Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Aug 2018 10:19:41

EXPEDIENCY has begun ruling the thought-process of United States President Mr. Donald Trump of late, particularly after his recent meeting with Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin. In that meeting, on his own -- even after getting goaded by the Russian leader -- Mr. Trump had said clearly that the American probe into alleged dabbling by Russia in the US Presidential election was sheet nonsense. And close on the heels of that meeting, the US Senate has passed a bill relaxing sanctions against Russian firms, an arrangement that would also help countries like India to an extent in escaping the rigors of sanctions. When political expediency assumes precedence over prudence, such things happen. Mr. Donald Trump’s latest moves indicate exactly this.

It is necessary to understand the nature of Mr. Trump’s approach since he declared his candidacy and got elected and started the American affairs only on political considerations with little regard for national interests. His internal action of getting rid of many of his senior colleagues, his conflict of interest with the judicial process, his cancellation of the Iran Nuclear Deal, his imposition of sanctions against Russia, his insistence that he would not spare countries like India if they did not go along ...! -- all these actions are nothing but a clutch of moves that are aimed at preserving himself in the White House. Expert observers with no political leanings have, of late, begun realising that the American President is bogged down by the probe into the Russian meddling in the US elections. They interpret Mr. Trump’s actions as aimed at self-preservation rather than serving the true and genuine national interests.

The meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin provided the key to understanding this. On his own, Mr. Trump insisted that there was no substance in the allegations that Russia has tampered with the presidential election that catapulted him straight into the White House. It was more than obvious that Mr. Trump was not just exonerating himself from the charge of seeking Russian manipulation to win the election, but was also giving the Russians a clean chit. The subsequent relaxation of certain sanctions is, obviously, an outcome of that stance, even as the world at large wonders what has happened to Mr. Trump’s principled stand.

It is quite likely that Mr. Trump may undergo certain change-of-mood vis-a-vis China with whom he has engaged the US in a massive and unprecedented trade war by tariff manipulation, if the Chinese offer him some solace from the domestic quagmire he is confronted with. That will prove once more that Mr. Trump is following only one principle -- of political expediency in his struggle for survival in internal conflict.

Many of Mr. Trump’s recent actions, thus, point to a reality that he is not a man with a steadfast belief in his ideology, and that he is interested more in his survival rather than willingness to make any sacrifices to serve an ideal. A lot of American experts had expected similar changes to come over the current occupant of the White House. After analysing the President’s persistence with certain of his policies, the experts now believe that he will end up making countless compromises in the near future as his tenure nears end.

By now, Mr. Trump might even have realised that his chances of a re-election are not bright. Perhaps, going by certain tidings and observations, it is quite likely that Mr. Trump would worry more about staying unscathed in the domestic issues rather than getting re-elected. For, at this stage in his tenure, the people of the US have begun asking black-and-white questions. Of course, he is a haughty man and may not actually demonstrate his weakness. He may put up an outward fight, in the process creating a greater mess in the US. Yet, all those actions are quite likely to lead him only over the hill into a political abyss of his own making. That will certainly take time. Yet, given the nature of American politics as the presidential term nears the mid-point, it can be said safely that Mr. Trump will find himself at his wit’s end.