Since the George W. Bush years, I have been a casual outside observer of US politics. I have seen a lot of, let’s say, non-diplomatic behavior within the government, the impact of which does not look very positive for the democratic process. Since the Trump electoral campaign, much of the world has been watching to see how “making America great again” is going to work.

Democracy

Originally, Democracy was defined as being "demos," meaning all citizens living in a city or state and "kratos," meaning power or rule.

Which I would like to say, for all intents and purposes, we can interpret as the power being with the people, the citizens. Which would be great, however, in these modern times, we are all a bit busy consequently, we now view democracy as being a system of government in which we the citizens elect representatives from among the people to form a governing body, a parliament.

Donald

Donald Trump has a wealthy business empire, which he has put aside so that he can focus attention on his political career.

So, naturally you could be forgiven for thinking that he must a) be smart and b) know how to get things done; and at the risk of presenting an alternative fact, he is quoted as saying “what separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.”

Donald Trump was elected as president through an apparently unbiased and democratic process. Exactly one year ago, he was officially accepted as the leader and delivered his inauguration speech on the west front of the United States Capitol Building.

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Donald Trump

This was a much-anticipated speech after all his election was a shock not only to me and the media but to everyone I have spoken to since. In the news, the cause of such political surprise has been dubbed “popularism” and to be fair the US is not the only country that has taken on this uber-ideology. Here in the UK we too have the capacity to upset the proverbial apple cart and in 2016 voted to leave the European Union.

It doesn’t stop there, around the world the political landscape has been churned and pitted by the people’s discontent, but that’s another story.

So, what of Donald Trump? How has he faired since his election? One thing that is for sure, is that over the last 12 months he has not failed to be in the news, which for a man that thrives on attention probably isn’t a surprise. As a political leader, his actions and comments are eagerly scrutinized and I imagine nearly every news publisher is sitting waiting for his late-night tweet so that they can begin work on the following day’s story.

During his campaign, he promised a new approach; the self-dubbed expert negotiator was going to shake up the parliamentary system, to fight “fake news” and of course to make America great again.

Mr. Trump's success in shaking up the political establishment has to his credit been beyond question, significant. Unfortunately, the shake-up has been far from a successful implementation of transparency and honesty.

In its first year, the Trump administration has seen several high-profile heads roll because of scandal, controversy and Trump zeal. Tom Price, Steve Bannon, Anthony Scaramucci to name but a few that have fallen, but it’s not just people that have been changed since he took office, life in the US is going through a sea change. Donald’s planned wall has widened beyond the US-Mexico border to include several so-called [missing expletive] countries and immigration has become a hot topic for debate. Obamacare is teetering on the brink of being replaced, whether that’s going to be good for the healthcare system is yet to be witnessed. Then there is, of course, his spat with Kim Jong-un, who at best is volatile, despite this Kim Jong-un has managed to coin a new nickname for the president, “dotard,” which to some may seem to be a pretty good snapback, as far as political leader roasting is concerned. Regrettably, it does seem to be pushing the world that little bit closer to the brink of a nuclear war.

Diplomacy

The art and practice of conducting negotiations.” Whether we can call the turmoil that seems to have beset almost every decision that Trump has made as a series of diplomatic successes is doubtful, at least from the UK perspective. In fact, on one level it may appear that the fires of disruption have been raging through US democracy, fueled by the sparks of Mr. Trump’s tweets. Today, we awaken to the news that the government has shut down, this political calamity, of course, is being vehemently disputed by the parties of Congress. However, despite the fervor in the media, this being the weekend I guess the impact will not become truly apparent until sometime early next week. What I do feel is that the rest of the world can rest for a short while, at least, while the Trump administration tries to quell Donald’s outrage, Congress gets over their finger pointing and the focus returns to sort out the issues.

What seems to be unfolding during this tumultuous year of the current administration is that Donald Trump is not obviously good for the American people. Not only are international relations and relationships being put under strain, but his apparent lack of diplomacy is making it look as if American greatness will not be back anytime soon, not at least for the next few years.

As far as the rest of us are concerned, I suspect that our penchant for popularism may be waning. Political awareness is being forced into our lives, Trump, Brexit and world peace do not seem to be any better off from our discontent. So, what does this all mean for diplomacy and the democratic process? Well, for now, we must deal with the decisions that have already been made and as we go forward, history will become the teacher of future generations. Only time will tell whether today's choices will have a long-lasting damaging effect or the times we are going through are just a natural side-effect of dramatic political change, as we head towards a better world.

Personally, in my utopian, simplistic and humble opinion, I would like my children to learn to take back democracy, to return to the ideals first spawned in Greece, some 2,500 years ago. I pray that they implement diplomacy in every country one that does not encourage xenophobia but a unity that enables us all to live together in peace. As for Donald, he is but a man and if it’s not before, he seems unlikely to weather the storm and stay in office past the next US election.

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