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American democracy and the demise of civil liberties

How the Trump presidency has changed America

Increasingly confrontational US Foreign policy

As we have seen, Donald Trump has changed his cabinet quite a few times with a slew of high profile resignations or dismissals. In the latest wave of dismissals, a new generation of hardliners have risen to power namely John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. Many people consider both of these men as hard-line conservatives with aggressive stances towards Iran and North Korea.

Increasingly Protectionist Trade Policy

Trade is not exactly foreign policy, but it is part of it and has a significant impact on foreign relations. One important yet powerful development is the recent steel and aluminium import tariffs. The basis for the tariffs is ‘national security’ which could put national security and defence on a slippery slope.

Reduced civil liberties at home

Long has been known the paranoia of US officials specifically with intelligence. The US has been nabbed before for wiretapping other foreign officials such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel. While that paranoia has led to smearing US foreign relations, domestic relations don’t seem better.

Intensified racial tensions

The racial issues seen between police and blacks continues. The usual outcome is a black person is shot and killed and the shooting officer walks free without any criminal charges. In 2018, a total of 264 people were shot and killed by police of which 22% were black:

Source: Washington Post

Consolidation of power in Federal Government

As noted, the Trump administration has seen a high turnover rate. With that turnover, an increasingly hard-line cabinet continues to be formed. The consequence of these actions is the consolidation of power. Of course, the consolidation may not be as extreme as that of Xi Jinping or Vladimir Putin. However, the direction is fairly similar where a select few people benefit and the rest are purged in a systematic, calculated way either through pure corruption or manipulation. Manipulation is probably the easiest one in today’s digital age and can take on many forms.

Economic power roadblocks

Whether intentionally placed or not, economic power plays an important role in freedom and civil liberty. At this point, there is fear by some, as Bernie Sanders mentioned during the Betsy DeVos confirmation hearing, that the “[US society is] moving to an oligarchic form of society.” Furthermore, the recent tax reforms seem to align with and suggest a similar movement in this direction.

Final Thoughts

The US is heading down a murky path where its defining principles are changing and not speaking of true democracy. Money and politics have mired this thought.



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Adam E. Badenhorst

Writer. Into politics, heritage, environment and crypto/future. Love a tough debate and intellectual discussions.