Wednesday, January 24th
Salon Night #3
On November 8th, 2017, thousands of liberals in America huddled in public spaces to scream helplessly at the sky on the anniversary of Trump’s election. For the one-year anniversary of his inauguration, we gathered at 1880 to engage in (civil) discourse about Trump and Asia, Trump and Trade, the wins and losses in the in-between, and what’s next for the Democrats and Republicans in 2018.
The greatest problem plaguing the Democrats is in finding a suitable candidate that could, well, trump Trump. Steve Okun, founder of APAC advisors, exerted that the Democrats are more energised and stronger than ever before. To counter the plight that America is experiencing, individuals are garnering momentum. Women are stepping up. Selecting the next candidate is crucial — Bill Clinton rallied people; Barack Obama brought African Americans together. Who could possibly bridge the gap? Instead of screaming helplessly, we picked the brains of the collective on a potential individual who could possibly charter new frontiers for America.
On the other hand, Tina Datta, Chairman of Republicans’ Overseas Singapore, came equipped with ammunition on the measurable successes of the Republicans thus far. It was difficult to assume that she would be addressing a room full of Republican-Trump supporters, so she fired off with the statistics: the stock market hit a new high — up 28% since Trump came into power, and GDP is at an all-time high of 3.3%. She argued that tariffs are not unheard of — Obama slapped tariffs on tyres too. Trump imposing tariffs on solar panels and washing machines are temporary measures to protect the local industries so as to improve employment. African-American unemployment, she justified, stands at the lowest rate ever recorded. “I’m going to give the closing remarks first because Steve’s going to rebut and cover everything I say… which you love,” she joked blithely and shrewdly. She acknowledged that from an immigration perspective, the impression that foreigners are not welcome is a message that needs to be fixed, along with other perceptions.
One member of the audience summarised the debate well — “my hope is that there will be greater clarity about the honest intent of the policies, but it’s hard to overlook Trump’s method of delivery.” Only time will reveal if the motivations of his policies will indeed make “America great again”.
In a battle of holding reign as a superpower and getting things right within the country, the citizens have voted on what they regard as most crucial. The US has to accept for a fact that as they focus on rebuilding their infrastructure internally, the rest of the world moves on.