At the end of his honeymoon period President Donald Trump has begun to understand that the business of politics is not simply to make a deal. Every action and decision has effects that cannot always be predicted and communicating is not limited to the 140 characters of a tweet or to a quick press grab. On the facile basis of putting “America first” the man occupying the Oval Office does not have the luxury of concentrating solely on domestic issues with the excuse that the rest of the world is of secondary importance.


During the presidential debates with Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton now President Donald Trump clearly showed that his priority was in transmitting messages for potential voters and that the details of policy and planning had no part of his campaign.

Quick tweets, catch phrases and sayings such as “America first”, “drain the swamp” and even “Lock her up” were simple but effective tools in distracting public attention from one fact, the Republican candidate had no real plan to implement any of the sayings and he thought that once he was seated in the Oval Office that he would have had the power to carry them out as he saw fit. That fallacy was quickly dispelled.

The so far successful court challenges of his Moslem immigration ban from “at risk” Middle East countries with no proof of eminent threats and the failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act were the confirmation that no thought had been given to putting the slogans into effect.

Furthermore, the Oval Office had failed to set up a working relationship with his own Republican Party politicians, let alone seeking cooperation with the Democrats to ensure passage of legislation.

World stage

In these nearly three months of the new Administration, the world stage has taken up an increasingly large part of the White House’s attention and put paid to the belief that the President of the United States could simply concentrate solely on his domestic issues and not have to make a more than cursory interest in international politics.

The provocative behaviour of North Korea with carefully timed missile tests and now the Syrian gas weapon attack on the rebel town of Khan Sheikhoum in the Syrian province of Iblid which shocked the world and led to the American missile strike on Syria’s Shayrat airbase have exposed the lack of long term international plans by President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The announcements of increased military spending and the contemporary cuts in State Department funding in the proposed budget will have the effect of decreasing the possibility of finding non military solutions to these and the other international situations that the United States is now facing. This situation is exacerbated by the many positions still to be filled by the Administration.

Economic effects

The lack of detailed planning and the obvious lack of objectives, with the exception of “putting America first” all fly in the face of the fact that the United States economy is dependent on international markets. No country in the world, even one as big as the American economy, can hope to grow without exports and the importation of vital products to allow the machinery of industry to function.

At the same time, any decision made by the Oval Office, every order in relation to trade agreements has a direct impact on the American economy; especially of these decisions that have the potential to create trade wars with other major economies such as China.


The United States is the world’s biggest superpower and this position depends on America’s behaviour in the in international politics. This is the first place American achieved by active involvement in international politics over more than a century.

The world stage is now showing us that there is only one way to put “America first” and that is by acting promptly and responsibly with clear and feasible plans. Anything else would be Donald Trump’s failure to keep his biggest promise.

The country and the world expect the White House to be the leader and so far this has been lacking from the Oval Office.

"America first" may have won an election for Donald Trump but it cannot be his whole method of operation and the comments of world leaders demonstrate that they expect him to set the pace, particularly America's allies who have planned their own foreign policies to support that of Washington. Anything less will be seen as failure.