If Trump hadn’t won…that would be wishful thinking. He is 45th president of the United States, and while part of the populace is dismayed, another part is delighted. But what if he didn’t win? Here are seven things that would be taking place now.
1. Participation of the US on the Paris climate agreement will continue
On June 1, 2017, Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate agreement, eliciting global condemnation from world leaders, CEOs and civil society groups. The agreement is a pact entered into by 195 nations to take action to prevent destructive climate change.
Why is the United States’ support for actions on climate change crucial to the Paris climate agreement? Syria and Nicaragua are the only two countries that did not join; yet their refusal, grounded on war and belief, did not create a fuss. Trump’s withdrawal is based on his misconception that climate change is a myth, and that the agreement is disadvantageous to the US economy.
Whatever the reasons, >withdrawal of the US will have a tremendous impact on the goal of the agreement, which is to keep the increase in global average temperatures below 2° Celsius above pre-industrial level. The US accounts for 14.34 percent of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions, second only to China. Without its participation, the goal of the agreement would be difficult to achieve and earth will come to a dangerous level of global warming sooner. Another possible consequence is the lessened participation of other countries in efforts to bring down their gas emissions. If the US, being a world leader, is not serious in taking action against climate change, smaller nations will follow suit.
2. The Trans Pacific Partnership deal will push through, reducing China’s economic clout
Barely a week after he was sworn in, Trump pulls out of the negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade deal entered into by his predecessor with 11 other countries, 5 of which are in Asia, aside from Australia and New Zealand. Together, they make up 40 percent of the world’s economy. The TPP would have given the US the upper hand in the economic race and thwart China’s rise to economic power. Hence, its scrapping as a result of America’s withdrawal gives Beijing more leverage to convince other countries to join its own multilateral trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
Although the United States remains the world’s biggest economy, its departure from the TPP will result in an increase of the cost of its export of goods. More importantly, it relinquishes its leadership role in directing the growth of global trade in the future.
Trump’s propensity for isolationism sends a signal to the rest of the world to look elsewhere for alternative bilateral or multilateral trade agreements. They are doing just that and China is rolling out the welcome mat.
3. The United States will live up to its name. The divisiveness that racism brings will not be as widespread and open as it is now.
Although he doesn’t admit it, Trump is a racist at heart. Nowhere is this clearer than in his reaction to the Charlottesville incident which saw an anti-racist protestor dead and 19 others injured. His feeble attempts at denouncing the violence could not conceal his soft spot for the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who were elated at his defense of them.
Even before Trump could recover from the backlash from his failure to speak out convincingly against bigotry, he displayed another act of racial bias by pardoning anti-immigrant sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona, Joe Arpaio, convicted of contempt of court, is notorious for police misconduct and violation of civil rights targeting African-American and Hispanic immigrants.
Trump’s racism already manifested in January 2017, during his first month as president, when he signed an executive order banning Muslims and refugees from seven countries from entering the US. He plans to build a border wall between the US and Mexico to prevent their illegal entry. He has repeatedly insulted black people and mocked the Chinese.
As president of the most powerful country, he leads the white supremacists by example and emboldens them to act on their hatred and racial discrimination against non-whites, thus compromising unity in the community.
4. Americans will not be wondering if Trump won the presidential elections fair and square
The shock followed by reluctant acceptance of Donald Trump’s win in 2016 has now turned to suspicion as the thriller/comedy/drama real-life show unfolds. The dossier on Trump and his associates on their dealings with Russia, complied by an ex-British Intelligence spy, reveals allegations that has challenged the integrity of the 2016 US presidential elections. It also found that certain incidents recorded by the Kremlin can be a tool for blackmailing Trump. The prospect of a US president blackmailed by Putin is scary and unthinkable.
As members of Trump’s family and his campaign team dodge efforts by the Senate and House investigation committees, Americans are kept in suspense. Where will all this lead to? And what, if any, will happen? Impeachment is a long shot but it’s still a possibility.
5. North Korea’s Kim Jong-un may not launch its missiles on Guam or any US allied country
If Trump hadn’t won, another president may have a more diplomatic approach to Pyongyang’s nuclear threats and its madman dictator will not be provoked into sending one of its nuclear warheads into US territory.
Trump’s “fire and fury” rhetoric will only worsen an already very bad situation. Kim will see it as a challenge and will rise to the occasion. On the other hand, three previous US presidents have not fared any better than Trump. They are dealing with a psychopath, after all.
6. America’s healthcare system will continue to provide insurance for most people, without worrying over a repeal
The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA,) popularly called Obamacare, provided insurance for an additional 25 million people when it took effect. Medicaid for the poor was expanded and subsidized coverage for individuals effected. Trump made good on his campaign promise to “repeal and replace” the healthcare reform law, but its intended replacement, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) failed when three Republicans voted against the measure.
The GOP bill (AHCA,) if passed, will leave 23 million people without insurance by 2026. But it will also reduce the budget deficit by $119 billion in 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Medicaid for the lower-income Americans will get cut by billions, as will subsidies for the individual health insurance market.
After the latest Senate vote that had Sen. John McCain deciding against the repeal, Trump threatened to stop reimbursements to insurers who waive deductibles and copays for low income clients. If this happens, premiums will rise by 20 percent.
7. US allies in Europe and Asia will remain united in their stand against China’s intrusion into disputed territories
In 2016, China disregarded an international tribunal ruling that gave the Spratly Islands to the Philippines. It continued its land reclamation on the disputed island, building seven artificial reefs and three aircraft runways. The US and neighboring Asian countries Japan, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia support The Hague’s ruling and called on China to abide by it. The United States under Pres. Obama was vocal in its opposition to China’s claim of ownership and subsequent reclamation. It sent warships to sail on the seas without informing China to demonstrate freedom of navigation on international waters.
Trump has had quite a few changes of heart where Chinese President Xi Jinping is concerned. At the start of his presidency, he denied a request from the US military to sail a warship in the contested waters, to avoid souring China-US relations. Now he has lambasted China for refusing to rein in North Korea and is threatening trade sanctions. As it is, the Asian nations concerned cannot expect consistent support from the United States in their fight against China.