What the shock Presidential Election result could mean for women, the environment and international relations
America’s new Commander-in-chief promised a lot of things during his election campaign, many of which sounded completely untenable. Now that he’s won, what will he put into action, and what does this all mean for the future of American politics?
What will a Trump presidency mean for women?
The future of American politics looks pretty conservative and male right now. Trump has risen to power on a predominantly male vote. 53% of American men voted for Trump in comparison to 41% of women. Which is little wonder, given he’s the first President to come to power with several pending sexual assault cases. Trump’s suggestion that we should ‘punish’ women who have abortions is extremely unlikely, but under a GOP-dominated government cuts to Planned Parenthood and reduced abortion rights will be punishing enough. Overturning Roe V. Wade completely (as Trump has vowed to do) would be harder to achieve, but his control of the Supreme Court should give the pro-choice lobby plenty of reason to be nervous. His woeful plans for abortion aside, Trump’s daughter Ivanka did help him champion a plan to give working women earning less than £206,000 a year the chance to offset their childcare against tax, but overall, if you’re a pro-choice women then the outlook isn’t good.
Will he ever ‘build the wall’?
Trump’s unfiltered speeches on immigration, many of which were called both racist and inaccurate by his opponents, were one of the defining features of his campaign. Probably the most outlandish claim was his promise to build a wall along the Mexican border and hand the estimated $22bn bill over to Mexico. Will this ever happen? It’s looking pretty unlikely, not least because the Mexican President Peña Nieto has already said his country would not foot this bill if the wall was to be built. There’s also doubts as to whether a wall is even an effective idea. Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Centre for Immigration Studies, told The Street earlier this year that the 700 mile-long fence along the border between Mexico and the USA is far more effective and easier to police than a wall. Why? Um, because you can see through it…
What about his ‘ban on Muslims’ and promise to deport all illegal immigrants?
Earlier in his campaign Trump proposed a ‘total ban’ on Muslims coming to the United States, which was widely condemned by leaders around the world. Trump has also said he would remove all undocumented immigrants from the USA. Both are huge claims, so what will actually happen? Further scrutiny of refugees entering the country from places such as Syria is expected rather than Trump’s proposed ‘total ban’ – though according to The Telegraph people coming from these territories undergo up to two years of scrutiny already. Meanwhile, rounding up and deporting millions of illegal immigrants would not only cause huge damage to America’s economy but it would also cost £329 billion, something Trump definitely can’t afford.
What damage will a Trump presidency do to the environment?
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There’s no good way to slice this: Trump’s win is bad news for environmentalists. He has previously called global warming a ‘Chinese hoax’ and has said he wants to repeal all federal spending on clean energy, including wind, solar, nuclear and electric vehicles. He also wants to pull the USA out of the hard-won Paris climate deal. Technically the US cannot pull out of this for 4 years, but there’s no reason why the government can’t just ignore this clause. Lux Research have projected that Trump’s full list of environmental policies would lead to an extra 3.4 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions compared with Clinton’s proposals. Will the reality be so bad? There’s a good chance the GOP might not vote to repeal all the climate change laws put into place given the increasing popularity of clean energy. Also, Vox points out that states such as California and New York are already busy pushing their own climate change measures. But after the steps forward made by Obama on climate change there’s likely to be some depressing steps back under Trump.
What about his foreign policy plans?
From ‘dealing’ with ISIS to forging a closer relationship with Putin, Trump often made foreign policy sound like a cakewalk during his campaign. Unlike Obama, Trump was pro-Brexit and vowed that an independent UK would have an ‘excellent’ relationship with America if he came to power. What is likely to happen? This so-called ‘special relationship’ between Britain and the UK will certainly come under strain if Trump attempts to buddy up to Putin, but in the main Trump’s foreign policy plans for America are expected to be isolationist and anti-intervention, since one of his key pledges was to put ‘America first.’