The year 2016 was an unmitigated disaster for progressives, liberals and Democrats. Not only did Trump take the White House, but Republicans took both houses of Congress, most statehouses, and most state legislatures, endangering many programs on the top of the left agenda. Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of the Nation tells Jim what can be done about it.
Trump has appeared to switch positions on North Korea, Russia, NATO, the Iran treaty, NAFTA, the climate change accord, Syria and dealing with dictators. Former Bush White House official and Deputy Secretary of State contender, Elliott Abrams, tells Jim Zirin that unpredictability in foreign policy is no vice, but inconsistency is no virtue.
Even before the election, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass, in a provocative new bestselling book, saw an unstable world in disarray. He tells Jim that since November 8, Trump’s unpredictable approach suggesting a trade war with China, a hard line on immigration, tilting towards Putin in a dramatic revision of long standing U.S. foreign policies may have indeed made matters worse.
Obama thought he would “reset” relations with the Russians; yet they deteriorated to the lowest level since the Cold War. Can the U.S. salvage the relationship? Is the election hack an insuperable barrier? Tom Graham of Kissinger Associates, former Senior Director for Russia on the National Security Council of President George W. Bush, who may well be Trump’s choice as ambassador to Russia, tells Jim that our way forward with Putin should be a multi-pronged approach.
During the campaign, President-elect Trump evoked a seething anger among working class Americans, claiming that China had stolen American jobs, and had cheated on trade in the global economy. His answer, which would surely invite retaliation, was to impose a 45% tariff on China-made goods imported into the United States, . Former Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth Robert Hormats tells Jim that our economic relations are so intertwined that a China trade war would be only counter-productive.
The bloody civil war in Syria has spawned a refugee crisis of dimensions unknown since World War II. Nearly 5.5 million people have fled the conflict with only around 10,000 re-settled in the United States—less than 0.2 per cent of the total Syrian refugee population. Yet, during the campaign, President-elect Trump said he would close the door to Syrian immigration. International Rescue Committee President David Miliband tells Jim that the U.S. must open its doors to carefully vetted Syrian refugees, and do its part to avert a humanitarian disaster.
Can Carson edge out Trump? Did Bush stop bleeding? Did Rubio and Cruz make too many gaffes? Can any of them stop Hillary? Veteran political analyst Doug Schoen talks the strength and weaknesses of the candidates, and gives Jim Zirin some predictions for the future even though it is still early days.
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