Obamacare, Climate Change: Donald Trump’s U-turns and counting

It's been two weeks since Trump had a staggering win, but now we see him slowly retracting on some of his prominent, foundational promises that formed the spine of his campaign.

Written by Radhika Iyengar | New Delhi | Published: November 25, 2016 11:58 am
trump-the-generals-759 It’s been two weeks since Trump had a staggering win, but now we see him slowly retracting on some of his prominent, foundational promises that formed the spine of his campaign. (AP Photo)

When Donald Trump became the President-elect, the world was convinced that he is going to put all his policies proposed during his controversial, notorious campaign into effect. In fact, we even did a story (http://bit.ly/2fDduyZ) on how Trump would do everything in his power to keep his supporters – those who catapulted into the forefront of the US elections – happy. It’s been two weeks since Trump had a staggering win, but now we see him slowly retracting on some of his prominent, foundational promises that formed the spine of his campaign. A considerable portion of his promises and attacks against his rivals which brazenly hung as gleaming trophies in the background of his campaign, are now one-by-one being unhooked, bubble wrapped and boxed into darkness. Here is a snapshot of the U-turns Trump has made since the day he got elected:

Obamacare — “repeal and replace” and now retract: Throughout the election race, Trump has been vocal about his disdain for Obamacare — Obama’s healthcare initiative — calling it a “disaster”. During the election race, he addressed a crowd of supporters: “And I can say all of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare… You look at what they’re going through with their health care, it’s horrible because of Obamacare. So we’ll repeal it and replace it.”

Three days into his transition however, he said that he’d like to retain certain parts of Obamacare, which included that insurers would not be allowed to refuse coverage to any patient on the basis of his/her current health condition. He would also retain the feature that allows additional coverage on insurance policies for children.

Climate Change: Donald Trump is notorious for his views on climate change, when he called it a “hoax” conjured up by China.

He had promised to withdraw from The Paris Agreement, an international climate accord that keeps a check on global warming. It was a statement Trump should have never made, but he did. However, recently he detracted from his vow saying that he had an “open mind to it”. He also agreed to the fact that there was indeed “some connectivity” between global warming and human activity.

Locking up Hillary Clinton: In one of the Presidential debates, Trump had pledged to put his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton into prison if he became President. This was with reference to Clinton’s private emails controversy. It was a shocking, jaw-dropping statement that left many gasping and fueled more support from those who backed him. In fact, on the day Trump was announced the President-elect, his supporters huddled out on the streets and vehemently chanted, “Lock her up! Lock her up!”

However, in a recent meeting with The New York Times, Trump informed the paper that he no longer had any desire to go after Hillary Clinton. “I don’t want to hurt the Clintons,” he said. “I really don’t…She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways.”

His views on The New York Times: On his Twitter page, which has been infamous for some terrifying Trump-isms, the President-elect recently went all out at berating one of the country’s most respected papers. In one of his attacks, he prefixed the newspaper’s name with ‘failing’.

On November 22, 2016 he tweeted, “I cancelled today’s meeting with the failing @nytimes when the terms and conditions of the meeting were changed at the last moment. Not nice.” Fifteen minutes later he added, “Perhaps a new meeting will be set up with the @nytimes. In the meantime they continue to cover me inaccurately and with a nasty tone!”

However, Trump finally attended the meeting with The New York Times. There, in an attempt to whitewash all the jabs he had previously made against the paper, he said, “I just appreciate the meeting and I have great respect for The New York Times. Tremendous respect. It’s very special. Always has been very special.”

Right when you thought he could not get more saccharine, Trump called the paper a “great, great American jewel. A world jewel” — and then neatly tied a bow on it: “And I hope we can all get along well.”

Trump’s stand on Obama: When the incoming President met the outgoing President at the White House, Trump told a crowd of reporters that he was looking forward to building a “long-term relationship” with Obama. Later, he confessed saying, “I didn’t know if I’d like him. I probably thought that maybe I wouldn’t, but I did. I really enjoyed him a lot.”

The political history between the two has been sullied by countless verbal attacks against each other. Trump was a fierce advocate of the birther movement and had once called Obama the “founder of ISIS”. In comparison, Obama who often referred to Trump as ‘The Donald’ had previously declared that the then Republican candidate to be “temperamentally unfit” to run for Presidency.

What do we make of Trump and his stance on issues? A demagogue, he rallied the masses by preying on their fears, making countless promises, some of which he is now having trouble keeping. If Trump backpedals on some of his core pledges today, what does that mean for his supporters who enthusiastically brought him to power? What does it mean for America? If he’s burying certain promises to rest now, can be presume that he won’t unearth them in the future? And what does all this mean for the world? His mercurial, idiosyncratic vacillation is disconcerting. In fact, it always has been. Even more so now as January 2017 draws closer.

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  1. Clark Magnuson
    Nov 27, 2016 at 4:10 am
    Man made global warming is fear based politics with no science. Any global warming theories have been proven wrong. The sea level rose 240 feet 20k years ago. It has not risen a foot in the industrial revolution. No school kid would fall for any of it if both sides get a say. This is like creationism vs evolution, and the warmists are the creationists. Once the truth of global warming hoaxing is taught in school, there will be no turning back.
    1. J
      Nov 25, 2016 at 10:01 am
      I see apprehension in this article. Should we not be happy that his pre-election rants were just that, rants! It shows that the guy is not a and that he's willing to reconsider and not just take things on face value. His not repealing the Obamacare, willingness to accept global warming and not gong after Hillary are all good signs. This cynicism is something I don't understand. Rhetorics are a part of elections. NaMo did the same. And he's not doing too badly!
      1. P
        Nov 25, 2016 at 7:29 am
        The democracy practiced in the United States can be explained with a simple algebraic equation.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;A - B = Clt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Where,lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;A = Campaign rhetorics/ heated sloganslt;br/gt;B = Pressure from Billionaires and War Industrylt;br/gt;C = Permitted changes to be made in administrationlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;If we think that the US president is the most powerful man in that country then we are wrong.lt;br/gt;Above him sits a group of super rich people who unofficially control the office of the president of the US.lt;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;Now, this cartel permits the newly elected president to make some changes keeping in conformity with his election campaign slogans.lt;br/gt;(This is done to show it to the world that US President has a mind of his own)lt;br/gt;Rest are dictated by the cartel to the last dot.lt;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;Ever wonder why a Peace Nobel prize winner Obama launched more wars and battles than any other US Presidents?lt;br/gt;The diktats of the cartel.lt;br/gt;He had to obey the cartel.lt;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;Remember what Obama said about Trump's flamboyant political atudes?lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Obama said that the office will force Trump to change and see sense.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;By 'office' Obama respectfully referred to the cartel that controls the office of the president of the US.lt;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;That is why Trump is retracting, incrementally, bit by bit.lt;br/gt;And, he too will continue to wage battles all over the world.lt;br/gt;The war industry in the US and the EU will force him to do so.lt;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;That is why no US President will ever be able to end wars around d the world.lt;br/gt;US will continue to engage in wars killing millions of civilians, changing unfriendly regimes, so that it's war industry flourished.lt;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;Pity the office of the president of the US.lt;br/gt;By any yardstick the office of the Prime Minister of India is more powerful.