When Barack #Obama became President of the United States in 2009 the country and the world saw it as the moment that proved that all Americans are equal. Although the Birther Movement tried to discredit Obama, the country as a whole welcomed him and the world saw proof that skin colour did not exclude any American from becoming the country’s President.

Time Machine

The first week of the new #Donald Trump presidency seems to have turned the White House into a time machine. The executive order signed yesterday to block Moslem migration from “at risk” countries and at the same time give priority to persecuted Christians from those countries raises fears that religion, race and skin colour will once more decide a person’s fate, rather than their own personal behaviour.

This message was further reinforced with Trump’s statements during the presidential campaign against Mexicans as “drug runners and rapists” which ended with the executive order to build a wall between the two countries. This led to Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Neto to cancel his planned visit to the White House.

New occupant, new policies

While a change of Presidents will always mean a change of policies for the country, particularly with Presidents from different Parties, the contrasts between the two occupants is truly vast. While one President worked to heal rifts within the country, the other campaigned to once again widen these divisions. While Obama was generally well seen world by the world’s population, Donald Trump’s “America First” policies risks alienating the country from its traditional allies and the withdrawal of the U.S.

from the TPP was seen as such by countries such as Australia which has always been a firm and faithful ally through decades of wars and economic agreements.

The signing of the many executive orders was not the final step of these possible changes, but the first indications of the change of direction. They will still have to overcome the legislative controls and almost certainly challenges to the Supreme Court.

Making this process even harder to foresee will be the possibility of clashes between President Trump and his own Republican Party which risks serious divisions over radical changes from its traditional stances on matters such as Freedom of religion.

The country and the world can only wait and see what will be the final outcome of this first week of executive decisions and whether or not they will eventually be put into action.

But there is one thing that can definitely be said about the transition from the Obama Presidency to that of Trump.

Rarely have the differences between successive Presidents been as wide as we have seen in recent weeks. The next four years will truly be interesting, but we do not yet know in what way.