments (including the possibility that because he owes so much money that part of his debt is owned by China and that the Chinese government could use this as blackmail). I am not saying that no president in history has had any problems or questions about their backgrounds that these things have lingered in the public eye. But Trump has left a lot of question marks, and some of his policies are questionable, that we have to wonder. He talks about putting “America First.” This was a nice campaign slogan, but what does this really mean for foreign relations with friends, allies and neighbors?

I can only hope that this will include, for instance, Taiwan. Taiwan is almost completely alone in this world as being a democracy that it seems no one wants. President Trump has talked about upgrading relations with Taiwan. This has to change as China is intent on taking Taiwan one way or the other. Then there is the relationship with South Korea and Germany. With the political situation happening in South Korea, it is a bad idea for President Trump to be talking about renegotiating the free trade agreement with South Korea and with telling South Korea to pay 75 percent or 100 percent for keeping U.S. soldiers stationed in South Korea. This is an extremely bad idea since South Korea then might end the military alliance with the United States and then side with China. Then there is Germany, which will soon hold its own parliamentary elections. Might the Russians interfere in those like they did with the elections in the United States? Likewise, President Trump’s announcement to “stop the Chinese from sending troops to their own artificial islands” is tantamount to war (not that I like the Chinese government which I do not). In short, there are things that I want President Trump to do, and other things that he should be careful about. For now, all I can do is watch and see what will happen. So far, this administration has gotten off to a dubious start.

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